IMBA: Ameres and his team win the Houska-Award for SLAMseq

On April 27th, 2018, the Houska-Award of the B&C Private Foundation, endowed with a total of 400,000 euros, was awarded for the thirteenth time. This award is the biggest private research Award in Austria and addresses cutting edge research projects, that have societal impact and are economically relevant.

In a festive ceremony at the MQ, the Museums Quarter in Vienna, the winner amongst the nominated projects was announced: SLAMseq, developed by Stefan Ameres and his team, won in the category of university research and received the unique Houska Trophy, inspired by Austrian-born American film actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr.

SLAMseq is an innovative sequencing method developed at IMBA that holds significant potential for research and medicine. “SLAMseq” – developed by Stefan Ameres and his team – allows the direct detection of sudden changes in gene expression and thereby revolutionizes the way scientists can investigate effects of genes and drugs. The unique sequencing kit is being marketed around the world by biotech company Lexogen, which like IMBA is based at the Vienna BioCenter life science cluster.  The proximity and the fruitful synergies between research and biotechnology at the site enabled the quickest possible integration of basic knowledge into the product development process.

The method is built on a collaboration between research groups at at the Vienna BioCenter, the Vienna based startup lexogen has already led to the development of a SLAMseq kit to distribute the method to the scientific community.

About Stefan Ameres

Stefan Ameres was born in Munich. He obtained his PhD in Renee Schröder´s lab at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories, and subsequently worked as a Post Doc in Philipp Zamore´s lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In 2012 Stefan became a group leader at IMBA, where he and his group explore molecular mechanisms that govern small RNA silencing pathways and unveil the processes that regulate the production, the assembly, and the disassembly of small RNAs. In 2013 he received an ERC Starting Grant for "Molecular Characterization of the microRNA Life-Cycle” as well as the coveted FWF START Award. In 2015 he was inducted into the Young Curia of the OEAW. In 2016, he was admitted to the prestigious Young Investigator Program European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). In 2017 he received a WWTF grant.

About the Vienna BioCenter

Vienna BioCenter (VBC) is a leading life sciences hub in Europe, offering an extraordinary combination of research, business and education in a single location. About 1,700 employees, 86 research groups, 18 biotech companies, 1,300 students and scientists from 70 nations create a highly dynamic and stimulating environment.

About IMBA

IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology is one of the leading biomedical research institutes in Europe focusing on cutting-edge functional genomics and stem cell technologies. IMBA is located at the Vienna BioCenter, the vibrant cluster of universities, research institutes and biotech companies in Austria. IMBA is a basic research institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the leading national sponsor of non-university academic research.

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