Dr. Karolina Pierzynowska from the Faculty of Biology at the University of Gdańsk was the first Polish woman to win the international Future Science Future Star Award. The researcher – in “Get up and you know” on TVN24 – talked about working on a drug that is to help in the treatment of patients with alzheimer’s and huntington.
The Future Science Future Star Award Committee drew attention to the research conducted by Dr. Pierzynowska, the subject of which is the development of therapies for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases and many others using genistein, a naturally occurring isoflavone. It causes the activation of processes that remove from the nerve cells all the toxic proteins that cause disease. Besides, it is safe during long therapy.
– Studies conducted both on in vitro models and on mouse models of these diseases have shown high safety and high effectiveness of this therapy – says Magdalena Nieczuja-Goniszewska, spokeswoman for the University of Gdańsk, where Pierzynowska works. – This award will go to a Polish scientist for the first time – adds the spokeswoman.
Dr. Karolina Pierzynowska – in “Get up and know” on TVN24 – said that research “on animal models” is coming to an end. They gave – as the researcher emphasized – excellent results, because in some mice regression of, for example, Huntington’s disease was observed.
Now an experimental trial with patients should begin. Funding will be needed for this. “This award does not sponsor research, but it can help get funding from other sources,” the researcher admits.
How soon will the drug be available to all patients with the diseases mentioned above? As Pierzynowska admits, it depends precisely on financing. For the next stage of the research, four million zlotys are needed and funds for insurance of patients who will want to take part in the experiment and will be directed to do so by doctors. Clinical trials may take several years.
Scientists from all over the world
The award jury was made up of experienced scientists from all over the world. In the current edition of the competition there were: Ian A Blair (University of Pennsylvania, USA), Ananda Bandyopadhyay (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA), Andy Tay Kah Ping (National University of Singapore) and Catherine Martel (Université de Montréal, Canada ).
The international Future Science Future Star prize is awarded by the Future Science publishing house and the journal “BioTechniques”. Its aim is to distinguish outstanding scientists in the life sciences, whose work may have an impact on human health and who have had “a quick and intense start to a scientific career”, who “approach their research with great passion”.
Main photo source: University of Gdansk