On September 4, 2019, the German Pharmaceutical Society (Deutsche Pharmazeutische Gesellschaft, DPhG) awarded Dr Gregor Fuhrmann the Young Investigators Prize of the DPhG Foundation (Horst Böhme Foundation) at its annual conference. Fuhrmann heads the junior research group "Biogenic Nanotherapeutics" at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), a location of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig in cooperation with the University of Saarland. The DPhG prize supports outstanding young scientists who want to embark on a university career and provides 5000 euros in prize money.
Gregor Fuhrmann is conducting research at the interface between the targeted transport of drugs and the biology of infections and autoimmune diseases. Together with his team, Fuhrmann is investigating extracellular vesicles - small membrane vesicles that cells and bacteria use for the exchange of information. Fuhrmann combines these natural nanoparticles with biomaterials in order to improve the diagnosis and therapy of infections and inflammations. The aim of his research is to use vesicles as active substance taxis, which bring drugs specifically to the site of the disease. In addition to the detailed characterisation of the vesicles, Fuhrmann has recently discovered a group of bacterial vesicles that are naturally antibiotic and non-toxic in in vitro cell models.
Gregor Fuhrmann completed his doctorate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich in 2013 and has currently received the ETH Medal for Outstanding Achievements. He then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Imperial College London. In 2016, he received funding from the BMBF's "NanoMatFutur" excellence programme, with which he founded his current research group at HIPS. Since obtaining his doctorate, Fuhrmann has raised around 2.6 million euros in third-party funding.