PhD Award

PhD Award of the GDCh Division of Medicinal Chemistry

Since 2013, the Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) has usually awarded up to three prizes a year for outstanding doctorates in the fields of medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry. The prize is endowed with a certificate of award, prize money of 500 euros donated by the Division and a short presentation on the award-winning work as part of the specialist group's annual conference "Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry".

Current call for proposals: PhD Award for medicinal/pharmaceutical chemistry 2024

Deadline: November 30, 2023

The Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) generally awards up to three prizes a year for outstanding doctorates in the fields of medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry.

The price
The award is associated with a certificate and prize money of 500 euros donated by the Division . The prizes will be awarded at the annual conference "Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry", which will take place from March 17 to 20, 2024 in Munich. The award awardee are invited to present their award-winning work in a short presentation during the Conference . The Division bears the costs of attending the conference. A panel of experts appointed by the Division Board decides on the award of the prize.

Nominations can be made by the scientific supervisor, but applications are also possible. The dissertation must have been completed between October 2022 and September 2023. The informal application, which should contain a brief justification for the proposal (max. 1 page), should include the contact details of the person to be nominated (including e-mail address), their CV, list of publications and the dissertation itself.

Please send your suggestions by e-mail and summarized in a PDF file to the GDCh Office for the attention of Maike Fries.

PhD Award in Medicinal/Pharmaceutical Chemistry 2023

The 2023 PhD Award was presented to Dr. Alaa Alhayek and Dr. Li Gao   awarded.

Ms. Dr. Alhayek: in appreciation of her dissertation entitled Exploring bacterial metalloproteases as promising drug targets. "Dr. Alhayek characterized the biological effects of new, selective and chemically stable inhibitors of bacterial metalloprotease virulence factors in cellular in vitro assays, in ex vivo and in vivo infection models. Her work also led to the discovery of new inhibitors of bacterial virulence factors. In her work, Dr. Alhayek was able to successfully shed light on the role of such inhibitors in the infection process and thus demonstrate the potential of inhibiting bacterial virulence factors for the future treatment of bacterial infections."

Mr. Dr. Gao: in appreciation of his dissertation entitled Use of styrylbenzothiazole photoswitches in drugs for spatiotemporal control over microtubule-dependent biology. "Dr. Gao developed and synthesized in-vivo-effective and light-switchable substances based on so-called "styryl[benzo]thiazole photoswitches" (S[B]Ts), which allow the precise control of biological effects on the cytoskeleton. Mr Dr. Gao demonstrated the improvement of molecular properties through photochemical and metabolic resilience tests through to complex biological applications in living organisms. The biomolecules described in this work are the first light-switchable substances that are compatible with fluorescence protein imaging and therefore can be used for highly precise studies of biological systems."

PhD Award Medicinal/Pharmaceutical Chemistry 2022

The PhD Award was presented to Dr. Verena Kunig, Dr. Johannes Morstein and Dr. Patrick Zanon awarded.

dr Kunig: in appreciation of her dissertation entitled DNA-encoded substance libraries: chemical stabilization of DNA, development of new synthetic methods and identification of TEAD-YAP inhibitors. "In her work, Dr. Kunig succeeds in significantly expanding the methodological arsenal for DNA-encoded molecule libraries. The synthesis methods developed on the basis of multi-component reactions significantly expand the possibilities of library design. In addition, the contributions enable the development of chemically stabilized Coding strategies Application for a wide variety of synthesis methods. The discovery of new TEAD-YAP inhibitors also underscores the potential of DNA-encoded molecule libraries in drug discovery. The dissertation was carried out in the working group of Prof. Dr. Andreas Brunschweiger at the Technical University of Dortmund."

