Gdańsk biologist is first Pole to win prestigious award for her ground-breaking work on Alzheimer’s cure
A Gdańsk scientist has become the first Pole in history to win the prestigious Future Science Future Star Award for her ground-breaking work on finding a cure for Alzheimer and Huntington's diseases.
Dr. Karolina Pierzynowska scooped the award for her innovative work using genistein, a naturally occurring isoflavone that is found in soybeans.
Dr. Pierzynowska said: “We have shown that genistein has great potential in the treatment of Huntington's disease and Alzheimer's disease. This discovery was the basis of our patent applications.
“Initially, the results indicated that genistein was quite effective at clearing the pathological proteins that cause Huntington's disease. After one year, we extended this research to Alzheimer's disease. Also with success.
“In an advanced Huntington's disease mouse model, when given at an advanced stage of the disease, can reverse disease progression within less than 2 months. I think genistein has great potential to be a cure for these diseases.”
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease are the result of nerve cells in the brain and nervous system degenerating and dying.
The award-winning 29-year-old has been conducting her research whilst working as an assistant professor at the University of Gdańsk.
Pierzynowska, who has published over 50 scientific papers already, has also completed an internship at the Laboratory of Molecular Neuropathology, Department of Biochemistry, Blanchette Rockefeller Institute, University of West Virginia in Morgantown, USA.
Established in 2017 the ‘Future Science Future Star Award’, which is open to researchers in the first five years of their academic appointment, gives recognition ‘to outstanding early career researchers who are working towards the advancement of human healthcare’, says the award’s website.
Among the studies carried out by Dr. Pierzynowska she has done research on both in vitro and mouse models of this disease which have shown high safety and high effectiveness of genistein as a therapy.