Mainz scientist gets award for her research

Johanna Simon receives Reimar Lüst scholarship from the Max Planck Society

June 12, 2018

Johanna Simon, PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in the department of Prof. Katharina Landfester, will be awarded the Reimar Lüst Fellowship by the Max Planck Society in Munich. The scholarship is awarded once a year to a PhD student at a Max Planck Institute and includes a two-year financial support for postdoctoral research.

Johanna Simon, PhD student in the department of Prof. Katharina Landfester, working on the mass spectrometer. With the spectrometer, she characterizes the proteins bound to the surface of nanoparticles.

Johanna Simon is awarded for her work in the field of nanoparticle-protein interaction. In her doctoral thesis, she examines how nanoparticles - particles with a diameter in the range of a billionth of a meter - behave in human blood. Nanotechnology is currently a promising method for future medical therapies. For this purpose, nanoparticles are functionalized, i. e. their surface is changed so that they can dock at specific places in the human body - for example on a tumor, where they can deliver agents. "The problem here is that these binding sites can be blocked by proteins in the blood and thereby the therapy loses its effectiveness," sais Johanna Simon. "That's why it fascinates me to investigate and understand these complex processes more precisely with modern analysis methods."

Simon adds nanoparticles to blood plasma. After that, she separates them again from the plasma. Using mass spectroscopic methods, she was able to investigate how strongly which proteins bind to the nanoparticles. In the future, the work can help to improve the development of nanotechnology-based therapeutics.

About Johanna Simon

Johanna Simon was born 1989 in Breidenbach near Marburg. After studying biomedical chemistry at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, she joined the group of Prof. Katharina Landfester at the MPI for Polymer Research in Mainz for her diploma thesis. Today, she continues to work in the department of Prof. Katharina Landfester under the supervision of Prof. Volker Mailänder, professor at the Mainz University Medical Center and group leader at the MPI-P.

Reimar Lüst scholarship

Prof. Dr. Reimar Lüst (* 1923) is a german astrophysicist and science manager. From 1972 - 1984 Lüst was president of the Max Planck Society. In the year 1983, on the occasion of his 60th birthday, donations from german business enterprises led to the creation of a foundation for the promotion of young scientists. The Reimar Lüst Fellowship, financed from this foundation, is awarded annually, and the laureates are personally selected by Prof. Lüst.

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