dr Morstein: in appreciation of his dissertation entitled "Optical Control of Lipid Signaling. "Dr. Morstein successfully introduces light-switchable functional groups into lipids that are involved in various signaling processes, thus opening up completely new possibilities for the control of certain signaling pathways by light. The potential of these new tools was directly used in the outstanding work to study signaling processes. The work thus contributes significantly to expanding the possibilities for the targeted control of biological functions using chemical tools. The dissertation was written in the working group of Prof. Dr. Dirk Trauner graduated from New York University."

dr Zanon: in appreciation of his dissertation entitled Development of methods and covalent ligands for the chemoproteomic exploration of the ligandability of bacterial proteomes. "In the outstanding work, selective chemical probes are developed to study the addressability of nine different amino acids and are used to characterize their reactivity towards electrophiles in the bacterial proteome. This work thus illustrates the potential of new chemical methods in drug discovery and opens up new possibilities for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant infectious diseases. The dissertation was carried out in the working group of Prof. Dr. Stephan Hacker at the Technical University of Munich."

PhD Award Medicinal/Pharmaceutical Chemistry 2021

The Online awards were presented to Dr. Edith Bartole, Dr. Benedict Heinrich and Dr. Dasha Nelidova awarded.

dr Bartole: in appreciation of her dissertation entitled Design, Synthesis and Characterization of Molecular Tools for the Histamine H3 and H4 Receptors - In Particular Radio- and Fluorescent Ligands. "Dr. Bartole managed to develop and apply two complementary tools for the study of histamine H4 receptors. Her fluorescent ligand and her high-affinity radioligand enable the localization of the hH4 receptor in living cells and, for the first time, comparative binding studies on h/m/rH4 Receptors and on NanoLuc-labeled receptors (h/mH4R and hH3R. With her results and her tools, Dr. Bartole has significantly enriched the research field of H4 receptors. The dissertation was carried out in the working group of Prof. Dr. Armin Buschauer at the university Regensburg and continued to be supervised by Prof. Dr. Günther Bernhardt after his death."

dr Heinrich: in appreciation of his dissertation entitled Chemical Biology Applications of Photoresponsive DNA-Binding Agents. "In the outstanding work, chemical alternatives to the well-known Green-Fluorescent Protein (GFP) are described which, with the new 6 TramTO 3 molecule, make it possible to observe living multi-resistant bacteria such as Klebsiella pneumoniae. This work illustrates the innovative power of new chemical methods and tools in the border area of ​​medicinal chemistry and chemical biology and their direct applicability for a better understanding of infectious diseases. The dissertation was carried out in the working group of Jun.-Prof. Dr. Olalla Vázquez at the Philipps University of Marburg."

dr Nelidova: in appreciation of her dissertation entitled Restoring light sensitivity using tunable near-infrared sensors. "In the work, nanotechnology and genetic engineering are combined in an innovative approach. Through the conjugation of gold nanoparticles to antibodies that bind to the TRP channel, light from the NIR range can be converted into signals of the TRP channel. These signals enable mice to to perceive corresponding light signals. The work thus opens up a possible path to new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of macular degeneration. The dissertation was carried out in the working group of Prof. Dr. Botond Roska at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research and at the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology in Basel carried out."

PhD Award Medicinal/Pharmaceutical Chemistry 2020

Dr. Charlotte Steiniger
Dr. Bent Alexander Praefke

The doctoral awards 2020 went to Dr. Charlotte Steiner   and dr Bent Alexander Praefke for your outstanding dissertations.

dr Charlotte Steiniger in appreciation of her dissertation entitled Studies on the Mechanism and the Reprogramming of Fungal Iterative Cyclodepsipeptide Synthetases.   "In her work, Dr. Steiniger modified fungal, nonribosomal peptide synthetases. This enabled her to make novel bioactive cyclodepsipeptide derivatives accessible, for which, among other things, a high antiparasitic effect was shown. With this, she succeeded in entering the field of bioengineering in the research field of fungal systems and the design of new peptides with pharmacological potential.Their results provided concrete indications for an active and application-oriented reprogramming of iterative as well as linear synthetases for future manipulation approaches.The dissertation was carried out in the working group of Prof. Dr. Roderich D. Süssmuth at the Technical University of Berlin ."

