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26.09.19 Meri Huch receives BINDER Innovation Prize 2019 from German Society for Cell Biology

last modified Sep 26, 2019 01:28 PM
The annual prize, founded by German company BINDER GmbH, is awarded for outstanding cell biological research with a focus on cell culture or the use of cell cultures

BINDER Innovation Prize for Meri Huch

Meri Huch portrait in lab

Tübingen, Germany: Gurdon Institute Group Leader Meri Huch received the BINDER Innovation Prize 2019 today during a ceremony at the Fall Conference of the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the German Society for Cell Biology (DGZ). 

The award is given for outstanding cell biological research with a focus on cell culture or the use of cell cultures. Meri wins this year's award for her world-leading research on 'Liver organoids for the study of liver biology and disease'.

Meri began her postdoctoral career in Hans Clevers' lab at the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, the Netherlands, where she isolated, for the first time, the stem cells responsible for the rapid turnover of the adult stomach. She proved that these adult stomach stem cells can be maintained and expanded in culture, forming “mini-stomach” structures in vitro.

She then moved her research to the understanding of the role and replicative potential of liver progenitor cells during liver regeneration.  She found that liver progenitors can be expanded without limit in vitro and can be used as a source of liver tissue for future cell therapy interventions for liver diseases.  Meri also showed that adult pancreas cells can be expanded long-term in vitro, a first for pancreatic research.

In February 2014 Meri started her own lab at the Wellcome Trust/ Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, to study stem cells and tissue regeneration and their implication in cancer formation.  Since then she has made very important contributions to our understanding of liver development, regeneration and disease, including the creation of patient-specific liver 'tumouroids'.

On 1st October Meri Huch moves to the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, as one of the first recipients of the Lise Meitner Excellence Program from the Max Planck Society.

The BINDER Innovation Prize, endowed with EUR 4000, is founded by BINDER GmbH, the world's largest specialist in simulation chambers for scientific and industrial laboratories.

The annual prize has been awarded since 1998 by the DGZ. Previous winners include Melina Schuh of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and Sara Wickström of the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne.


Read more about Meri Huch's research.

Watch Meri describe her research in this short YouTube video.


Institute reopening

The Gurdon Institute reopened on Monday 15th June. Many staff will continue to work from home, and all staff may be contacted by email.

Studying development to understand disease

The Gurdon Institute is funded by Wellcome and Cancer Research UK to study the biology of development, and how normal growth and maintenance go wrong in cancer and other diseases.

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