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Anna Dorothea Gorky received the State Prize for promoting alternative methods of testing on animals

Anna Dorothea Gorky received the State Prize for promoting alternative methods of testing on animals

Anna Dorothea Gorky with Minister Martin Polaszek

(Vienna, 11 April 2024) Anna Dorothea Gorky, PhD graduate from MedUni Vienna and employee of MedUni Vienna start-up G.ST Antivirals, has been awarded the State Prize for Promoting Alternative Methods of Testing on Animals by Science Minister Martin Polaszek.

Anna-Dorothea Gorky has developed a new cell culture model to grow and propagate primary murine alveolar macrophages – macrophages found in the lungs – over a long period of time in the laboratory. The study was conducted at MedUni Vienna with the working group of Sylvia Knapp and published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.

A new lung cell culture model dramatically reduces the number of laboratory animals required
As part of the immune system, phagocytes, called macrophages, are crucial to living organisms. However, suitable models for these cells for science are still very limited and require a large number of experimental animals, such as mice. In her scientific work, Anna-Dorothea Gorky presented a new cell culture model for multiplying and screening mouse lung macrophages in cell culture over several months. This was not possible until then, and the cells could only be used for a maximum of two to four days. By providing a combination of different factors that mimic the lungs, the researchers were able to maintain and expand lung cells in their new model for more than 6 months. Cells retain typical morphological characteristics and have recognizable surface markers throughout the entire culture period. They react to danger signals such as bacteria and have a genetic profile consistent with the original lung cells. Overall, the model offers a new, simple and versatile tool to study lung cells in homeostasis and disease. The model dramatically reduces the number of test animals required because cell culture of the material can be initiated from a single mouse. The strong positive feedback and adoption of the model from laboratories around the world shows that this model has future potential.

The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research has awarded the State Prize to outstanding scientific work whose results or objectives, in the sense of the 3R principle according to Russell and Burch (1959), avoid (replace) or reduce (reduce) the use. Animals in animal experiments or improving (improving) the conditions of breeding, housing, care and use of animals in animal experiments. The State Prize is awarded annually.

Anna-Dorothea Gorky is an expert in respiratory infections, trained at the Research Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM, Austrian Academy of Sciences) and at the Medical University of Vienna. She holds a PhD in Immunology and is the author of numerous publications in top international journals, including Cell. She has been Scientific Director of G.ST Antivirals, a start-up company at MedUni Vienna, since 2020. G.ST Antivirals is engaged in developing therapeutics against viral respiratory infections.

Premium publication: American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Alveolar macrophages cultured in ex vivo mice provide a new tool to study the behavior and function of tissue-resident macrophages;
Gorki, A.-D., Symmank, D., Zahalka, S., Lakovits, K., Hladik, A., Langer, B., Maurer, B., Sexl, V., Kain, R., and Knapp. , s.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, September 28, 2021
DOI: 10.1165/rcmb.2021-0190OC