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Raphaela Freidl receives advancement award of the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology

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(Vienna, 11 October 2017) Raphaela Freidl, PhD student at the Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research of the MedUni Vienna receives the advancement award “Specific Immunotherapy” of the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI). The award will be handed over to her in the scope of the German Allergy Congress 2017 in Wiesbaden.

The awarded study “Blocking antibodies induced by immunization with a hypoallergenic parvalbumin mutant reduce allergic symptoms in a mouse model of fish allergy” was performed in the framework of the EU project FAST (Food Allergy Specific Therapy) (Project leader: Birgit Linhart) and published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2017;139(6):1897-1905).

Food allergies are a frequent cause of severe anaphylactic reactions, yet only symptomatic treatment is available for patients. A recombinant vaccine based on a mutant of the major fish allergen parvalbumin has been developed within of the FAST project. In the award-winning study, researchers demonstrated in a mouse model of fish allergy, that antibodies induced by the recombinant vaccine provide protection against allergic reactions. Ultimately, it may be possible to develop a safe and effective immunotherapy against fish allergy based on this vaccine.

The sponsorship award “Specific Immunotherapy” of the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI) – donated by Allergopharma GmbH & Co. KG, Reinbek – is granted annually at the German Allergy Congress for excellent original papers. The prize is awarded for work in the field of allergology and clinical immunology and supports young scientists.

About the person
Raphaela Freidl studied Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (BSc) at the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems and received her master’s degree in Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Applied Sciences Campus Vienna. She wrote her master thesis at the Wenner-Gren Institute of the University of Stockholm, title: “Immune Defenses in the Respiratory Tract- Contribution of Alveolar Epithelial Cells to Macrophage Activation” (Group: Carmen Fernández). Since 2014 she studies immunology in the PhD programme at the Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research (Division of Immunopathology, Director: Rudolf Valenta) of the MedUni Vienna, her supervisor is Birgit Linhart.