Dr. Sebastian Theobald, postdoctoral researcher in the research group of PD Dr. nat. med. Dr. med. Jan Rybniker in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Clinic I for Internal Medicine and the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC) at the University Hospital of Cologne and the Faculty of Medicine, received the dissertation prize of the Paul Ehrlich Society for Infection Therapy. The prize, endowed with 1,000 euros, was awarded during the annual meeting of the society on October 8, 2022. The prize hereby honors outstanding doctoral theses every two years that have produced new findings on anti-infective therapy or its fundamentals.
The doctoral thesis entitled "Modeling Human Cytomegalovirus Infections in Humanized Mice for Preclinical Development of Novel Cellular and Antibody-based Therapies" was written by Dr. Theobald at the Hannover Medical School (Prof. Dr. Renata Stripecke). Here, he developed a cell-based vaccine against cytomegalovirus, a viral infection where severe complications occur in immunocompromised patients, and was able to demonstrate high efficacy of the vaccine in a humanized mouse model.
"This is of particular clinical importance because there is currently no approved vaccine for cytomegalovirus," Dr. Theobald said. He has now been continuing his immunological infection research in Cologne for two years.