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Heinrich-Dräger Prize for Intensive Care Medicine awarded

At the German Congress of Anesthesiology (DAC) in Leipzig, the German Society for Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (DAGI) awarded the 2006 Heinrich Dräger Prize for Intensive Care Medicine to Dr. Holger K. Eltzschig, Chief Physician at the University Hospital for Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine at the Tübingen University Hospital. The prize was donated by Dräger Medical AG & Co. KG. Stefan Dräger, CEO of Drägerwerk AG, presented the 10,000 Euro award at the opening ceremony of the DAC.
This annual prize honors significant work in the field of intensive care medicine published or accepted for publication in German or international professional journals in the year preceding the award.

This year's award-winning work is entitled: "HIF-1-dependent repression of equilibrative nucleoside transporter (ENT) in hypoxia.” In close cooperation with Harvard Medical School in Boston, the Tübingen working group with Dr. Eltzschig studied the adaptation of various organs and tissues to oxygen deprivation (hypoxia). In their study, the researchers were able to show that the signaling molecule adenosine protects tissues and organs from the deleterious effects of hypoxia. In fact, the protective effects of adenosine are further enhanced due to a decreased uptake by adenosine transporters (mainly the equilibrative nucleoside transporters called ENTs) during hypoxia. This leads to an accumulation of adenosine at the cell surface that further enhances its organ-protective properties during acute hypoxia of inflammation.

The DGAI deemed the scientific study under the leadership of the 37-year-old prize winner of enormous significance to the field of basic science with extraordinary direct applicability to day-to-day clinical practice. The study demonstrates convincingly how innate mechanisms of tissue protection contribute to the adaptation to limited oxygen availability. This is particularly important for patients on the intensive care unit who are suffering from conditions associated with hypoxia, such as sepsis or acute respiratory distress syndrome. The findings of this study identify the adenosine transporters ENT1 and ENT2 as potential therapeutic targets in the treatment of these conditions.

The prize is named after the founder of Drägerwerk, Heinrich Dräger. In 1889, he began the story of Drägerwerk's success that continues today with the Dräger Medical group. Above all, it is the innovative genius of Heinrich Dräger that continues to shape the story of the 116-year-old company. It is essential to preserve and promote this innovative spirit.

About Dräger Medical:

Dräger Medical AG & Co. KG is one of the world's leading manufacturers of medical equipment, the largest division of Drägerwerk AG (history dates back to 1889) and a 65:35 joint venture company between Drägerwerk AG and Siemens AG. The global Company offers products, services and integrated CareArea™ Solutions throughout the patient care process - Emergency Care, Perioperative Care, Critical Care, Perinatal Care and Home Care. With headquarters in Lübeck, Germany, Dräger Medical employs nearly 6,000 people worldwide.

Birgit Diekmann | Draeger Medical AG & Co. KG
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