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Prize for best doctoral dissertation for Melika Sarem

he Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy has awarded Arthur-Lüttringhaus Prize for the best doctoral dissertation to Melika Sarem, who completed her PhD in Prof. V. Prasad Shastri laboratory at Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry.

During her PhD she has worked on multidisciplinary project in the intersection of physical chemistry, materials science and developmental biology with a translational component. In her doctoral work entitled “Role of intrinsically disordered phosphoprotein secondary structure in bone biomineralization and impact of biomimetic apatite on endochondral ossification”, Melika Sarem has worked on understating how bone mineral phase impacts human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) fate.

In her doctoral work Melika Sarem first developed a biomimetic assembly system to understand how the secondary structure of mammalian and avian phosphoproteins impacts nucleation and growth of biomimetic bone like apatite, and then using this system she focused on unraveling how this biomimetic apatite impacts MSCs fate.

She has shown that biomimetic bone like apatite stimulates extracellular calcium sensing receptor (CaSR) in MSCs and over stimulation of this receptor blocks endochondral ossification and strictly promotes formation of bone via intramembranous ossification in MSCs.

Melika Sarem defended her thesis on September 2017 and her doctoral work has resulted in several first author publications in highly prestigious journals including Advanced Materials and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – USA, which were highlighted in several press releases.

Melika’s research impact in orthopedic tissue engineering and regenerative medicine has also been recently recognized by orthoregeneration network (ON) via ON/EORS education scholarship.

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Project Manager/ Postdoctoral Associate Group of Prof. Dr. Shastri

Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry
Stefan-Meier Strasse 31
Hermann Staudinger Haus
University of Freiburg
D-79104 Freiburg