Kerstin Wilhelm awarded with the 2017 Werner-Risau-Prize
Kerstin Wilhelm from the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research has been awarded the Werner-Risau-Prize 2017 by the German Society for Cell Biology. The prize was awarded to her at the annual meeting in Leipzig.
Kerstin Wilhelm received the award for her work on the forkhead transcription factor FOXO1. The 29-year-old scientist had discovered that FOXO1 is an important regulator of blood vessel growth, which suppresses the metabolic and proliferative activities of endothelial cells – the cells that line the inner surface of blood vessels. Since a number of diseases are associated with aberrant vascular growth, the discovery of FOXO1 as an essential negative regulator of blood vessel formation could therapeutic implications. “For instance, the growth of tumors could be slowed by inhibiting the formation of tumor vessels through targeted FOXO1 activation,” says Wilhelm.
The German Society for Cell Biology awards the Werner-Risau-Prize for the outstanding work of young scientists in the field of endothelial cell biology.