Gerta Hoxhaj wins prestigious 2024 Vilcek Prize

Published on 12 February 2024

Gerta has been awarded a $50,000, prestigious 2024 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science.

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Gerta Hoxhaj. Courtesy of the Vilcek Foundation

We are delighted that Gerta Hoxhaj, who was an MRCPPU PhD student in Carol MacKintosh's laboratory (2008-2012), has been awarded a $50,000, prestigious 2024 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science. This prize recognizes young immigrant professionals in the US for outstanding achievements. It is deserved recognition for the fantastic research that Gerta is undertaking at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to map how signalling pathways regulate metabolic networks in cancer cells.

Gerta hails from Albania and undertook her undergraduate degree in Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey. During her PhD she discovered a novel role for the ubiquitin E3 ligase, ZNRF2, downstream of the PI3K signalling pathway. She then pursued her postdoctoral studies with Brendan Manning at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (2013-2019) where she became fascinated by the interplay between metabolism and cancer and discovered a role for the PI3K pathway in controlling nucleotide and redox metabolism. She started her independent laboratory at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern in 2019 where she has continued her passion to study metabolism and her work has been recognised by multiple early career awards including a Pew Scholarship. 

Gerta said "I am honoured and humbled to receive the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science. My scientific journey has spanned many parts of the world, from Albania to Istanbul, Dundee, Boston, and now Dallas. This prize is not only a recognition of my contributions as an immigrant scientist, but also a celebration of the pursuit of the scientific dream across borders.“

“My lab’s goal is to tackle fundamental and challenging questions aiming at deciphering altered signalling and metabolism, with the hope of developing better strategies to treat disease. I am immensely grateful for the rigorous scientific training I received at the MRCPPU in the University of Dundee, which laid an incredible foundation for my career. "

We look forward to hearing about Gerta’s continued research success in the future. 

Photos are Courtesy of the Vilcek Foundation.


Story category Student work/achievement