On Wednesday 5th June, Dr. Nana-Maria Gruening was honoured with the Otto Hahn Medal by the Max Planck Society, Germany. Each year, up to 30 medals are given to young scientists of the Max Planck Society for outstanding achievements in their PhD projects. The award also includes 7500 Euro as further recognition of the scientist’s accomplishment.
Dr. Gruening showed that primary metabolism is involved in the regulation of redox homeostasis in yeast cells. She discovered that the enzyme pyruvate kinase coordinates energy- with redox metabolism, a mechanism that protects cells from oxidative damage when cellular respiration is increased. Pyruvate kinase plays a crucial role in the Warburg effect - the most important metabolic change during tumour development. As a result, Dr. Gruening's work enables a big step forward in understanding this metabolic adaptation.
Her PhD project was carried out in the group of Markus Ralser in Berlin. Dr. Gruening works now as a post-doc in Dr. Ralser's group here in the Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge.