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Prix Schläfli 2021 award for the four best dissertations in natural sciences

The body's own defence against urinary tract infections, a new method for quantifying and determining genetic damage, evidence in so-called Diophantine geometry and the question of how soot from combustion processes influences the formation of clouds and thus, the climate – the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) is awarding the Prix Schläfli 2021 to the four most important insights of young researchers at Swiss universities. Claudia Aloisi (Chemistry), Gabriel Dill (Mathematics), Fabian Mahrt (Geosciences) and Gregor Weiss (Biology) receive the prize for findings in their dissertations. The Prix Schläfli is awarded annually to the four best dissertations in the natural sciences. This prize was first awarded as early as 1866.

Prize-winners Prix Schläfli 2021 (from upper left): Gregor Weiss, Fabian Mahrt, Claudia Aloisi, Gabriel Dill
Image: M. Feldmüller, G. J. Crescenzo, ETH Zürich / N. Pitaro, M. Bosshard

Claudia Aloisi – Harnessing the beauty of chemistry

Her work could pave the way for new forms of cancer screening: Claudia Aloisi researched at the ETH Zurich a new method for quantifying and determining DNA damage at ETH Zurich. She got the Prix Schläfli award in chemistry for this.

Gabriel Dill – Magician of an abstract universe

For the Matura, he wrote a satire on Berlusconi – in Latin. And for his dissertation at the University of Basel, which was awarded the Prix Schläfli, he chose a field that is rather exotic even for insiders: Diophantine geometry. Gabriel Dill likes it a little complicated.

Fabian Mahrt – ice-cold climate research

His field of research is the smallest particles with a large effect: Prix Schlaefli award winner Fabian Mahrt has at the ETH Zurich investigated the conditions under which carbon black (soot) forms ice particles. He first had to build the apparatus for the innovative experiments.

Gregor Weiss – Conquers mountains and bacteria

Gregor Weiss has two passions: mountain sports and biology. What connects the two? You can only reach your goal with perseverance and team spirit. This also applies to his work at the ETH Zurich on the body's own defence against urinary tract infections, which earned him the Prix Schläfli award in biology.