The University of Luxembourg held its annual PhD graduation Ceremony on 17 December 2021 on Belval Campus. While over 150 doctoral candidates graduated from the University’s four doctoral schools in 2021, only a few were handpicked for their outstanding thesis.
Hannah Wurzer, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, was conferred the Excellent Thesis Award for doctoral graduates who demonstrated excellence, originality and depth of knowledge in their thesis.
In her PhD thesis entitled “Tumour Immune Evasion is Promoted by Actin Cytoskeleton-Driven Polarization of Inhibitory Signals to the Immunological Synapse” Hannah described her investigations into how a cytoskeleton remodelling process termed “actin response” can mediate cancer cell resistance to Natural Killer (NK) cell attack. Her research showed the conservation of the resistance mechanism in different cancer types and shed light on the underlying immune evasion mechanisms.
A few months earlier, Hannah impressed the jury during her PhD defence with cutting-edge science and the confident and convincing presentation of the findings in her comprehensive PhD thesis. Hannah contributed to nine scientific articles in recognised peer-reviewed journals, of which four were published as first author. She presented her work in local and international meetings and was awarded with the “Best Poster Prize” at the European Cancer Immunotherapy Meeting (CIMT) in 2019. She also received the Marian Aldrich Award from the Think Pink Foundation Luxembourg in 2021, which supported her research work. Impressed by these outputs, the jury members encouraged Hannah to continue her career in academic research and nominated her for the “Excellent Thesis Award” of the University of Luxembourg.
After finishing her PhD student tenure at LIH as a member of the FNR PRIDE-funded doctoral research and training programme CANBIO* on cancer biology, Hannah is currently finalizing her research project in Dr Thomas’ group as postdoctoral researcher.
Congratulations for this exceptional achievement!
8 more PhD students from LIH also received their PhD diplomas during the graduation ceremony
Andrés CANO GALIANO
Sara GOMES FERNANDES
Yolanda PIRES AFONSO