March 27-31, 2022


And the winner is ...

Clarissa Tomasina and Manuel Estévez Amado won the Young Scientist Award 2022, receiving 3300 € for their research on a novel bone regeneration strategy.

While the waves clashed against the walls of the historic Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi in the pictural village Camogli on the ligurian coast, the audience of the Nanoengineering for Mechanobiology Conference 2022 was witnessing the final round of the N4M Young Scientist Award 2022. Two finalists were preselected to present and defend their project ideas on how to take mechanobiological research into clinical application, bringing up a hard decision for the YSA Jury.


Some hours later, the decision was made and jury member Boris Martinac announced the winning team: PhD candidates Clarissa Tomasina (Maastricht University, MERLN) and Manuel Estévez Amado (Complutense University of Madrid) excelled with their project on a novel bone regeneration strategy involving superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. The YSA team is happy to kick-start this great idea with an earmarked price money of 3300€.


A huge round of thanks goes to everyone who participated in the award: to our second finalist, Kimia Witte (University of Strathclyde), for her outstanding contribution on diagnostic biomarkers for Ehlers-Danlos-Syndrome, to all other applicants who brought in so many great proposals, to our jury members Karine Guevorkian (Institut Curie), Sara Wickström (MPI Münster), Boris Martinac (Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute), Andreas Herrmann (RWTH Aachen) and Nikolai Born (Optics11 Life) who kindly took over the hard decision on the winning idea, and last but not least to all our crowd funders and sponsors (PL Bioscience GmBH, MedST RWTH Aachen, Optics11 Life) who have a huge share on the future of #frombenchtobedside translation.

Image gallery

Announcement of the winner by jury member Boris Martinac in Castello d’Albertis (Genova). The Zoom-experienced  finalist participated virtually.
The N4M Young Scientist Award team (from left to right: Aleksandra Kozyrina, Ramin Nasehi, Jana Schieren, Pauline Eichstedt, Anna Sternberg) discussing the final steps.
Science with a view: the coast of small fisher men village Camogli as seen from the hotel terrace.
The tension is rising! N4M Young Scientist Award session in conference hall.
Stimulating discussion of the jury members after the presentation of the finalist. Who will be the winner?

Over the past few decades, it became evident that not only molecular but also mechanical signals are pivotal in controlling biological functions. These include highly relevant processes for human health, such as development, cancer, or neurogenerative diseases. Mechanobiology is the field that studies the biological role of mechanics with the interdisciplinary contribution of engineers, chemists, physicists, and biologists. Given the recent developments in nanoengineering, more opportunities to develop mechanotherapies and mechanodiagnostics are waving on the horizon. However, translation from theoretical knowledge and experimental research to the actual clinical application is still challenging. Few successful examples of such mechanotranslation are: 

During the sixth edition of the Nanoengineering for Mechanobiology conference, we will devote a special session to early-career scientists to present their ideas for translation. The researcher or the team with the strongest and most promising idea will receive an earmarked financial contribution to kick-start a project, laying the foundation to form a bench-to-bedside application. The recent pandemic and the prompt vaccine development have underlined the importance of supporting translation of fundamental research into biomedical application. Therefore, with the motto “from society for society”, we need the contribution of everyone to support the development of fresh innovative ideas.

Would you like to contribute?




  • Support of early-career scientists


  • Kickstart a unique idea


  • Advertisement of your company at a big, international conference


  • Even small amounts can make a difference


  • Getting the chance to fund the basis of your mechanobiological related idea as a foundation for grant applications


  • You will get feedback on your idea and possibly guidance to realize it


  • You get encouraged to think outside the box, take one step back and see the bigger picture of your scientific project


  • Don't need to register for N4M




  • Donate money


  • Donate lab equipment


  • Donate knowledge (e.g. start-up consulting


  • You didn’t successfully apply for big grants yet and you’re max 7 years out of PhD


  • Apply with your unique idea


Guidelines for participation:

Have not received

big grants yet


Have a great idea

on how to translate your research

into clinical application

Are an early-career scientist

 (undergraduate or postgraduate

who received their PhD within the past 7 years)


Are alone or a team

of 2-5 members

Then we are waiting for your application to the Young Scientist Award 2022!


In order to participate and tell the world about your unique translational idea, you should submit an abstract with explanation of your motivation, objectives and how you plan to realise the concept. Your idea has to be based on your personal research experience and expertise.


During the competition, you will present your ideas and strategy in 5 min in a format of your choice (e.g. elevator-pitch talk). If you will not be present at the conference, you can also submit a short video that we can show during the competition. A jury of selected experts in the field of mechanobiology will price the winning idea.


The deadline for submission is March 24, 2022.
Please submit your abstract and CVs of all team members to our email address


Good Luck!


Concept of crowdfunding:

Assembled from the words “crowd” and “funding” the term crowdfunding describes the financial realization of a project by the general public. This concept was so far mainly appreciated in the context of entrepreneurship and start-ups. Recently, it has started to attract scientists that try to take more unconventional paths to fund their research. Contrary to traditional funding, the broad population can get involved in science projects that otherwise would seem abstract or exclusive to them. Additionally, less-popular projects can easily be funded in a relatively short amount of time. This enables especially early-career researchers to work more independently and flexible.




Yes! You do not have to be registered for the Nanoengineering for Mechanobiology conference. Just send us a short video (max 5 min) explaining your idea that can be shown to the jury.

As broad as the field of mechanobiology is, as broad we expect your ideas to be! And since we know that all of you have a unique background and research expertise, we do not want to limit your inventiveness. Maybe you found a way to characterize large cell populations by their deformability characteristics using flow cytometry? Or you developed a special biomaterial that reduces the expansion of myocardial infarctions? Whatever it is – we are eager to hear about your idea!

Be prepared to present your idea within 5 min at the conference to the jury in any format of your choice! This can be an elevator-pitch talk, a poster, or whatever you feel confident with. If you cannot participate at the N4M conference in person, send us a short video explaining your idea that can be shown to the jury.

All information you will hand in with your abstract will be revised confidentially by the jury. If you will pitch your idea at the conference within a 5-min talk, you can decide yourself how much you want to present to the audience. The competition will be held in the context of the N4M conference and therefore, all of your submitted ideas will be treated as a conference presentation. 

That’s great to hear! There are several ways to support us. Spread the word about our award and our crowdfunding campaign within your colleagues, networks, and friends! Maybe some of your peers has an outstanding idea to compete with at our competition. Of course, you can donate at our crowdfunding platform. Every Euro will be used for the prize money and even 5 € can make a difference.

The abstract should be a one-page explanation of how you see the translation of your research project into the clinic. It does not have to be a structured business plan. However, make sure to reveal the main points like the novelty of the idea, feasibility, long-term objectives and your way of realization.

You can win prize money raised by a crowdfunding campaign. Check the campaign to see how much money has already been raised and do not forget to donate!

We will display your institution on our webpage and during the Nanoengineering for Mechanobiology conference which is a big international conference hosting many experts from the field of mechanobiology. Additionally, we will tag you in posts on our social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram).

No, the prize money is earmarked and has to be used as a foundation to kick-start the winning idea. This means that you will have to spend it on project related expenses.

The jury will consist of experts from the field of mechanobiology attending the Nanoengineering for Mechanobiology conference. We don’t want to reveal too much yet!


ME3T - Mechanobiology in Epithelial 3D Tissue Constructs


The fundraiser is organized in cooperation with the no-profit organization “Semi di Scienza