The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) has honored Melissa Unger's work on cell-based screening based on mass spectrometry with the "Tony B. Academic Travel Award." Travel to the SLAS2020 conference in Vienna and presentation of the research would have been made possible. However, the event did not take place due to the pandemic.
Instead, Melissa Unger will present her research at the SLAS2021 digital conference in January, which normally would have been held in San Diego. The doctoral thesis, conducted with Cellzome - a GSK company as a partner project, was recently published in the prestigious journal "Analytical Chemistry" of the American Chemical Society.
Melissa Unger is an employee of the interfaculty research center CeMOS (Center of Mass Spectrometry and Optical Spectroscopy) at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, which is headed by Prof. Dr. Carsten Hopf and Prof. Dr. Matthias Rädle. The PhD was conducted as a cooperative PhD with Cellzome and the Mannheim Medical School of the University of Heidelberg within the BMBF- and industry-funded innovation partnership M2Aind.
In her work, Melissa Unger, in close collaboration with the company partners Bruker Daltonics and Analytik Jena, succeeded for the first time in developing an approach to study the uptake of drugs into cells via a transport protein. She developed an automated method by using the equipment of the company partner Analytik Jena which was applied to the screen of 300 substances. This approach provides clues about potential drug-drug interactions, which are of great importance to an aging society.
Their award underscores, on the one hand, the growing importance of doctoral studies at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences and, on the other, CeMOS' technological leadership in the field of mass spectrometry. CeMOS is currently conducting and supervising more than 25 cooperative PhD programs in collaboration with the universities of Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Braunschweig, Leuven/Belgium and Berlin.