November 8th, 2021 – This year, the Grazer Wechselseite has given an award to Corina Madreiter-Sokolowski and her team from the Medical University of Graz for research on cell aging, specifically on the energy supply to mitochondria, which in turn produce energy for the cells of the human body are. Research is carried out with the help of roundworms.
- From left to right: Grawe General Director Klaus Scheitegel, Grawe Asset Management CEO Othmar Ederer, Carina Kerschbaumer (jury; member of the editor-in-chief of the Kleine Zeitung), award winner Corina Madreiter-Sokolowski, Grawe central works council member Ursula Wipfler (jury) and Grawe honorary president and jury chairman Franz Harnoncourt-Unverzagt (Photo: Grawe / Sophie Zechner)
The award is given to personalities “who achieve outstanding results and are not in the public eye”. The selection was made by a jury made up of representatives from Grawe and the media. This year the prize is endowed with 15,000 euros.
Investigation of aging processes
This year, the award in the “Science” category was given to Corina Madreiter-Sokolowski and her team at the Gottfried Schatz Research Center of the Medical University of Graz.
The Salzburg native from Fusch studied pharmacy and became an assistant professor at the Gottfried Schatz Research Center in 2020, followed by her habilitation in “Molecular Biology and Biochemistry” in 2021.
“Your research in the field of cell biology helps to clarify one of the great future questions, that of healthy aging,” reported the Grawe in a broadcast on Friday.
Research on mitochondria
Madreiter-Sokolowski is studying the aging processes of cells in order to develop therapies against chronic, currently incurable diseases. The focus is on Mitochondria, Cell building blocks that act as energy producers.
“You need calcium in the right dose, because too much calcium leads to the rapid death of the whole cell,” it explains. The right dose can prolong the life of the cell and, subsequently, the entire human body.
“Walking the tightrope between ‘too much’ and ‘too little’ and the question of when is time for an intervention is the core of our work,” explains Madreiter-Sokolowski.
Roundworms as “ideal employees”
Research is being carried out into the effects of substances – such as extracts from red wine and green tea – in nematodes.
The fact that they are transparent makes them ideal “employees” for fluorescence microscopy: the processes in the roundworms and the effects of various active ingredients “can be observed in real time”.