AWARD. Jörg Hanrieder, Associate Professor at the section of psychiatry and neurochemistry, has been awarded this year’s silver Berzelius medal. He receives this award for his work in neuroproteomics, in particular for his development of novel tools for imaging mass spectrometry.
This year’s Berzelius medals were handed out in Stockholm in late August, during the Euroanalysis conference, which this year attracted approximately 500 participants from 30 countries.
“Of course it is a great honor both for me and my team to be accepting this award for our work”, says Jörg and adds: “I was quite surprised when my name was announced since I didn’t even know that I had been nominated.”
Jörg works with mass spectrometry for investigating the chemical mechanisms that underlie neurodegenerative diseases. Together with his group, Jörg has developed new tools that will be used to investigate how proteins aggregate in neurological diseases, primarily in Alzheimer’s disease
“Mass spectrometry, and imaging mass spectrometry in particular, has a large impact on Alzheimer’s research when it comes to characterizing what peptides and lipids are involved in pathological formation of amyloid plaques. Our techniques include high-resolution imaging mass spectrometry and we are able to localize specific biomolecules within the brain, and also in individual plaques and cells”, explains Jörg Hanrieder, who says that the technique is not only able to demonstrate how pathological plaque formation is initiated but can also be used for developing new biomarkers which can improve diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
Alongside his position as associate professor at the section of psychiatry and neurochemistry, Jörg Hanrieder is also working as PI at UCL in London. He also is affiliated as group leader at the go:IMS Gothenburg Imaging platform, which is a special center for imaging mass spectrometry in Gothenburg, located at Chalmers.
“This is of course a great opportunity to coordinate all activities within imaging mass spectrometry here in Gothenburg. The center is probably one of the best equipped laboratories for imaging mass spectrometry in the world, and I am very grateful and proud for the opportunity to be a part of this from the very beginning, when we established it”, says Jörg, adding that his team currently working on several exciting projects.
“We are working on combining different chemical imaging techniques, such as imaging mass spectrometry and super-resolution microscopy, chemical nanoscopy, that is microscopy at a nano-level resolution. With these methods we are able to monitor molecular reactions of for example beta-amyloid peptides at a nano-level inside individual nerve cells and even within single organelles.”
The Berzelius medals, which are named after chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius are handed out annually by the Swedish mass spectrometry society (SMSS) and come in two denominations. The gold medal is awarded for an individual achievement or life accomplishment that has significantly influenced basic or applied mass spectrometry in Sweden. This year’s gold medal was awarded to Bo Sundqvist, professor of ion physics at Uppsala University. And the silver medal, which is bestowed on a younger researcher for a significant achievement in the mass spectrometry area, was awarded to Jörg Hanrieder.
TEXT: ELIN LINDSTRÖM