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News • 26.10.2022

Federal President awards Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2022

This evening in Berlin, the President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier awarded the 26th Deutscher Zukunftspreis, The Federal President’s Award for Technology and Innovation, to Thomas Kalkbrenner, Jörg Siebenmorgen, and Ralf Wolleschensky, researchers at Carl Zeiss Microscopy of Jena. The prizewinners developed an innovative microscope for the gentle 3D imaging of living cells, permitting even more intensive research into the foundations of life.

Together with their teams, they have developed a technology to observe living cells with high-resolution fluorescence microscopy in which the light neither affects nor damages the organisms studied. To do so, they refined the science behind lattice lightsheet microscopy and combined it with innovative optical elements. They also discovered a way to make the sophisticated system easy to use, thereby enabling the use of standard sample carriers. This opens up entirely new possibilities for observing and better understanding cellular processes over time – in basic research and when searching for new diagnostics or agents for use in the treatment of many diseases.

Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Kalkbrenner is team lead and Lead Architect R&D Special 3-D at Carl Zeiss Microscopy. Dr. rer. nat. Jörg Siebenmorgen is Project Manager Development in the Advanced Development division at ZEISS. Ralf Wolleschensky (Dipl.-Phys.) is head of the Advanced Development division.

In the Deutscher Zukunftspreis, The Federal President’s Award for Technology and Innovation, the German president honors outstanding research and development projects. Fundamental to the jury’s decision are the project’s degree of scientific and technical innovation and its potential for turning the project into sustainable jobs for the future. The award is endowed with € 250,000. The other nominees for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2022 were:

Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Speidel, Dr. rer. nat. Thorsten Ochs of ADS-TEC Energy in Nürtingen and Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Reichert from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg with their project “Charging electric cars in just a few minutes – even on a power-limited grid” as well as Stefan Vilsmeier and Dipl.-Inf. Claus Promberger from Brainlab AG in Munich and Prof. Dr. med. Cordula Petersen from University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) with their work on “(In)visible tumors on the move – New perspectives for radiotherapy thanks to precise tumor tracking”.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier recognized their achievements with a certificate, and the jury has inducted them into the Deutscher Zukunftspreis “Circle of the Best”. Visual images of the award ceremony can be found here.

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