Jung Career Advancement Award Goes to CRC 841 Scientist

7 January 2012
Samuel Huber, MD, of the Collaborative Research Centre 841 (CRC 841) has been named recipient of the Ernst Jung Career Advancement Award for medical research. The award, which is conferred by the Jung Foundation for Science and Research and endowed with 210,000 euros, goes to the young physician in recognition of his successful research in the field of immune regulation.
“I am delighted with the award, which is a huge motivation and support for my start in Germany,” Dr Samuel Huber said. With the Ernst Jung Career Advancement Award for medical research, the Foundation recognizes excellent young medical researchers who have returned to Germany after a minimum two-year research stay abroad and who seek to pursue a research career and complete their specialist training. Huber returned to Germany last summer from a three-year stay at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, CT, USA.
In the CRC 841 he heads a junior research group that studies how TH17 cells, a subtype of T-helper cells, are regulated. TH17 cells are important in order to ward off pathogens, but they can also cause chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases. “We want to elucidate the body’s own mechanisms with which TH17 cells can be controlled,” Huber explained. Among other cytokines, the scientists are investigating an important chemical messenger produced by TH17 cells, interleukin 22 (IL-22). “IL-22 can support wound healing, e.g. following damage to the liver,” Huber said. “However, when it is present in high concentration, it promotes the development of diseases such as cancer.”
The Jung Foundation confers three awards annually: the Ernst Jung Career Advancement Award for medical research, the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine and the Ernst Jung Gold Medal for Medicine. The awards are announced on the 8th of January, the anniversary of the death of Ernst Jung, a successful Hamburg merchant who initiated the foundation.