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Award for outstanding dissertation

Hanna Wagner from the Spemann Graduate School receives the Salome Gluecksohn-Waelsch Prize

Freiburg, Jul 31, 2018

Award for outstanding dissertation

Hanna Wagner. Photo: Patrick Seeger

The doctoral candidate Hanna Wagner has received this year’s Salome Gluecksohn-Waelsch Prize for the best dissertation, which is jointly awarded by the Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine (SGBM) of the Unversity of Freiburg, and the Department of Genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Together with her supervisor Prof. Dr. Wilfried Weber of the Institute of Biology II and the BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies, Hanna Wagner developed intelligent materials that are composed of biological components and polymer materials and are capable of perceiving and processing information. In her doctoral work entitled Development of stimulus-responsive biohybrid hydrogels and computing materials systems, she applied the principles of synthetic biology and materials science to design materials systems with novel properties. These so-called biohybrid systems can thereby perform complex functions, such as toxin detection and controlled drug release.

Hanna Wagner thus successfully bridged two scientific disciplines, similar to how the biologist Salome Gluecksohn-Waelsch combined embryology with genetics to pioneer the field of mammalian developmental genetics. “This award and Hanna’s growing collection of publications are a testament to her exceptional talent and 4 years of hard work she has invested into her research.” says the laureate’s doctoral supervisor Wilfried Weber.

As part of the award, Hanna Wagner has been invited to travel to New York to give a seminar at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. This is where Gluecksohn-Waelsch – who had previously studied at the University of Freiburg in the laboratory of Hans Spemann – was professor and established the Department of Genetics.

More information about the prize and about Salome Gluecksohn-Waelsch


Hanna Wagner
BIOSS Centre for Biological Studies
Phone: +49 (0)761 / 203 - 97652