(Wien, 15 September 2020) Johannes Bigenzahn from MedUni Vienna's Department of Laboratory Medicine has been awarded the Blanca Moser Research Funding Prize 2020. He is receiving this award for identifying the LZTR1 protein as regulator of the abundance and signalling activity of RAS GTPases.
"This discovery arose from the use of functional genetic screening techniques in a cellular model system of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML). It was found that the deactivation of LZTR1 leads to reduced sensitivity of cancer cells to tyrosine kinase inhibitors, due to increased RAS and MAPK signal transduction activity," explains Bigenzahn. The paper was produced by a research group led by Giulio Superti-Furga at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in collaboration with various other research groups at the CeMM and MedUni Vienna and the working group led by Marek Mlodzik at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York) and has been published in the leading journal "Science".
About Johannes Bigenzahn
Johannes Bigenzahn studied human medicine at the Medical University of Vienna from 2004 until 2010. He gained his initial research experience while preparing his thesis as a student. He completed his PhD and is now a postdoc in Giulio Superti-Furga's research group at the CeMM. Since 2019, he has also been training as a specialist in medical and chemical laboratory diagnostics at the Medical University of Vienna. He completed his PhD in 2017 on the N094 "Molecular Signal Transduction" programme.
Bigenzahn's main research interests are the identification of new molecular mechanisms in the development of drug-resistance in cancer and the proteostatic regulation of signal transduction proteins within Giulio Superti-Furga's working group at the CeMM. This research takes place in close collaboration with the Austrian Science Fund's myeloproliferative neoplasia research programme.