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