The Georg Friedrich Götz Award is presented annually to two researchers who are habilitated at the University of Zurich and can demonstrate outstanding, internationally recognized achievements in the area of basic or clinical research. The award comes with total prize money of CHF 30,000.
The Georg Friedrich Götz Foundation is run as part of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Zurich (UZH) and is presented annually to two researchers who are habilitated at the University of Zurich and can demonstrate outstanding, internationally recognized achievements in the area of basic or clinical research. And this with a long-standing tradition: Since 1969, the annual Georg Friedrich Götz Award has been awarded to more than 100 researchers in recognition of their work. Since 2019, the UZH Foundation has been in charge of the foundation’s business operations.
The foundation’s founder Georg Friedrich Götz was a successful German entrepreneur, who moved to Switzerland in 1960. He had to travel to Zurich several times for operations, including for lung cancer and for bowel disease. In gratitude for the care he received, he started a foundation at the University of Zurich in 1964 which each year awards a prize for progress in medicine.
Find out more about the life of Georg Friedrich Götz
An English version will be available soon. In the meantime, please consider the German version.
The Georg Friedrich Götz-Prize is presented annually to two researchers who are habilitated at the University of Zurich and can demonstrate outstanding, internationally recognized achievements in the area of basic or clinical research. The award comes with total prize money of CHF 30,000.
The jury comprises the following members:
The advisory board is made up of the following members:
Ana Guerreiro Stücklin, MD, PhD
Research topic: «Brain tumors in young children: The path from discovery of new tumor entities to more targeted therapies.»
Carlo Cervia, MD
Research topic: «Immunoglobulin signature predicts the risk of post-acute COVID-19 syndrome»
Florentia Dimitriou, MD
Research topic: «Immunotherapy in advanced mucosal melanoma»
Ana Guerrreiro Stücklin, MD, PhD, is chief of service in Pediatric Neurooncology at the University Children's Hospital Zurich. In 2018, she founded her own research program in translational pediatric brain tumor research.
Brain tumors in infants and young children have a challenging clinical course and standard treatment approaches are often lacking or insufficient. While studying congenital brain tumors, we found a new group of pediatric gliomas, molecularly and biologically distinct from gliomas in older children and adolescents. These tumors are driven by chromosomal rearrangements leading to oncogenic gene fusions, involving the receptor tyrosine kinase genes ALK, ROS1, NTRK1/2/3 or MET, which promote rapid tumor growth. Through our research, we further decipher the architecture of these tumours at a single cell resolution and explore how gene fusions re-program the (phospho)proteome and transcriptome to drive tumor formation. Gene fusions are a critical class of oncogenic drivers in human cancers. Uncovering novel oncofusions in pediatric gliomas is fueling new precision medicine opportunities and bringing new treatment options for a vulnerable group of patients.
Carlo Cervia, MD, is physician scientist at the Department of Immunology of the University Hospital Zurich. His research focuses on the risk of post-acute COVID-19 disease.
An infection with the pandemic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 leads to mild illness in the majority of cases but can also have a severe to life-threatening disease course. The virus can affect different organs and cause diverse symptoms, which usually disappear after the immune system has fought the infection. However, about 3% of those infected report persistent symptoms that can last for several months. This clinical picture is called Long Covid, also known as post-acute COVID-19 syndrome (PACS). The symptoms of Long Covid can vary greatly and include, most commonly, fatigue, shortness of breath, and cognitive difficulties. The cause of persistent symptoms is still unknown. In his study, Carlo Cervia followed a total of 175 COVID-19 patients and 40 healthy volunteers over one year in order to better understand the clinical presentation and the immune response to the virus. Various risk factors could be identified that correlated with development of Long Covid, including older age, a previous history of allergic asthma, and the number of symptoms at onset of COVID-19. After extensive analysis of immunological markers in the blood, low levels of immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G3 (IgG3) were found to be associated with an increased risk of developing Long Covid. Using these risk factors, a prediction model could be developed which allows physicians, researchers, and patients to calculate the risk of developing Long Covid. The clinical prediction model was tested in a second, independent cohort of 395 COVID-19 patients and is openly available at: www.pacs-score.com. Using the immunoglobulin signature, the individual Long Covid risk can be better predicted, and preventive measures initiated early in the disease course.
Florentia Dimitriou, MD, is attending physician at the Department of Dermatology at the University Hospital Zurich. Her research focuses on dermatological oncology (prevention and therapy of skin cancer) as well as clinical and translational research.
Mucosal Melanoma is a rare melanoma subtype with poor prognosis. The research team led by Florentia Dimitriou investigated the relationship between the primary site of mucosal melanoma, ethnicity, and response to anti-PD1-based treatment administered as either monotherapy or combination therapy in an international study involving 545 patients from 25 different centers. As the largest report on the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors to date, the study demonstrates, among other things, for the first time that the efficacy of the two types of therapy (anti-PD1 monotherapy and anti-PD1/ipilimumab combination therapy) is similar and that response to treatment is not dependent on the primary site of mucosal melanoma (naso-oral, urogenital, anorectal) or race (Caucasian and Asian). The results have direct clinical implications and change the treatment of this rare tumor: Systemic treatment with anti-PD1/ipilimumab is associated with high toxicity and these data allow for a more accurate evaluation of the anti-PD1-based treatment in this melanoma subtype, thus guiding future treatment decisions. Patients who responded to treatment had a shorter duration of response, suggesting acquired resistance that should be further explored. These data, in turn, underscore the need for early-stage studies and biomarker analyses to develop more effective therapies.