On October 26, the German Future Prize 2022 was awarded by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin to the winning team of Dr. Thomas Kalkbrenner, Dr. Jörg Siebenmorgen and Ralf Wolleschensky for the development of a novel microscope system that protects living specimens from damage caused by the laser light used when they are examined with a fluorescence microscope. "This opens up new research and application possibilities, for example in medicine," explained Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger.
In a conversation after the award ceremony, Professor Helene Dörksen was able to explain her research progress to Federal President Steinmeier. While she recently used laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy to excite and evaluate sex-specific substances inside the hatching egg, she is now researching further development of the method.
This is because sex-specific differences can already be detected in the egg membrane and eggshell. A new research project will identify the previously unknown biochemical substances that define these differences. "As soon as we know these, we will be able to align the technology to them, adjust the parameters to them and make the whole method suitable for industrial use. However, this is still pie in the sky; at the moment, all our work revolves around basic research," explains Professor Helene Dörksen.
The German Future Prize - the German President's Award for Technology and Innovation, worth 250,000 euros, is awarded annually and is regarded as Germany's most important innovation prize. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is represented on the Board of Trustees. As one of the 19 institutions entitled to submit nominations, the BMBF submits proposals for the prize every year. The winning team is selected from all the proposals in a multi-stage selection process by a jury of experts from science and industry.