Prize News

The 2017 Awardee - Kerstin Wilhelm!

This years awardee of the Werner-Risau-Prize for outstanding achievements in endothelial cell biology is Dr. Kerstin Wilhelm from the Angiogenesis & Metabolism Laboratory headed by Michael Potente from the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim, Germany. Bad…. what? you may ask, since this little town about 35 km north of Frankfurt is not exactly a hip location like Berlin or Munich or Cologne. But: The Max Planck Institute there is a very prestigious one that experienced a restart into a new life, when Werner Risau had moved to this place with his group and started working there on blood brain barrier formation and angiogenesis mechanisms in the early nineties. We are therefore proud to see that Dr. Kerstin Wilhelm is following in this tradition and is continuing research on the formation of the vascular bed. Her research, recently published in Nature (Nature (2016) 529: 216-220) focuses on the role of the transcription factors FOXO1 and MYC during vessel growth and maturation and has implications for endothelial proliferation, growth and metabolism.

As usual the prize will be awarded during the Spring Meeting of the German Society for Cell Biology, this year on March 1st, in Leipzig. Hope to see you all there!

The race is open again

Here it finally is: The application form (in the download section) for the next 2017 Werner Risau Prize award. The prize will again be handed over during the Annual Meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zellbiologie (DGZ). this time in Leipzig, Germany between March 1 - 3, 2017. Hurry up, if you have an interesting story just published or in press, and which you are prepared to present to an international audience of dedicated cell biologists- it`s definitely worth it! If you don´t believe it - I am not getting tired to point at previous winners of our prize. Just try to google where some of the previous Werner Risau Prize winners are now advancing their career....

But remember: The application deadline is January 30, 2013! So do your paperwork and send it in ASAP!

No Winner for 2016!

Unfortunately, we could not find a person this year that would have qualified in our opinion as a laureate for the Werner-Risau-Prize Sad . We are still looking into the potential reasons as to why this happened: Fewer people that actually knew Werner Risau personally and bear him in remembrance, low overall visibility of the prize, unpleasant format of the prize ceremony, not enough prestige (or money?) that is associated with the prize - all these points, if true or not, could have contributed to the fact that we had an extremely low number of applicants this year, although we had extended the deadline again for the application considerably. Nevertheless, instead of giving the prize to someone less outstanding, we decided against this option and convinced ourselves that we should do our best and spread the word about the Prize among our colleagues and collaborators and all the scientist that we will meet in seminars and conferences, with much more energy and vigor and enthusiasm as before during the next couple of months!

Application proposal 2016

Please see the corresponding announcement in the download section!

The 2015 winner is there - Ayel Ben-Zvi!

Out of a number of astounding studies that were submitted this time tin application for the WRP, we picked the one of Dr. Ayel Ben-Zvi as the winning publication. While working as a Postdoc under the supervision of Dr. Chenghua Gu at the Department of Neurobiology at the Harvard Medical School, he was able to identify a new gene, Mfsd2a, which is responsible for the proper blood-brain barrier formation during embryonic development, while suppressing trans-endothelial vesicular transport t the same time.

He and his colleagues could also demonstrate that this differentiation process was independent from vessel neoformation or angiogenesis in the CNS and also independent from vascular patterning (the latter being the process of how vessel invade the CNS tissue and how the form branches there). Dr. Ben-Zvi currently is a Principle Investigator at the Department of Developmental Biology and Cancer Research at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Congratulations!!Tomorrow he will give a presentation on this topic at the DGZ Annual Meeting in Cologne!

Application for the 2015 Werner Risau Prize

Here it finally is: The application form (in the download section) for the next 2015 Werner Risau Prize award (and please note: this Prize has quite a tradition now, going strong into it´s 15th year!)
The prize will again be handed over during the Annual Meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zellbiologie (DGZ). This time it will be held in their Cologne, Germany from
March 24 - 27, 2015. Please, dare to apply, if you have an appealing study just published or in press, and which you are prepared to present to an international audience of dedicated cell biologists- it`s definitely worth it! If you don´t believe it - just try to google where some of the previous Werner Risau Prize winners are now advancing their career....

But remember: The application deadline is January 15, 2015! So do your paperwork and send it in ASAP!

