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Ammodo Science Award for tuberculosis vaccine

Euro 1.6 million for international research team
05 March 2024

For their pioneering research on tuberculosis, Prof. Adri Minnaard of the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry (University of Groningen), Prof. Branch Moody (Harvard University) and Dr. Ildiko van Rhijn (Utrecht University) will receive the Ammodo Science Award for groundbreaking research . Their multidisciplinary 'Lipidomics Team' will use the €1.6 million prize to further develop tests and vaccines against tuberculosis.

The Ammodo Science Award is given to potentially groundbreaking internationally recognised research conducted in teams. The award ceremony will take place this spring at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (State Academy of fine Arts) in Amsterdam.

Prof. Adri Minnaard and Dr. Ildiko van Rhijn. Missing in the picture: Prof. Branch Moody ( photo: Florian Braakman)
Prof. Adri Minnaard and Dr. Ildiko van Rhijn. Missing in the picture: Prof. Branch Moody (picture: Florian Braakman)
Minnaard: "Winning the prize means we can go ahead and explore some bold hypotheses without making them plausible beforehand."

Crucial role lipids

The Lipidomics team has been researching tuberculosis for more than fifteen years. With more than one and a half million deaths every year tuberculosis is the deadliest bacterial infectious disease worldwide. With their research, the team has revealed that tuberculosis bacteria survive in the human body by producing unique lipids. This allows the bacteria to remain dormant in the body for a long time until the immune system is weakened, and the carrier becomes ill. With the research findings, scientists now better understand the infectiousness of tuberculosis.

Mission: good test and vaccine

The Lipidomics Team's mission is to establish a reliable diagnostic test and develop an effective vaccine for tuberculosis. Both are now in development, although it will take several years before they reach the market. Minnaard underlines that winning the prize is important for the research: "It means we can continue and explore some bold hypotheses without making them plausible beforehand."

Fight against other bacterial pathogens

The insights gained by the team will also likely help them map other important bacterial pathogens. The next step is to set up a research programme on newly discovered lipids in the bacteria that cause typhoid fever, blood poisoning and skin infections.

More information

Last modified:18 March 2024 1.28 p.m.
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