2020 Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators Announced
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In 2020, Eppendorf AG, the Hamburg life science company is presenting its highly prestigious research prize for the 25th time. The independent Eppendorf Award Jury chaired by Prof. Reinhard Jahn selected Prof. Dr. Randall J. Platt, Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, as the 2020 winner of the Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators.
Randall Platt, born in 1987, receives the €20,000 prize for his pioneering work developing a method to record timelines of gene expression events using a CRISPR-Cas system.
The Jury commented: “This system works by small pieces of RNA being inserted into the genome of a non-pathogenic bacterium in response to environmental changes. This system enables progress toward future development of a gut microbiome (normal intestinal flora) that can report experiences of the host organism and shows potential for use as a diagnostic tool to predict individualized precision interventions for both humans and other animals.”
Randall Platt said: “Receiving the Eppendorf Award is a tremendous honor, one in which I share with my laboratory, collaborators, and family. My research focuses on developing innovative technologies that empower scientists to ask fundamental questions and develop therapeutics and diagnostics. The Award specifically recognizes my laboratory’s work on living diagnostics – engineered bacteria that act as biographers of their environment by continuously recording gene expression information – which may in the future provide a non-invasive tool to diagnose and individualize therapies for patients around the world.”
In response to the rapidly changing situation of the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), the Award ceremony at the EMBL Advanced Training Centre in Heidelberg, which was planned for June 25, 2020, within the Young European Investigators Conference, has been rescheduled to June 24, 2021.