Helmholtz Zentrum München Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

Award for Feiran Chen

At the 13th International Conference on Phytotechnologies, that took place from 26 to 28 September 2016 (Hangzhou City, Zhejiang, China) a total of 3 lectures of young scientists were awarded, among them Feiran Chen. Her contribution "Uptake and Metabolism of the Sunscreen Agent oxybenzone in Cyperus alternifolius" authored by Feiran Chen, Christian Huber and Peter Schröder, was selected by the conference organizing committee as a platform presentation.

Chen is a PhD student in EGEN in the Working Group Plant Microbiomes (Prof. Dr. P. Schröder). In the frame of a CSC scholarship Mrs. Chen studies opportunities for the Phytoremediation of oxybenzone, a commonly used UV filter in many sunscreens. Recently oxybenzone has been suspected carcinogenic. She showed that aquatic plants can absorb this substance and convert it to non-toxic conjugates. Thus her study provides a solution to a global problem, since oxybenzone is found worldwide in all oceans and surface waters.

The International Conference on Phytotechnologies offered an opportunity to scientists, engineers, consultants, regulators, city managers and other interested persons to discuss current research projects and technological developments in the field of Phytotechnologies. Phytotechnologies are plant-based solutions and systems to cure pollution of water, soil, air and improve ecosystem services in rural and metropolitan areas. 

Additional Reference:
Chen F, Huber C, May RG, Schröder P (2016): Metabolism of oxybenzone in a hairy root culture: perspectives for phytoremediation of a widely used sunscreen agent. Journal of Hazardous Materials.