The Lower Franconian Memorial Year Foundation for Science was established in 1964 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Lower Franconia's affiliation with Bavaria. The foundation annually awards prizes for outstanding scientific achievements in the fields of humanities, Natural Sciences, and Medicine, originating from Lower Franconia and serving the reputation of Lower Franconia. The award requires the dissertation having received the predicate "summa cum laude".
The faculties of the JMU Würzburg and the Graduate School of Life Sciences into which all members of the Doctoral Program are integrated award these honors to their very best PhD students. Dr. Agnetta is already the second alumnus of the International Doctoral Program having received this honor.
Controlling receptors by light
Luca Agnetta is an alumnus of the International PhD program "Receptor Dynamics: Emerging Paradigms for Novel Drugs" at the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg. As part of his doctoral thesis, the trained chemist developed ligands for the muscarinic receptor which contain a molecular photoswitch. These molecules can control the functional activity of the receptor with light. He was able to successfully apply these molecular tools for controlling receptor functions in living cells. His work was accomplished in collaboration with the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain.
Luca Agnetta, Prof. Michael Decker, International Doctorate Program "Receptor Dynamics"