FEBS Press Awards
The FEBS Journal Richard Perham Prize 2018
The 2018 prize has been awarded to Stefan Oehlers (The University of Sydney and the Centenary Institute, Australia) for his outstanding paper:
A whole animal chemical screen approach to identify modifiers of intestinal neutrophilic inflammation
Stefan H. Oehlers, Maria Vega Flores, Christopher J. Hall, Liuyang Wang, Dennis C. Ko, Kathryn E. Crosier and Philip S. Crosier
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic condition in which neutrophils infiltrate the intestine, triggering inflammation that leads to loss of intestinal function. Current IBD treatment strategies are not effective for many patients, and new treatments are urgently needed. However, the complex and heterogeneous nature of IBD is difficult to recreate in vitro. To identify novel therapeutic avenues for intervention, Stefan Oehlers and colleagues performed an in vivo screen in zebrafish IBD models for small molecules that limit neutrophilic inflammation. After validation, 23 compounds with a wide range of indications were reported to decrease neutrophil mobilisation. In addition to suggesting new potential therapeutic strategies for IBD, this prizewinning work highlights the power and utility of zebrafish models for efficient in vivo screens.
This work was performed while Dr Oehlers was a PhD student at The University of Auckland. He will present a plenary lecture about this work at the 43rd FEBS Congress in Prague, Czech Republic in July 2018, where he will be officially presented with the prize.
The FEBS Letters Award 2018
The FEBS Letters Award 2018 will be presented to David Stuart (University of Oxford, UK) for his outstanding paper:
Structure of glycosylated NPC1 luminal domain C reveals insights into NPC2 and Ebola virus interactions
Yuguang Zhao, Jingshan Ren, Karl Harlos and David I. Stuart
Niemann–Pick disease type C is a fatal, neurodegenerative lipid storage disorder resulting from loss of function mutations in genes NPC1 or NPC2. Interestingly, apart from its function in cholesterol transport NPC1 has been identified as a critical host entry site for filoviruses such as Ebola and Marburg.
In their paper Stuart and colleagues provide insights into both of these disease processes by determining the crystal structure of glycosylated NPC1 luminal domain C and finding all seven possible sites glycosylated. Furthermore, by mapping disease mutations to this glycosylated surface, they identify the potential binding surface for NPC2 and thus explain the development of the disease. Modelling the interaction between the NPC1 domain C and Ebola viral glycoprotein revealed four critical residues likely responsible for species-specific infection. This work provides key advances in our understanding of intracellular cholesterol trafficking as well as host–virus interaction in two fatal diseases.
The winning article is selected by a special Award Committee, formed by appointed members of the Editorial Board, plus one external member. The Award Committee members were: Laszlo Nagy (Orlando) Chair, Miguel De la Rosa (Seville), Maria Carmo-Fonseca (Lisbon), Claus Azzalin (Lisbon), and Daniela Ruffell (Editorial Office).
Prof. Stuart will present a plenary lecture about this work at the 43rd FEBS Congress in Prague, Czech Republic in July 2018, where he will be officially presented with the prize.
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