"Theodor Körner" Award for Andreas Heindl und Judith Leitner
On April 30, 2012 Andreas Heindl from the Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research and Judith Leitner from the Institute of Immunology of the Medical University of Vienna were honoured with the "Theodor Körner" Award.
Andreas Heindl was honoured for the project „A new vista on disease pattern – development of a software for automated osteoclast-detection and measurement by machine learning techniques”
Bone-degrading osteoclast cells can be cultured in vitro to determine their formation and function under the influence of physiological and pharmacological agents. The computer-mediated in silico recognition and quantification of osteoclasts in cultures as developed by Andreas Heindl allows for exact computation of multiple cellular parameters and accelerates the evaluation process in order to support the development of more effective therapies for bone-related diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
Andreas Heindl was born in St. Pölten/Lower Austria in 1980. He has studied computer science at the Technical University of Vienna and is currently finalizing his PhD at the Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research (Group: Isabella Ellinger) at the Medical University of Vienna. Currently, his main focus is on deploying artificial intelligence techniques in biological signal processing.
Judith Leitner was honoured for the project " Die Bedeutung des CD2-CD58 Signalweges für die Immunkompetenz bei älteren Personen".
In a realised study in collaboration with Beatrix Grubeck-Loebenstein (Institute for Biomedical Aging Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences) various alternative costimulatory ligands are analyzed regarding to stimulate their capacity, CD28 negative T cells. Permanent separation of B and T lymphocytes based on repeated stimulation in chronic infections can lead to cell senescence. In humans this correlates with the loss of the CD28 receptor on CD8 T cells and therefore elderly and chronically infected individuals show a high percentage of CD28-negative T cells. The damage of CD28 is an important marker of immune dysfunction in elderly people –about the functional consequences of this process is little-known.
Judith Leitner was born in 1979. She is an employee of the Department of immune receptors and T cell activation (Head: Peter Steinberger) at the Institute of Immunology at the Medical University of Vienna. From 2001 to 2006 she studied molecular biology at the University of Vienna and performed her PhD in natural sciences at the University of Vienna. Since September 2011 she has been Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Immunology at the Medical University of Vienna.
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