Dr. Anjali "Bones" Kusumbe - the 2014 winner

We are happy to announce our this year´s winner of the Werner Risau Prize: Dr. Aljali Kusumbe from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine at Münster, Germany. As in previous years we again had received really outstanding applications, of which Dr. Kusumbe´s study published in Nature made it to the top of the list. Why "Bones"? She discovered a specific blood vessel subtype in bone termed "type H", which is important for developmental and regenerative angiogenesis. These vessels seemed to be intrinsically linked to bone mass as loss of these vessels, which gradually occurs with age also leads to loss of bone bone mass. Reactivation of type H vessels in contrast increased osteoprogenitor cells numbers which are in close contact with the endothelial cells of type H vessels, and also improve bone mass.

Application Deadline now January 31, 2014!

Due to logistical problems, we again decided to extend the application deadline until January 31, 2012. We are sorry for any inconveniences that this might have caused and hope to get all potential applicants, which may have been discouraged by not being able to send their application in time, to submit their paperwork NOW! Good luck!

Inernational Meeting of the DGZ 2014 in Regensburg

The dates for next International Meeting of the German Society for Cell Biology and the Society for Developmental Biology are out: Reserve a few days from March 18 - 21, 2014 and get blown away again by a variety of fascinating topics in cell and developmental biology during the next meeting, which will be organized in Regensburg, Bavaria. Deadlines for abstract submissions and the program will be available soon at http://www.zellbiologie.de/de_tagungen.phtml. As soon as the Meeting poster will be made available, we will also provide a link to download it from this site.

The 2013 winner - Rui Benedito

This years winner of the Werner-Risau-Prize for outstanding achievements in endothelial cell biology is Dr. Rui Benedito from the Molecular Genetics of Angiogenesis Laboratory in the Cardiovascular Development and Repair Department of the CNIC in Madrid, Spain. Dr. Benedito studied the interplay between Notch and VEGF receptor signaling and found that VEGFR3 is more important as modulator of the crosstalk between DLL4/Notch and VEGF signalling pathways, as opposed to VEGF receptor 2, which has been thought to have a crucial role in this crosstalk.

Annual Meeting of the DGZ 2013 in Heidelberg

Here is a link to the 2013 International Joint Meeting of the German Society for Cell Biology and the Society for Developmental Biology in Heidelberg. It will be staged between March 20 - 23 and again cover a variety of fascinating topics related to current problems in cell and developmental biology. Abstract submission deadline for the meeting is January 31, 2013. But remember: The last chance to throw in YOUR contribution to the Werner Risau Prize will be on January 15, 2013. If you want to get the announcement poster for the DGZ meeting (i.e. to spread the word about this wonderful meeting in your institution) you can find the PDF on the download page.

Photos from the 2012 award

Have a look at the photos from the 2012 award ceremony on the Photos page!

The next Annual Meeting of the German Society for Cell Biology 2013

The competition is open again for the next WRP, which will be awarded as usual during the next 36th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Cell Biology! The exact date and the location for 2013 have not been announced yet for this event but we will keep you posted. My guess is that it will take place again in March or April! As soon as this information will be released, you will also find it here on this website. So wrap up your stories and enter the combat zome! Apply for the Werner Risau Prize NOW! Admittedly, the deadline is still far away (January 15, 2013) but remember: Publishing may not be as straightforward as you might have assumed intially - and it can be a quite lenghty and cumbersome process!

And the winner is....

We are happy to announce our this year´s winner of the Werner Risau Prize: Dr. Jorge Ivan Alvarez from the Neuroimmunology Unit at the Centre Hospitalier De L'Université de Montréal, Canada. Although we again had received quite a number of really outstanding applications of high quality, Jorge Alvarez´ study on the role of hedgehog signaling on the integrity of the blood brain barrier and its implications on immune quiescence in the CNS was so convincing that the prize committee hardly did not have any alternative but select him as the new awardee. He will be presenting in the late afternoon on March 21 during the 35th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Cell Biology (March 21-25, 2012). Hope to see you all there!

Application Deadline extended!

Due to problems with the E-Mail address of Prof. Hallmann that was provided on The Prize - webpage, we decided to extend the application deadline until January 25th, 2012. We are sorry for any inconveniences that this might have caused and hope to get all potential applicants, which might have been discouraged by not being able to send their application, to submit their paperwork NOW! Good luck!

