Thesis Award

The Thesis Award of the Centre for Synthetic Biology

The Centre for Synthetic Biology at TU Darmstadt appreciates outstanding final thesis projects in the domain of synthetic biology.

Who can apply?

Authors of theses related to synthetic biology are encouraged to apply. For each qualification level one award is available in each year:

BSc Thesis Award (250 €)

MSc Thesis Award (500 €)

PhD Thesis Award (1500 €)

Individuals who completed one of the respective degree programs at TU Darmstadt in the year 2021 are eligible. Candidates can submit their applications directly.

An application contains the electronic form of the thesis together with a brief executive summary highlighting its contribution to the field of synthetic biology (1 page) and a CV of the candidate. The selection committee consists of three founding members of the Centre for Synthetic Biology. Notifications will be sent out by April 30th.

Please submit the application electronically in the PDF file format until Feb 15, 2022 to the managing director of the Centre Dr. Melanie Mikosch-Wersching (melanie.mikosch-wersching@tu-darmstadt.de).

Award winners

In 2020, the following people were awarded the Centre Prize for their theses:

Theresa Wörmann

In her bachelor thesis, Theresa Wörmann constructed a fluorescent protein sensor against the biotechnologically relevant macrolide rapamycin and successfully applied it to quantitatively measure the flux of rapamycin across the cell membrane of E.coli in dependence on pore-forming membrane peptides. The bachelor thesis opens up a novel approach to systematically investigate the permeability of biotechnologically relevant products – an important but largely overlooked aspect in industrial biotechnology.

Christoph Reich

In his bachelor thesis, Christoph Reich developed a neural network – technically a generative adversarial network – to synthesize temporal multi-domain image sequences and showcased it with short time-lapse fluorescence microscopy imagery of yeast. These in silico simulations capture underlying biophysical factors and time dependencies, such as cell morphology, growth, physical interactions, as well as the intensity of a fluorescent reporter protein. The thesis is a first step towards completely in silico experimentation and in the future, this approach may complement and augment classical experimentation and mathematical modeling. The thesis is available on arXiv (https://arxiv.org/abs/2103.11834), along with a follow-up paper recently accepted to MICCAI 2021 (https://arxiv.org/abs/2106.08285).

Alexander Gräwe

In his doctoral thesis, Alexander Gräwe developed fundamental strategies for the construction of molecular sensory systems. This included novel approaches for the systematic construction of molecular switches, as well as, in collaboration with chemists and material scientists, a process for functionalising nanoporous films with customised receptors. The developed methods are to be used in medical diagnostics or in environmental monitoring.