(Walter Sarstedt, Prof. Dr. R. Valenta, Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. Grünert)
The sixth Sarstedt Research Prize was awarded by the German Society for Clinical Chemistry at the ‘Pathogenesis and in-vitro diagnosis of acute and chronic inflammations’ symposium in Bonn on 4–5 December 2000.
The Sarstedt Research Prize, worth DM 50,000, was awarded to Prof. Dr. R. Valenta, Head of the Vienna working group „Molekulare Immunpathologie“ (“Molecular immunopathology”).
He received the prize for his fundamental work in identifying the genetic structure of allergenic substances. As a result of his work, it is now possible to genetically replicate allergenic substances and use them to produce vaccines, which in turn are used to combat allergies. Unpleasant reactions, for example troublesome pollen or food allergies, could soon be a thing of the past.
The first vaccine tests have already been carried out by Prof. Dr. R. Valenta in cooperation with colleagues in Strasbourg and Stockholm with promising results. The crucial discovery by Prof. Dr. R. Valenta – that mixed allergies, too, depend on just one molecule – makes it possible to technically replicate the structure and blueprint of the molecules.