The MTZ®-Award for Medical Systems Biology (MTZ®-Foundation Award)

"Major diseases such as cancer and dementia are caused by specific dysfunctions in complex, dynamic life processes of human cells and organs. Many genetic factors as well as environmental influences and individual lifestyles have a decisive effect on the development and progress of such diseases as well as on the patient’s prospects. Systems biology and systems medicine, which derives from it, make it possible to understand the complex connections and thus to improve patient care in the long term.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has been supporting systems medicine research through the research and funding scheme “e:Med – Paving the Way for Systems Medicine” since 2012. The latter is part of the Federal Government's Health Research Framework Programme. Along with medical genome research, systems biology is the main contributor to progress in systems medicine. German research has a pioneering role in this field in Europe and we must continue to strengthen it. My Ministry will continue to expand national expertise, support international collaborations and promote young research talent.
The exchange of experience between researchers often contributes substantially to advances in research. The Conference on Systems Biology of Mammalian Cells 2016 provides an excellent opportunity for scientists to share their insights and make new contacts. It also provides the opportunity to learn about developments in systems biology and systems medicine research. I am particularly glad that the conference will be recognizing the work of young scientists: The doctoral theses which will be honoured with the “MTZ Award for Medical Systems Biology” of the MTZ Foundation clearly show the potential of young scientists in the field of medically oriented systems biology."

Message of greeting for the 6th International Conference on Systems Biology of Mammalian Cells (SBMC 2016) of the Federal Minister of Education and Research Prof.Dr. Johanna Wanka
Foto: Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung, Steffen Kugler, S. X (Sammelbildnachweis)

The MTZ-Award for Medical Systems Biology (MTZ-Foundation Award)

Following the central theme “For a better future…”, the MTZ®foundation (Monika and Thomas Zimmermann) fosters science and research in the field of Human Medicines. It supports the classical scientific research approach of postgraduates (also post-doctorands) in the cellular and genetic domain, as well as within the innovative field of Systems Biology that deciphers complex, cross-linked biological phenomena of cells, tissue and organisms and translates them into realistic computer models by means of an interdisciplinary approach. The main objective is to significantly contribute to the conquest of diseases by investigating on their origins and coherences. Especially bio-ethical issues play an important role when it comes to maintaining the quality of life within an increasingly ageing society.

Offering the MTZ Award for Medical Systems Biology should foster future-oriented research approaches in the field of medical Systems Biology. The award is granted by the MTZ foundation in order to appreciate outstanding dissertations in the field of medical Systems Biology on a prominent level, with the aim of drawing special attention and public recognition to the promising scientific young talents. On this behalf, the MTZ foundation co-operates with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Project Management Jülich (PtJ).

The award promotes young scientists that outstandingly contribute to the research in Systems Biology. The prize value is divisible and shall be assigned for the three best dissertations. The award was offered for the first time during the 2nd Conference “Systems Biology of Mammalian Cells” from May 22nd to May 24th, 2008 in Dresden (Germany). The three young scientists present the dissertations for the final placement at the conference site. It was the first ceremony of a National Award for young scientific talents in the field of Medical Systems Biology in Europe.

Closing date for application of the MTZ-Award for Medical Systems Biology 2018 will be in January, 2018.


Official Channel for Medical Systems Biology in Germany

Official Press Release by Hepatosys– Freiburg, Germany, 2010, may 25nd:
Of rheumatism, feedback loops and potters’ wheels -Interdisciplinary, pioneering, and award worthy: three young scientists nominated for the MTZ® Award for Medical Systems Biology 2010

■ More informations about Medical Systems Biology in Germany under

Systems Biology

Systems biology deals with understanding and depicting the complex and dynamic processes inside cells or organs, e.g. during acclimatization, ageing or immunodefence. The wealth of data on different cell elements or functions which were gathered at different levels of the life processes (genome, proteome, metabolome) must be put in a meaningful overall context and modelled on the computer, so that simulations and forecasts become possible without laboratory experiments.

A mainly qualitative and descriptive approach oriented to molecular details is still characteristic of research in the life sciences today. The wealth of data on different cell elements or functions which were gathered at different levels of the life processes (genome, proteome, metabolome) must be put in a meaningful overall context. This is the only way to describe and understand complex system characteristics such as the regulation and control of biological systems, their manageability and system behaviour. Modelling life processes has great and promising application potential. Major progress is expected in particular in the development of new medical drugs.

An interdisciplinary research approach which combines biology with computer sciences, mathematics and the systems and engineering sciences into one "systems biology" can make a major contribution. Systems biology pursues a holistic approach and aims at developing close-to-reality models of physiological processes in cells, cell aggregations and entire organisms in order to obtain a holistic understanding of the life processes.

With the publication of the guidelines for the funding priority "Systems of Life - Systems Biology", Germany has given the go-ahead for a new interdisciplinary research programme. In the centre is the model system "liver", which is focused on hepatocyte cells. The liver is a highly complex biochemical factory which synthesizes, modifies or catabolizes over 10,000 substances daily and provides the body with vital substances such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The liver is a highly suitable model system for systems biology research because this cell type fulfils a large number of different tasks and thereby provides numerous possibilities for application in medicine, pharmaceuticals research and the area of nutrition.

The ultimate objective is a virtual cell which can simulate physiological processes in silico, in short the "glass liver cell".

Systems Biology

■ Systems biology deals of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Video-Livestreams SBMC 2008 Dresden/Germany