Award-winning dissertation on CRISPR-based diagnostics

HIRI scientist Chunlei Jiao receives Helmholtz Doctoral Prize

In his doctoral thesis at the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI), Chunlei Jiao has paved the way for the development of the CRISPR-based RNA detection and recording platforms known as LEOPARD and TIGER. LEOPARD is a CRISPR-based method that is highly multiplexable, with the potential to detect a variety of disease-related biomarkers in just one test. On the other hand, TIGER enables the recording of transient cellular events at the single-cell level. The Helmholtz Association honors this outstanding achievement with the Doctoral Prize in the research field Health. The HIRI is a site of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig in cooperation with the Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg.

Group Pictureleft to right: Jannes Münchmeyer, Peera Simakachorn, Hannes Radinger, Chiara Falcomata, Flavio Baleeiro, Mariel Dirscherl, Lucas Pereira, Otmar D. Wiestler, Richard Gebauer, Chunlei Jiao, Nick Karcher. © David Marschalsky Every year, the Helmholtz Association honors the best and most original doctoral theses in each of its six research fields. Since 2022, the Helmholtz Association has been awarding the Doctoral Prize in two different categories in order to recognize doctoral theses with and without an explicit application: Track A for knowledge-driven research and Track B for application-oriented research. In total, 12 prizes can be granted.

Chunlei Jiao is the first PhD student at HZI or one of its sites to be recognized with the Helmholtz Doctoral Prize. As the winner in Track B, he is awarded prize money of 5,000 euros. In addition, he will receive funding for a Helmholtz Field Study Fellowship of up to three months. The Field Study Fellowship finances the market exploration phase to better understand customer needs and is accompanied by field study mentoring.

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