A new award for researchers within the complement field

As a company invested and dedicated to the complement pathway, Svar would like to support the science that will increase our collective understanding of how this system works and how it can be used and targeted to create new therapies in the future.

Svar Complement Excellence Award Logo


The Svar Complement Excellence Award is a prize handed out annually to support persons working on projects within the complement field.

The prizes are intended as grants of a total sum of up to €50.000, divided into two or more recipients annually. It will be handed out alternately at ICS and ECN meetings. For 2022, the award will be presented during the ECN meeting in Bern in August, where two winners will each receive a grant of €20.000.


For 2022, we have decided to allow each committee member to nominate scientists and work and collectively evaluate the nominees. For 2023 and onwards, we will make it possible for the community to nominate candidates, and the committee will then be tasked with creating a shortlist and agreeing on the winners.


Minimum requirements for those eligible are:

  • Must have a Ph.D.
  • 1 prize is reserved for someone with 5-10 years of active research after Ph.D. has been completed
  • 1 prize is reserved for someone with 5-20 years of active research after Ph.D. has been completed
  • Applicants with extraordinary discoveries can be considered even if they have less than the mentioned minimum of 5 years of experience

Although considerations will be given to the number of publications, impacts, citations, etc. the final decision will be based on the experts of the complement field in the committee, who will evaluate the past and future projects, the effect of the findings for both understanding the complement system further as well as for the future therapeutic and/or diagnostic potentials.


The Svar Complement Excellence Award serves to increase the awareness of the complement system and help fund important research that increases our understanding of this essential part of the immune system



The Svar Complement Excellence Award committee

The aim is for the committee to consist of scientists from both academia and industry; however, the majority of the committee will be academic leaders within the complement society.

There are 3 fixed positions occupied by:

  • Prof. Reinhard Würzner, ​​​​​​​Inst. of Hygiene & Med. Microbiology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria
  • Prof. Peter Garred, ​​​​​​​Clinical Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Dr. Michael Schwenkert, Svar Life Science

In addition, there are 2-4 positions that will change from year to year:

  • President of ICS: Prof. Elena Goicoechea de Jorge, Department of Immunology, University Complutense of Madrid, Spain
  • President of ECN: Prof. Claudia Kemper, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, USA

  • 1-2 Senior scientists/ group leaders from complement projects in pharma if possible (Industry representative)

Members of the committee are included solely based on their excellence within the complement world.

Click to learn more about the committee members

Professor Peter Garred

Prof. Peter Garred
​​​​​​​Clinical Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Professor Peter Garred is chair professor in Clinical Molecular Medicine at the University of Copenhagen, and he is a consultant immunologist at Rigshospitalet, the main University Hospital in Copenhagen. Dr. Garred has served as president of ICS until 2022 and has previously been a board member of ECN.

He has contributed with major findings explaining the lectin pathway's genetics, structure, and biology within the complement field. Dr. Garred was part of the team that developed the so-called “Wieslab” kits – Svar’s pathway-specific functional complement assays. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles related to complementology that have been cited more than 24000 times and with an H index of 83 (Google Scholar).


Professor Reinhard Würzner

Prof. Reinhard Würzner
​​​​​​​Inst. of Hygiene & Med. Microbiology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria

Professor Reinhard Würzner is Deputy Head at the Inst. of Hygiene & Med. Microbiology at Medical University of Innsbruck (Austria) and Coordinator of all doctoral programs of Innsbruck Graduate School. Dr. Würzner is the current president of the Austrian Society of Medical Mycology as well as of the ECN.

Dr. Würzner has a strong interest in the field of innate immunity and infections, with a special focus on complement as well as mycology and EHEC infections. One of his great achievements was to be the first to describe a profoundly inhibiting mAb against human C – a forerunner of Eculizumab. He was also involved in establishing the well-known functional Wieslab pathway-specific assay along with Peter Garred and others in 2005, in a team led by Moh Daha.


Professor Elena Goicoechea de Jorge

Prof. Elena Goicoechea de Jorge
Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University Complutense of Madrid, Spain

Professor Elena Goicoechea de Jorge is a scientist and lecturer at the Department of Immunology at the Faculty of Medicine at the University Complutense of Madrid, Spain. Dr. de Jorge is currently a member of the board of ECN.

Dr. de Jorge is a biochemist with a keen interest in the complement pathway and has dedicated more than 20 years to its study and understanding its involvement in various diseases. With her interest and dedication, along with her extensive background in complement genetics, biochemistry, and animal models of complement dysregulation, Dr. de Jorge has made important contributions to the understanding of the pathogenesis of complement-mediated diseases such as aHUS and C3G. Her work has influenced and supported the implementation of complement inhibition therapy that has changed the natural history of aHUS.


Professor Claudia Kemper

Prof. Claudia Kemper
National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Professor Claudia Kemper is a Senior Investigator and Section Chief at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Lübeck, Germany. In addition, Dr. Kemper also serves as a member of the scientific board of Apellis, Inc., and is the current president of the ICS.

Dr. Kemper has worked on complement and related research since her Ph.D., making many significant findings on the way. Dr. Kemper’s team discovered the complosome and its non-canonical roles in cell biology and the regulation of various pathways. Her team's work further showed how perturbations in complosome functions are associated with various conditions.

Dr. Kemper is the recipient of a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award, the Merit Award for Excellence in Science from the International Complement Society, and two Orloff Awards in Science from the NHLBI/NIH.


Dr. Michael Schwenkert

Michael Schwenkert
Chief Technology Officer, Svar Life Science AB

Dr. Michael Schwenkert is Chief Technology Officer of Svar Life Science AB. His responsibilities include, but are not limited to overseeing and influencing Svar’s technology portfolio and future development, as well to bridge Svar’s technological and commercial affairs.

Dr. Schwenkert did his Ph.D. at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany in Prof. Fey’s group, where he worked with the generation of antibodies and antibody fusion proteins for targeting a broad spectrum of neoplasms. Upon completion of his Ph.D., Dr. Schwenkert joined MorphoSys AG, a biopharma company, where he worked on identifying immunomodulating antibodies against cancer. After 2013 Dr. Schwenkert stepped into commercial roles, and between 2013 and 2019 he worked as Global Sales Manager for Custom Antibodies at Bio-Rad Laboratories.