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Young Pharma Award 2020

Laura Breinschmid and Helene Stütz, students at the Institute of Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at IMC Krems, took first and third place in this year’s Young Pharma Award and are therefore among the most innovative young researchers in the Austrian pharmaceutical industry.

üharma award

Successful young researchers at IMC Krems: Laura Breinschmid and Helene Stütz

The projects selected by the expert jury were introduced in a 10-minute presentation at pharmaKON. The focus was on innovation, benefits for patients and practical applicability. The pharmaKON participants chose the awardees in a live voting. At the online conference pharmaKON ON AIR on 24 November 2020, the Young Pharma Award was festively presented.

Laura Breinschmid convinced the jury with her thesis “Characterisation of tumourigenesis in a MYC-driven tumour model” and won first place this year, with prize money of 1,500 euros.

Helene Stütz achieved a very good third place with her thesis “Preparation of Heat-Denatured Macroaggregated Albumin for Biomedical Applications Using a Microfluidics Platform”.

“We are very proud that we succeeded in achieving top rankings in the Young Pharma Award again this year. This confirms that the final theses of our graduates, which are completed in cooperation with international research institutes, are of outstanding quality,” says the head of the Institute of Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Prof. (FH) Priv. Doz. Dr. Harald Hundsberger.

First place: mouse model for brain tumours

In her project, Laura Breinschmid focused on a mouse model for brain tumours. What is particular about these mice is that they develop a tumour resembling a type that is often diagnosed in children. In the future, these animals will be used to test chemotherapies in preclinical studies and to evaluate side effects of radiation therapy.

Her brother inspired the young biotechnologist to look for a project on this topic. Laura Breinschmid would like to thank her colleagues and the team leader, who made this possible for her. Thanks to them the work became an unforgettable time for her.
“I am extremely pleased to have received this award; it shows me that it pays to pursue a matter close to your heart,” says the awardee.

Third place: microparticles for biomedical application

Many members of the jury were enthusiastic about Helene Stütz’s project because it represents an improved method in the production of microparticles for biomedical applications. These particles can be used in lung scans, for example, to identify and localise existing thrombi.
“I would like to say thank you. First of all, I would like to thank the imh team for giving me the opportunity to tell so many scientists about my project; and of course I would also like to thank my IMC Supervisor Prof.(FH) Dr. Bernhard Klausgraber and my external Supervisor Dr. Urs Häfeli from the University of British Columbia for their support during the project. I am very happy that I was able to convince the expert jury of the importance of my project and look forward to further participating in conferences,” emphasises the committed Master student.

About the Young Pharma Award

pharmaKON is the annual meeting place for the Austrian pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. Since 2019, the YOUNG PHARMA AWARD has been a special highlight of pharmaKON. It gives students the opportunity to present their research projects directly to the industry. A perfect bridge between students and the Austrian pharmaceutical industry is created. Eligible for participation were student research projects that are scientifically sound (bachelor theses, master theses).


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