dr Bent Alexander Praefke in appreciation of his dissertation entitled Design and synthesis of novel inhibitors of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4 (MKK4). "Based on vemurafenib as a starting point, Dr. Praefke succeeded in obtaining highly potent inhibitors of MKK4 in a multi-parameter optimization. In addition to their potency, the innovative compounds are characterized by outstanding selectivity towards decisive anti-targets. Another focus of his work is the optimization of the synthetic access to the target structures, which allowed him to make target compounds for in-vivo experiments available in high purity and in sufficient quantities in a timely manner.The dissertation was carried out in the working group of Prof. Dr. Stefan Laufer at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen ."

PhD Award Medicinal/Pharmaceutical Chemistry 2019

Dr. Franz von Nussbaum, Dr. Natascha
Stergiou und Dr. Elena De Vita
(v.l.n.r.; Foto: Dr. Ludwig Höllein,
Universität Würzburg)

The doctoral awards were presented at FiMC 2019 to Dr. Elena DeVita, Dr. Natascha Stergiou and Dr. Robert Heinze for your outstanding dissertations.

dr Elena De Vita synthesized and characterized selective and potent KLK6 inhibitors and KLK6 activity probes in her dissertation " Small molecule KLK6 inhibitors ". Their tool compounds enable the physiological and patho-physiological validation of KLK6 as a potential drug target.

dr Natascha Stergiou succeeded in her dissertation " Use of tumor-associated mucin 1 (MUC1) for the generation of anti-tumor vaccines and monoclonal antibody derivatives as a basis for therapy and diagnosis of breast cancer" the selection of suitable synthetic glycopeptide-MUC1-TTox vaccines that showed a strongly delayed tumor growth in the preclinical breast tumor model and led to a marked prolongation of lifespan in vaccinated animals. This means that the decisive prerequisites for the clinical and immunotherapeutic testing of these vaccines have been achieved.

dr Robert Heinze describes in his dissertation " Scaffold Manipulations for the Synthesis of Seco- and abeo-Steroids " new ways of synthesizing abeo-steroids and was able to synthesize a promising lead structure in Alzheimer's therapy with stophasterol A. With a new approach to 9,11-secosteroids, efficient syntheses of the three natural products ganoderin A, leptosterol A, and pinnisterol D were also achieved.

PhD Award for medicinal/pharmaceutical chemistry 2013ff

2023 dr Alaa Alhayek, Saarbrucken
dr Li Gao, Munich
2022 dr Verena Kunig, Dortmund
dr Johannes Morstein, New York
dr Patrick Zanon, Munich
2021 dr Edith Bartole, Regensburg
dr Benedict Heinrich, Marburg
dr Dasha Nelidova, Basel
2020 dr Bent Alexander Praefke, Tuebingen
dr Charlotte Steiniger, Berlin
2019 dr Elena DeVita, Heidelberg
dr Natascha Stergiou, Mainz
dr Robert Heinze, Berlin

dr Stefan Krimmer, New Haven, USA
dr Lucas Robke, Dortmund
dr Robert Wodtke, Dresden


dr Norbert Furtmann, Bonn
dr Patrick Maeder, Marburg
dr Roman Sommer, Saarbrucken


dr Matthias Gehringer, Zurich
dr Christine Katharina Maurer, Saarbrucken
dr re. of course Alexander Metz, Marburg

2015 dr Christoph Nitsche, Heidelberg
dr Johannes Schiebel, Marburg
dr Dominik Tobias Thimm, Bonn
2014 dr Florian Rechenmacher, Munich
dr Miriam Sindelar, Munich
dr Matthew Wirth, Lausanne
2013 dr Tobias Klein, Saarbrucken
dr Hannes Schleifer, Graz

This page has been machine translated. If you have any feedback or comments please feel free to contact us.

last modified: 16.10.2023 12:09 H from C.Kniep