Evi Kostenis Awarded PHoeNIX Pharmaceutical Science Prize

The prizewinners, from left to right: -   Achim Göpferich (University of Regensb
The prizewinners, from left to right: - Achim Göpferich (University of Regensburg), Thomas Kurz (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf), Jens Schlossmann (University of Regensburg) and Evi Kostenis (University of Bonn). © Photo montage: PHoeNIX group all images in original size .
Carvedilol is a beta blocker that is often prescribed to lower blood pressure or prevent heart attacks. Professor Evi Kostenis from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology at the University of Bonn has contributed to a better understanding of how this drug works as the corresponding author for an article published in the journal "Nature Communications." Kostenis’s research team has been presented with a ¤10,000 PHoeNIX Pharmaceutical Science Prize in recognition of this important discovery. 

For some years now, beta blockers have been a key tool in the treatment of congestive heart failure in patients recovering from a heart attack. They influence beta receptors in the sympathetic nervous system and thus reduce the heart’s excitability. Carvedilol is one such beta blocker that is regarded as being particularly good at prolonging the long-term survival of patients with heart failure. This clinically impressive effect is thought to be the work of a certain molecular mechanism, which the working group led by Professor Evi Kostenis from the University of Bonn’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology scrutinized in detail together with a team of researchers of national and international renown.

In an extremely skillful experiment using cutting-edge biotechnological methods that modify the genetic material in human cells with pinpoint accuracy, the researchers managed to solve the underlying molecular mystery of how this drug influences our body’s cells. "We expect our findings not only to break new ground in the rational use of beta blockers in clinical practice but also to influence the development of new, bespoke drugs for much more than just the sympathetic nervous system," says Professor Evi Kostenis, a member of the Life & Health Transdisciplinary Research Area at the University of Bonn.

The authors of the specialist article, for which Professor Kostenis was corresponding author, received the PHoeNIX Pharmaceutical Science Prize in the "Pharmaceutical Biology" category. Their article, "How Carvedilol activates ’2-adrenoceptors," was published in the journal "Nature Communications" on November 19, 2022 ( ’022 -34765-w ) and discusses how carvedilol works. The drug is used to lower blood pressure or prevent a heart attack.

The Mannheim-based PHoeNIX group describes itself as the European leader in pharmaceutical wholesale, pharmacy retail and services for the pharmaceutical industry. The PHoeNIX Pharmaceutical Science Prize has now been awarded for the 26th time. It comes with prize money totaling ¤40,000 and was presented to the winning researchers at their respective universities. Since it was established in 1996, the prize has set out to encourage innovative research projects in the field of pharmacy. An independent panel led by Professor Gabriele König from the University of Bonn assesses papers submitted in four pharmaceutical categories: Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Biology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and Pharmaceutical Technology. Academic and scientific staff at research institutions and university-based pharmaceutical institutes in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are eligible to put their names forward.

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