Giulia Moreni Nominated for Hugo van Poelgeest Award 2024

On Wednesday, the 1st of May 2024, Proefdiervrij announced the nominees for the 2024 Hugo van Poelgeest Award. Out of over twenty candidates, the jury selected three young researchers working with animal-friendly innovations, including our very own PhD student Giulia Moreni!

Meet Giulia Moreni

Born and raised in Milan, Italy, Giulia holds a BSc in Biology and a MSc in Biology Applied to Research in Biomedicine from the University of Milan.

As a PhD student at OrganoVIR Labs, Giulia is working on the propagation of uncultivable Enteroviruses (EVs) and Parechoviruses (Pevs) in human 3D model. The goal of her project is to develop alternative 3D models suitable for infection that can recapitulate the human features. As such, she is using the human airway epithelium (HAE) to mimic the airway, the human intestinal epithelium (HIE) for the gut and iPSC derived brain organoids for the human central nervous system.

Aside from her work in OrganoVIR Labs, Giulia is also a member of VEO (Viral Experts Organoids), the winning team of the Proefdiervrij Venture Challenge 2023. As a team, VEO is developing human respiratory tract, gut and brain organoids and working to implement human organoids as the ideal animal-free alternative for preclinical antiviral drug screening.

“I am thrilled and deeply honored to have been shortlisted for the Hugo van Poelgeestprijs. This nomination is a strong validation of our commitment to introducing human-based models to the market in order to provide faster and better results for the patients affected by chronic viral infections.” – Giulia Moreni

What is the Hugo van Poelgeest Award?

Named after Hugo van Poelgeest (1879 – 1954), the Hugo van Poelgeest Award is the oldest Dutch award for animal-friendly research in life science. Since 2019, the award is presented by Proefdiervrij every 2 years with a focus on inspiring the new generation of scientists to continue working with animal-friendly models. Participants in the Hugo van Poelgeest Award have a chance to win two prizes: the jury prize of €5,000 and the audience award of €1,500.