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PhD award for out­stand­ing dis­serta­tion

In recognition of their out­stand­ing scien­tific work, the Low­er Fran­coni­an Me­morial Year Foundation for Sci­ence and the Julius Max­imili­ans Uni­versi­ty of Würzburg awarded doc­toral prizes to 20 alum­ni on Octo­ber 8, 2020. One of the laure­ates is Dr. rer. nat. Luca Ag­netta.

20 PhD students awarded

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.

Text:
Luca Agnetta, Prof. Michael Decker, International Doctorate Program "Receptor Dynamics"