• Renowned Researchers Honoured by JGU
    GRC Director Professor Matthias Neubert, Professor Kazunori Kataoka, winner of the 2015 Gutenberg Research Award, and University President Professor Georg Krausch photo/©: Simon Büttner, JGU
  • GRC Director Professor Matthias Neubert, Professor Kwok Pui Lan, winner of the 2015 Gutenberg Research Award, and University President Professor Georg Krausch photo/©: Simon Büttner

News & Views

Renowned Researchers Honoured by JGU

Jun 29 2015

The Gutenberg Research College (GRC) at JGU Mainz has granted the Gutenberg Research Award 2015 to the Japanese polymer chemist Kazunori Kataoka and to the theologian Kwok Pui Lan, who teaches in the USA.  At an Awards ceremony in May, Professor Matthias Neubert, Director of the GRC and head of the Theoretical High Energy Physics group at Mainz University said:  "Today we honour two research personalities from very different research fields, who have both vastly extended theoretical research in their field and contributed to the practical application of their insights," Kataoka is considered the world's leading expert in the field of polymer-based nano-carriers for use in cancer therapy. Kwok Pui Lan is one of the leading representatives of post-colonial feminist theology, who actively advocates the renewal of Christianity and the promotion of inter-religious dialogue. The award comes with prize money of EUR 10,000.

Professor Kataoka has pioneered a new concept for the targeted delivery of anticancer drugs to tumours and for the transport of genetic material in gene therapy, by developing specific polymer aggregates, or micelles, which can transport drugs directly to affected tissues or organs. These nano-transporters need to circulate in the blood for a relatively long time so that they eventually accumulate in tumour tissue; several different designs of Professor Kataoka’s micelles for cancer therapy are currently in clinical trials worldwide,  including in the UK and France, with some close to actual application.

A Professor in the Department of Materials Engineering at the Unversity of Tokyo, Professor Kataoka has received worldwide recognition for his work and held several guest professorships at European universities. He is a member of numerous scientific societies in Japan and the USA. He has also received the Humboldt Research Award for research in collaboration with members of the Mainz-based Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1066 on "Nanodimensional polymer therapeutics for tumor therapy" and also the NIMS Award of the Japanese National Institute of Materials Science.

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