“Diseases of worldwide significance” wins online voting

Field of research for the Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research 2023 endowed with 2.5 million euros has been established
Der Else Kröner Fresenius Preis für Medizinische Forschung 2023 wird im Mai 2022 auf dem Feld „Krankheiten weltweiter Bedeutung“ ausgeschrieben.

Bad Homburg v.d. Höhe, April 28, 2022 – The online voting at the foundation Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung (EKFS) regarding the field of research as focus for the Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research 2023 has come to a close. With roughly 40 percent of the votes and a distinctive lead, the field “Diseases of worldwide significance” topped the list. 

“We are now going to be looking for the winner of the Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research 2023 in this field. The call for proposals phase is envisaged for the end of May,” explains Prof. Dr. Michael Madeja, Chairman of the Management Board at EKFS. The international research prize is endowed with 2.5 million euros and awarded every two years in alternating areas of the biomedical sciences. It honors scientists who have made significant scientific contributions in their field, and whose work allows groundbreaking findings to be expected in the future. The prize will be awarded for the fourth time in the coming year.

Toward selecting the particular field of research, for the first time EKFS polled everyone interested in science and medicine. There were four topics to choose from in an online ballot from March 17th to April 25th: obesity (adiposity), infectious diseases, diseases of worldwide significance, and artificial intelligence. With nearly 2,000 votes submitted, the online voting met with a large response.

You can see the cumulative result of the online voting here: 

40 % Diseases of worldwide significance
Increasing globalization and international travel facilitate the emergence and spreading of diseases.  Alongside infectious diseases, widespread diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular diseases are also a growing health issue for people in developing countries. Above and beyond this, industrialized nations are being confronted with new global health risks – for example border-transcending epidemics. 

26 % Infectious diseases
Besides Covid-19 there are also countless other infectious diseases – caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites. Infectious diseases such as lung inflammations, diarrheal diseases, AIDS and tuberculosis often end fatally. The aim of research: To understand the mechanisms involved in infectious diseases and improve the prevention and therapy thereof.

17 % Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is meanwhile achieving astonishing things in medicine in the case of clearly defined, standardized applications. For instance, AI is able to interpret MRI scans or X-ray images precisely, which consequently supports physicians. Although, when it comes to more complex tasks involving patient diagnosis and therapy, AI has not developed far enough yet.

17 % Obesity (adiposity)
According to the WHO, worldwide around 700 million people are obese – soon as many as the combined total populations of the EU and the USA. A growing problem: Adiposity increases the risk of illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or cancer. The focus of research is placed on the study of the causes of adiposity along with secondary diseases associated with them and the development of new therapeutic approaches for those affected.

You can also receive information regularly at: www.ekfprize23.de

Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung (EKFS) – Advancing research. Helping people.
Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung is a non-profit foundation dedicated to the funding and advancement of medical research and the support of humanitarian projects. To date the foundation has funded around 2,200 projects. With an annual funding volume currently amounting to over 60 million euros it is the largest foundation in Germany that actively funds and supports medicine. You can find more information at: www.ekfs.de/en

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