The Inaugural 2019 ESACT Innovation Award Recipient

 Dr. Volker Sandig, MD, PhD

Dr. Sandig is recognized for seminal fundamental and applied research in cell and vector biotechnology, and the development of innovative vaccine technologies. Notably, for instigating and developing the cell-line development program at ProBioGen, AG, which resulted in one of the leading CHO platforms, the co-development of the CHO-Freedom Kit with LTC (now Thermo-Fisher), and the development of glycoengineering technologies, and notably GlymaxX at ProBioGen.

In 1987, Dr. Sandig received his Diploma in Medicine (which corresponds to an MD) from the Second Institute of Medicine (Faculty of Medical Biology), Moscow, Russia, specializing in medical biochemistry. In 1992, he received his Ph.D.  (doctor rerum naturalium) in Molecular Biology from Humboldt University Berlin, Germany. His postdoctoral training from 1992 to 1996 was at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry (Berlin-Buch), Germany, in the group pf Prof. Dr. Michael Strauss. From 1997 to 2000, he was visiting scientist first (in the lab of Tom Caskey, a pioneer gene-therapy lab) and, later, Senior Research Biologist (working on vaccine development) at Merck Research Labs in West Point, PA, USA. He returned to Germany as Vice President for Cell & Vector Biology at ProBioGen AG, Berlin, where he developed the cell-line program of the company. ProBioGen AG is an established Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) and technology provider, which started in 1994 as a diagnostics company. Dr. Sandig currently serves as CSO (Chief Scientific Officer) of ProBioGen.  His work aims to modernize vaccine manufacturing processes through customized design of new cell lines from primary sources that support a wide range of human and animal viruses.