This year the first-place prize was granted to the Austrian scientist Agnes Reiner, who is doing her post doctorate at the University of Vienna. Under the title “Breaking the wall of ovarian cancer diagnosis", the 30-year-old biotechnologist is carrying out research on vesicles to diagnose ovarian cancer.
Reiner began her research at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), and at the Medical University of Vienna. There her research came to the conclusion that tiny vesicles, lipid globules emitted by the cells have the same composition and same proteins as the cancer cells themselves. A blood sample can distinguish between the vesicles of cancer cells and the vesicles of healthy cells. The right instrument is required in order to verify the existence of these vesicles. The Viennese researcher developed a sensitive biosensor for this purpose which reacts to certain markers.