Application for the 2012 Werner Risau Prize

A bit late this year - I am awfully sorry for this - but here it finally is: The application form (in the download section) for the next 2012 Werner Risau Prize award. The prize will again be handed over during the Annual Meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zellbiologie (DGZ). This time it will be their 35th Annual Meeting and it will be staged in the beautiful and booming city of Dresden between March 21 - 24, 2012. Don´t hesitate to apply, if you have an appealing study just published or in press, and which you are prepared to present to an international audience of dedicated cell biologists- it`s definitely worth it! If you don´t believe it - just try to google where some of the previous Werner Risau Prize winners are now advancing their career....

But remember: The application deadline is January 15, 2012! So do your paperwork and send it in ASAP!

Our 2011 awardee: Suphansa Sawamiphak

As in the previous years, a new PDF kindly provided by the editors of Zellbiologie aktuell, the official magazine of the German Society for cell biology, is now available for download. In this article Suphansa Sawamiphak describes her studies on vascular sprout formation and the way how ehprinB2 controls VEGFR2 signaling in tip cell function during the directed migration of endothelial cells that ultimately lead to the formation of new blood vessels.

The 2011 Werner Risau Prize

As in the previous years, you can find the application document for the next 2011 Werner-Risau-Prize in the download section. The prize will again be awarded during the Annual Meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zellbiologie (DGZ), which will be held from March 30 - April 2, 2011 in the city of Bonn this time. Don´t hesitate to apply, if you think you are qualified - it`s worth it! The application deadline is January 15, 2011.

Boris Strilic v2.0

A new PDF kindly provided by the editors of Zellbiologie aktuell, the official magazine of the German Society for cell biology, is now available for download, in which Boris Strilic summarized his work on lumen formation in blood vessels. The corresponding publication of this work in the prestigious journal Developmental Cell eventually earned him the Werner-Risau-Prize.
And just as a side remark: Receiving the Werner-Risau-Prize usually does not harm your career - Boris Strilic is now a group leader in the department of Prof. Stefan Offermanns at the MaxPlanck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim, Germany.

Boris Strilic: Our 2010 laureate!

Better late than never! Finally, It is a great pleasure to introduce this years winner of the Werner-Risau-Prize for outstanding achievements in endothelial cell biology, Dr. Boris Strilic from the Heinrich-Heine University in Duesseldorf, Germany. With his seminal study (Dev Cell 17, 505-515) Boris Strilic and coworkers presented a series of elegant experiments that demonstrated a unique way how the lumen of newly formed blood vessels could be formed. This study was also featured by an extra comment in the same issue of Developmental Cell by Kevin Nelson and Greg Beitel and made it even to the cover page of this issue with one of the micrographs.

The 2010 Werner Risau Prize

In the download section you now can find the application document for the 2010 Werner-Risau-Prize. As in the previous years, this prize will again be awarded during the Annual Meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zellbiologie (DGZ), which will be organized from March 10-13, 2010 in Regensburg this time. Don´t hesitate to apply, if you think you are qualified - it`s worth it! There is the money of course, but you will also have a great audience for the presentation of your scientific work and lots of possibilities to meet with others in a very nice setting.

Our 2009 laureate: Tuomas Tammela

It is a great pleasure to announce this years winner of the Werner-Risau-Prize for outstanding achievements in endothelial cell biology, Dr. Tuomas Tamela from the Molecular Cancer Biology Laboratory at the University of Helsinki. With his Nature 2008 article on the role of VEGFR-3 signalling for the formation of new blood vessel during physiological as well as disease processes, he eventually came out first from a group of very strong competitors. VEGFR-3 stands for Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-3 and represents one of the tyrosine kinase receptors that is present on the surface of developing blood vessels and lymphatic endothelium that binds certain members of the VEGF growth factor family (in mammals there are five of these VEGFs). In his study, Dr. Tammela could show that blocking VEGFR-3 signalling decreased various important aspects of angiogenesis (such as sprouting, branching, proliferation). These observations suggest that targeting VEGFR-3 could serve as an efficient means to block the formation of new blood vessels, which in turn would help in diseases that are characterized by excessive blood vessel growth such as diabetic retinopathies or the accelerated growth of solid tumours.

