(Vienna, 22 July 2021) The Austrian Academy of Sciences has awarded the Johann Wilhelm Ritter von Mannagetta Prize for Medicine, which is worth €15,000, to Joanna Loizou from MedUni Vienna's Institute of Cancer Research. This is in recognition of the outstanding contribution she has made in the field of genome stability in oncology.
DNA damage and DNA repair mechanisms play an important role in carcinogenesis. Loizou, who has worked at the Austrian Academy of Sciences' Research Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM) since 2011 and at MedUni Vienna's Institute of Cancer Research since 2020, is investigating DNA repair pathways in different types of human cells. Her aim is to develop therapeutic approaches to cancer and other diseases associated with defective DNA repair.
The scientist sees the Mannagetta Prize not only as recognition of her scientific work but also as an acknowledgement of the important contribution that basic research makes to advances in cancer treatment. Joanna Loizou is group leader at MedUni Vienna's Institute of Cancer Research and a member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital.
More promotion and less mentoring
In addition to her research work, Loizou is also committed to the promotion of women in science. She believes: "What we need is not more mentoring programmes but people who actively promote women, motivate them and enable them to take the next step in their careers. In this sense, I see the nominations for the Mannagetta Prize as a positive signal, not only for me but for other female researchers as well."
About Joanna Loizou
Joanna Loizou grew up in Cyprus and moved to England for her university education. It was there that she completed her Bachelors degree in biological sciences at the University of Salford in 2000 and her PhD in biochemistry at the University of Manchester and at the MRC Genome Damage & Stability Center in 2004. From 2004 until 2007, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France. She subsequently worked at London Research Institute (LRI) from 2007 until 2011, again as a postdoctoral researcher. In 2011, she moved to Vienna to head up her own research group at the Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (CeMM). Since February 2020, the cancer researcher has been a group leader at MedUni Vienna's Institute of Cancer Research and member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital.
Loizou has authored numerous scientific publications, obtained generous research grants, including an ERC Synergy Grant, and is actively involved in teaching.
About the Mannagetta Prize
Once a year, the Austrian Academy of Sciences awards the Johann Wilhelm Ritter von Mannagetta Prize for Medicine in recognition of outstanding work in the field of medical research. In 2020, it was awarded for research into the mechanisms of cancer development. Candidates must be aged 45 or under and must have produced outstanding research in their field. In addition, they must be working at an Austrian university or research institution at the time of their nomination and must be nominated by an expert in their field.