Kåre Larsson och Gunnar Sandbergs forskningsstiftelse – Camurus Lipid Research Foundation will award the annual main prize (500.000 SEK) for 2023 to Professor Jan Lötvall, Gothenburg University (Sweden) for his and his group’s early work showing that extracellular vesicles could act as shuttles for RNA molecules between cells with the RNA maintaining its functionality at the new location. When this work was published in Nature Cell Biology 2007 it introduced the novel mechanism of genetic exchange between cells. Since this pioneering work, the extracellular vesicle field has grown enormously, and Professor Lötvall has not only continued to contribute scientifically to the field, but has also been at the forefront in bringing the community together, in that he served as the first and founding president of the International Society of Extracellular Vesicles (2012-2016).
Dr Andrea Ridolfi (Astronomy and Physics of Living Systems, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) is awarded one of the junior prizes (50.000 SEK) for his fundamental studies of the nano mechanical properties of individual extracellular vesicles (EVs). By employing atomic force spectroscopy he was able to obtain a “nanomechanical snapshot” of an EV sample opening up for new approaches to extract key properties for EV functionality.
The other 2023 junior prize awardee is Dr Katarzyna Makasewicz (ETH Zürich Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering) for her studies of α-synuclein interactions with lipid vesicles. She showed that the binding to the lipid membrane can be a cooperative process that is independent of the membrane curvature.