Re: DGZ Meeting in Konstanz

Please note that the next Meeting of the DGZ will be be held March 24-27, 2009. In the information leaflet available in the Download section March 25-28 was mentioned. An updated version of the prize information document is now available for downloading. Please adjust your schedules accordingly. Sorry for any inconveniences!

Prize Money Doubled

Due to a very generous donation of Mrs. Barbara Risau to the Werner-Risau-Prize fund, the financial contribution that is awarded together with the personal diploma has been increased to the sum of

€ 4000.

The new Werner-Riisau-Prize will be awarded for the first time during the next meeting of the Swiss and German Societies for Cell Biology on March 25, 2009 in Konstanz, Germany. The increased prize money will certainly help to promote the popularity of the Werner-Risau-Prize and further raise its visibility and significance within the scientific community and especially amongst vascular biologists.
Laugh

1st Joint Congress of the Swiss and the German Societies of Cell Biology

Here are the topics of the meeting:
Carl Zeiss Lecture: Rudolf Jaenisch (Cambridge, USA)
Symposia
A: Dynamics of the cytoskeleton (Jürgen Wehland, Braunschweig)
B: Physiology of cellular growth control (Christian Frei, Zürich)
C: Vesicle trafficking (Suzanne Pfeffer, Stanford, CA)
D: Cellular microbiology (Pascal Cossart, Paris)
E: Regulation of cellular processes by microRNAs (Ueli Schibler, Genf)
F: Systems biology of phosphatidyl-inositol-phosphate signaling (Tobias Meyer, Stanford, CA)

Minisymposia
1: Ubiquitination and the proteasome (Marcus Groettrup, Konstanz & Ivan Dikic, Frankfurt)
2: Nuclear architecture (Francois Karch, Genf)
3: Stem cells (Karlheinz Krause, Genf, & Marcel Leist, Konstanz)
4: Cellular aging (Alexander Bürkle, Konstanz, & Thomas von Zglinicki, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
5: Chemical approaches in Cell Biology (Thomas U. Mayer, Konstanz)
6: Tissue remodelling (Wieland Huttner, Dresden)
7: Cell polarity (Kai Simons, Dresden)
8: Regulation of the cell cycle (Ingrid Hoffmann, Heidelberg & Erich Nigg, Martinsried)
9: The cellular basis of innate immunity (Bruno Lemaître, Lausanne)
10: Label-free microscopic methods (Andreas Zumbusch, Konstanz)

More detailed information to the program, registration, abstract submission etc. is again available at the zellbiologie website
www.zellbiologie2009.de

The race is on for the 2009 prize!

In the download section you now can find the application documents for the 2009 Werner-Risau-Prize. As in the previous years, this prize will again be awarded during the Annual Meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zellbiologie, which will be organized from March 24-27, 2009 in Konstanz this time, together with colleagues from Switzerland. So the audience will be even more "international" than in the previous years and the awardee will have a very unique platform to present his work. Therefore, if you think you might be qualified, then don´t hesitate to apply - or hurry up and do the experiments that have to be done to finish your paper!!

Jonathan Leslie is the WRP winner of 2008!

Dr. Jonathan Leslie from the Vertebrate Development Laboratory of the Cancer Research UK, London was elected as this years WRP winner. In his studies he used zebrafish as a model system and investigated the role of delta-notch cell-cell signalling in blood vessel development. He could show that Notch signalling is important in switching the endothelium off once vascular patterning is complete and that defects in this regulatory circuit leads to excessive sprouting, filopodia formation and proliferation of the endothelial cells, when the cells should already have adopted a quiescent state.
His work was published in the December issue of Development (Development 2007,134: 839-844) and was critically acclaimed shortly afterwards in Nature (Gridley, T (2007). Nature 445 (7129): 722-723) and in two NatureReviews Research Highlights (Mullard, A (2007). Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 8: 182-183 and Mullard, A (2007). NatureReviews Genetics 8: 172).

Deadline for 2008 DGZ Meeting is close!

Just remember: January 31, 2008 is the deadline for registering for the 2008 German Society of Cell Biology (DGZ) meeting to be held in Marburg from March 12-15. You still will be able to register at a later time point, however, fees will go up. So get your act together and register! You won´t regret it! For details see the homepage of the meeting.

