The Svar Complement Excellence Award is presented each year to acknowledge the remarkable international contributions made by researchers and physicians in the field of complement.
It is designed to promote and foster complement research worldwide, and it offers a research grant of €20,000 to two recipients. The award ceremony for 2023 will take place in Newcastle during the International Complement Workshop in Newcastle Aug. 31 - Sept. 5.
The deadline for nominations or applications is June 15, 2023, at 00:00 (CET).
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.
We aim to have a committee that consists of scientists from both academia and industry; however, the majority of the committee will be academic leaders within the complement society.
The committee will consist of leaders within the field of complement work. The committee will consist of two members from ICS and two members for ECN, as well as last year's awardees and 1 pharma representative. The members of the committee are based on their excellence. However, we will always strive to have a broad representation and to strive for diversity in both the gender and location of our committee members. Names and biographies of the members will be uploaded as information becomes available.
The committee for 2023 consists of:
Prof. Trent Woodruff, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
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.
Christoph Schmidt is a Professor of Biochemical Pharmacy at the Institute of Pharmacy, Martin-Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. He studied pharmaceutical sciences at the LMU Munich (Germany) and received his Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom; under the guidance of Prof Barlow), working on the structure and function of the central part of complement factor H. After his studies, Dr. Schmidt moved to the US for his postdoc, where he worked at the Innate Immunity/protein Chemistry laboratory (under the guidance of Prof Lambris), working on developing a complement inhibitor.
Since 2017 he has been a group leader at the Institute of Pharmacology of Natural Products and Clinical Pharmacology at Ulm University in Germany. Since April 2023, he has been appointed as a Professor of Biochemical Pharmacy at the Institute of Pharmacy, Martin-Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, where he and his team use numerous biochemical and biophysical techniques to investigate the complement system to design new therapeutic molecules. His work has made fundamental contributions to the complement field, which includes his extensive work on how the cascade is organized and regulated.
Lubka Roumenina is a senior scientist who leads a research group focused on investigating the Complement system in both physiology and pathology. She holds the position of deputy director of the Inflammation, Complement, and Cancer team at the Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Inserm, located in Paris, France. Her primary research revolves around elucidating the mechanisms that govern the activation and regulation of the complement cascade in the bloodstream, as well as the intracellular complement proteins.
One of Prof. Roumenina's notable contributions lies in her pioneering efforts to explore the role of complement in heme-mediated diseases as well as its involvement in cancer. She established a link between heme and complement in the pathological processes of sickle cell anemia and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. Moreover, she discovered the tumor-promoting action of intracellular complement proteins in renal and lung cancer. In 2018, she was honored with the Young Researchers Award from the International Complement Society and received the Award for Student Supervision and Excellence in Research from Inserm. Furthermore, in 2022, Prof. Roumenina was granted the SVAR award for excellence in Complement research. Lubka Roumenina's dedication to complement biology is fueled by her passion for inspiring and nurturing the next generation of researchers, fostering a vibrant community of Complementologists.
Claire’s interest in complement dates back to her undergraduate days when she was inspired by teaching on innate immunity and was intrigued by the ability of a protein-based, soluble system to punch holes in target cells. Her interest in complement grew while studying complement during her PhD in Cambridge and postdoctoral studies in Cardiff. Funding from the Wellcome Trust (2003) enabled her to establish a group at the School of Medicine in Cardiff focused on structure–function relationships in complement activators and regulators with a particular interest in the mechanisms underlying complement dysregulation and disease, particularly those associated with mutations & polymorphisms in the activation pathways.
Claire is currently an Honorary Professor at Cardiff University, a Visiting Professor at Newcastle University, a Board member of the European Complement Network and a Councillor of the International Complement Society. She has studied various aspects of the complement system over the last 30+ years with a focus on complement & disease, therapeutics and biomarkers. She has considerable experience in an industry setting developing anti-complement drugs with time spent at GlaxoSmithKline, Gyroscope Therapeutics and more recently, at Novartis.
Trent Woodruff is an NHMRC Investigator Fellow leading a research team at The University of Queensland (UQ). He has over 20 years of research training in complement pharmacology and holds an Academic Professorship within the School of Biomedical Sciences, UQ. In 2014, he was presented with an Early Career Award from the International Complement Society and now serves as President-elect of the Society.
Trent is also Chair of the 2025 International Complement Workshop. Dr. Woodruff’s research revolves around complement, its links to inflammasomes, and its role in neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. Using a series of complement and inflammasome inhibitors developed in collaboration with his group, he elucidates the therapeutic potential of targeting neuroinflammation to treat brain disease. His work has also contributed to a greater understanding of the complexity between naphylatoxin receptors in modulating the inflammatory response in health and during disease.