Every two years, the H. Wilhelm Schaumann Foundation awards prizes to young scientists for outstanding achievements. For the year 2017/2018, on the occasion of the annual meeting of the Society for Animal Science and the German Society for Breeding Science, a grant of € 10,000 was presented to Dr. rer. nat. Alexandra Simone Muscher-Banse (Hannover) and Dr. agr. Josef Gross (Bern).
The focus of the scientific work of Dr. Simone Muscher-Banse has been studying the influence of protein-depleted feeding on various metabolic pathways in growing small ruminants for several years. Protein-reduced feeding of ruminants is desirable in terms of protecting the environment through reduced nitrogen inputs and low-cost feed, as ruminants can adapt well to such restrictions due to the ruminohepatic cycle. Dr. Simone Muscher-Banse deals with the basic understanding of which metabolic pathways and interactions are influenced by lowering the protein content of growing small ruminants and thus moves in the interdisciplinary field between nutritional physiology, transport physiology and intracellular signaling pathways.
The laureate has published 27 publications in high-level journals. In a total of 17 of these publications, Dr. Simone Muscher-Banse as First or Senior Author. This publication profile impressively underscores her ability to work in the scientific field and her willingness to face up to the discussion of her findings on an international level. Her work is highly regarded internationally, which perhaps most impressively shows two successfully acquired DFG third-party funded projects.
The prize is awarded for outstanding work in the closer molecular characterization of interactions between decreased protein uptake and the regulation of mineral homeostasis, vitamin D metabolism, and the somatotropic axis in growing small ruminants.
Dr. Josef Gross earned his doctorate in 2011 with "summa cum laude". This work was also awarded by the H. Wilhelm Schaumann Foundation.
Shortly before his doctorate Dr. Josef Gross changed from the TU Munich to the University of Bern to Prof. Rupert Bruckmaier to the Chair of Veterinary Physiology in the interface between different fields. Dr. Josef Gross systematically extended the research on the mechanisms of adaptation of the metabolism of high performance cows to genetic factors and their interactions with feeding. Very impressive is its expansion into different methods worlds and scale levels: in molecular genetics, in the endocrine and metabolic level, but also in practical livestock, in collaboration with animal breeding associations and industry. The professional national and international recognition of the work of Dr. Josef Gross has appeared in more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and review articles in high-level international journals.
The research is compiled in the habilitation thesis "Metabolic and endocrine adaptation at dairy cows: perspectives for sustainability in milk production" and covers the entire spectrum of metabolic challenges and their endocrine regulation in dairy cows such as: 1. the massive influence on the regulatory action in the subsequent lactation 2. interactions between ketone bodies and glucose metabolism, i.e. the problem zone of mobilization of body fat and the derailment of the glucose metabolism, which then leads to the clinical picture of ketosis and fatty liver. 3. Particularly interesting in practice: genetically determined differences of individual animals in the pattern of regulative adaptation of the metabolism to extreme events, such as the transition from gestation to lactation, perhaps the key to early identification and selection of animals with high stability of metabolism.
For this outstanding work, the H. Wilhelm Schaumann Foundation gives Josef Gross this year's award.