Next: The 2008 DGZ Meeting in Marburg

The next 31st Annual Meeting of the German Society for Cell Biology (DGZ) will be held in Marburg, Germany, March 12-15, 2008. Like in the last years, this excellent meeting will again provide us with the opportunity to award the Werner-Risau-Prize for oustanding research in vascular biology. Deadline for applications to the Werner-Risau-Prize is January 15, 2008, and this is also the deadline for submitting an abstract to the DGZ meeting. So make up your mind and apply - there will be lots of highly interesting talks and exhibitions! For more detailed information on the meeting, please have a look at the new website (http://www.zellbiologie2008.de).

Hope to see you all there!

Karina Yaniv: Our 2007 laureate!

This year the Werner-Risau-Prize committee again had received a series of outstanding applications for the Werner-Risau-Prize award. It was therefore not an easy task to separate out one particular application and to drop all the other outstanding studies.The committee finally decided on Karina Yaniv from Brent Weinstein´s Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at the NIH as our 2007 laureate, who had applied with an extraordinary publication in Nature Medcine on the development of the the lymphatic vessel system. Using zebrafish as a model organism and highly sophisticated microscopy techniques she could follow the formation of the lymphatic vessel system during embryonic development and provide evidence for the hypothesis that lymphatic vessels have a venous origin. We are convinced that her contribution represents a milestone in lymphangiogenesis research and will the pave the way for future research in that field. Read more about Karina Yaniv on our laureate page!

Coming up: The 2007 DGZ-Meeting

The application deadline for the Annual meeting of the German Society of Cell Biology (DGZ) has been postponed to Monday, February 5, 2007. So there is still time to register and to submit an abstract. Some of the topics that will be in the particular focus of this years meeting are listed below.
For more information and registration, please see:
http:// www.zellbiologie2007.de
There will be plenty of excellent talks and you will have the opportunity to meet with old and new colleagues in your area of research. And of course, if you particiate you also will have a chance to attend the ceremony on Wednesday afternoon, March 14, in which the Werner-Risau-Prize will be awarded. We again received a number of outstanding applications and it won´t be an easy task to single out a particular one.

Main topics of the 2007 DGZ meeting:

Cellular/Molecular Bases of Ageing (S1)   
Quality Control of Macromolecules (S2)   
Long Range Transport Systems (S3)   
Cellular Mechanics (S4)   
Molelcular Basis of Chronobiology (S5)   
Tubular Morphogenesis (S6)   
MicroRNA (MS1)   
Structural Dynamics of Organelles (MS2)   
Gases as Signalling Molecules (MS3)   
Molecular and Functional Organization of the Postsynaptic Scaffold at Central Nervous Synapses (MS4)   
Cellular Control of Metal Homeostasis (MS5)   
3-D Methods in Cell Biology (MS6)   
Cell Volume Regulation (MS7)   
Host-parasite Interactions (MS8)   
"Sweet Biology": The Sugar Code in Cell Biology (MS9)               
Cytomechanics in Development (MS10)     
Others (O)

The "Werner-Risau-Prize.org" website

As of today the Werner-Risau-Prize website is fully functional! Here we will keep you posted on the latest developments on the Werner-Risau-Prize for Outstanding Studies in Endothelial Cell Biology. The Werner Risau Prize of the German Society for Cell Biology (DGZ) is awarded for outstanding studies in endothelial cell biology to candidates within the first 5 years after obtaining their PhD or MD (except in the case of maternal leave). It will be awarded for a research article already published or in press. To find out more about Werner Risau and the Prize that is dedicated to him, please sift through our web pages.
In the near future we may also present exciting recent articles related to vascular biology on this page and may even transform it into a vascular biology blog if it turns out that there is demand for it. Just drop by regularly!

Werner-Risau-Prize goes public

In November 2006 the new Werner Risau Prize website will be launched. We are close to finish the layout and design of our newly designed and overhauled website and will go public during November 2006. Stay tuned not to miss any important information!

Launch of the WRP website

We will soon launch our new and revamped website dedicated to the Werner-Risau Prize for outstanding studies in endothelial cell biology!