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FRIAS Fellow Susana Minguet receives award by the German Society for Immunology

PD Dr. Susana Minguet, who will be a Fellow at our institute from October 2021 on, has been honoured by the German Society for Immunology. She received the Novartis Prize for Therapy-Relevant Immunological Research for her scientific work on the molecular control of the T-cell response, which enables improved CAR-T-cell therapy and sets an important milestone in this field. The findings were just recently published in the renowned journal Nature Immunology.

Susana Minguet


Susana Minguet says: “I feel really happy and honoured for being the first ever winner of this prize. It recognises a long and intensive trip from basic research on molecular machines to the discovery of novel therapeutic avenues. I am really grateful to the German Society for Immunology and to the Novartis Foundation for creating this prize and highlighting how basic immunological research needs persistence, vision, team work and support to generate innovative therapeutic approaches.”


About Susana Minguet’s research:

T cells are central to the immune defence. A certain form of genetically modified T cells, so-called CAR T cells, are now approved for the therapy of blood cancer. In this procedure, the patient's own T cells are isolated and genetically modified so that the T cells carry a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) on their surface. These CAR T cells then recognise certain protein structures on the tumour cells. The recognition of these structures leads to an activation of the T cell, which then attacks and eliminates the tumour cell. However, the concrete molecular processes that lead to the activation of a T cell are not yet fully understood.

With her research Susana Minguet has made a decisive contribution in this field. Her research led to the discovery of a previously undiscovered signalling motif in the T-cell receptor, which is crucial for the initiation of T-cell receptor signalling and the optimal activation of T-cells.

Susana Minguet studied biochemistry and molecular biology in Madrid and completed her doctorate there at the Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa on the topic of "Characterization of a population of hepatic stem cells in the emerging mouse liver". Since 2011, she has been leading her own group on the thematic focus "Signal transduction in lymphocytes" at the Faculty of Biology of the University of Freiburg, where she habilitated in immunology in 2018. She conducts her work at the centres for signal transduction research BIOSS (Centre for Biological Signalling Studies) and CIBSS (Centre For Integrative Biological Signalling Studies) as well as the CCI (Centre for Chronic Immunodeficiency) in Freiburg. During the academic year 2021/22, Susana Minguet will be a FRIAS Fellow as part of the research focus group “MatrixCode: matrisome pathology”  

Find out more about Susana Minguet and her project at FRIAS here.


About the award:

Every year, the German Society for Immunology honours young scientists who have made an outstanding contribution in the field of immunology. The 2021 award ceremony took place on 20 and 21 September. The Novartis Prize for Therapy-Relevant Immunological Research was awarded for the first time in 2021. The prize recognises work that bridges the gap between immunological and clinical research and comes with a prize money of 10,000 euros, which can only be used for research purposes. Find more information (in German) about the award here.


Congratulations to Susana Minguet from the entire FRIAS team!