Press Release No. 57 | 3 December 2015
DFG Congratulates Pneumologist on Winning the 2015 Deutscher Zukunftspreis
Ardeschir Ghofrani and team presented with Federal President's award / "Testimony to the outstanding capabilities of clinical research in university medicine"
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has congratulated Giessen-based pneumologist Professor Dr. Ardeschir Ghofrani on winning the 2015 Deutscher Zukunftspreis, the Federal President's award for innovation in science and technology. "We're delighted that such a high form of recognition has been given to pioneering research for the development of a medication to treat two widespread forms of pulmonary hypertension. The fact that these cause considerable suffering through the reduction of patient quality of life makes this an especially important field of research," said DFG President Professor Dr. Peter Strohschneider.
On Wednesday, 2 December 2015, Ghofrani's team was selected from among three candidates for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis – the Federal President's prize for innovation in science and technology. Federal President Dr. h.c. Joachim Gauck presented the award, worth 250,000 euros, to the researcher from the University of Giessen and his colleagues from Bayer AG, Professor Dr. Johannes-Peter Stasch and Dr. Reiner Frey, in Berlin. The three medical scientists have developed a new type of drug that relieves the symptoms and slows the progress of two still largely incurable forms of the disease. They discovered a mechanism of action that intervenes in the molecular processes in the cardiopulmonary system and in future could potentially be used to treat other diseases too.
Strohschneider commented: "From the perspective of the DFG, this prize is testimony to the outstanding capabilities of clinical research in university medicine. The direct exchange of knowledge stemming from clinical practice and research gives rises to an innovation process that typifies good university hospitals and can only take place at this level of quality in those very institutions."
The prizewinning researchers and their project, "Relief for Heart and Lungs – From Nitroglycerin to Innovative Therapies", were nominated for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis by acatech – the National Academy of Science and Engineering. Ardeschir Ghofrani, the team's spokesperson, has received DFG funding through several projects for a number of years. Most recently, in 2012 a research team including DFG-funded researchers led by Professor Birger Kollmeier from the University of Oldenburg received the award for the advanced development of hearing aids. The Deutscher Zukunftspreis has been presented by the Federal President every year since 1997 in recognition of innovative research achievements and their development as marketable technologies.