In recognition of his outstanding study performance at the Vienna University of Technology and his PhD thesis within the research group glycochemistry (Prof. Kosma) at the Department of Chemistry, the Federal Ministry of Science and Research presented the Merit Award 2010 to the sub auspiciis candidate Dipl.-Ing. Christian Stanetty. The ceremony was held at the ceremonial chamber of the federal ministry. The thesis was funded within the project ASPEX (Antiviral Spot of Excellence Vienna) and covers numerous chemical modifications of glycyrrhetinic acid, a major triterpene component of licorice roots (Glycyrrhizae glabra). The results of the thesis significantly improve the pharmaceutical potency of this natural product. In particular, the compounds exhibited highly selective inhibition of hydroxysteroid-dehydrogenases - an important group of enzymes regulating the mineral - and carbohydrate metabolism as well as antiviral activities against influenza virus.