November 4, 2016
Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Berlin – The Robert Koch Foundation today jointly awarded this year’s 100,000 Euro Robert Koch Award to Professors >>Alberto Mantovani, Humanitas University, Milan, and >>Michel C. Nussenzweig, The Rockefeller University/Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New York. Professor >>Kai Simons of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden was awarded the Robert Koch Gold Medal for his life’s work. The awards were presented by Annette Widmann-Mauz, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, on November 4, 2016 at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
The two immunologists are being honored for their pioneering research work, which has resulted in new treatment options, for example in cancer or in the fight against HIV infections. Through their outstanding research, the laureates lay the foundation for understanding the way in which different immunological mechanisms function. Simons was honored for his lifetime achievements, in particular for his work in modern cell biology.
Parliamentary State Secretary Annette Widmann-Mauz remarked: “The three prize-winners have one thing in common: their research targets the celluar level – the smallest unit of life. The benefits they create, however, have a far greater reach – for mankind and the restoration of good health.”
Also presented at the ceremony were the Robert Koch Foundation Postdoctoral Awards for outstanding work by young scientists, which come with prize money of 5,000 euros each. The German Societies for Hygiene and Microbiology, Immunology and Virology are each entitled to nominate suitable candidates.
The post-doctoral award for virology went to Dr. >>Jens Bosse, Heinrich-Pette-Institute in Hamburg, for his studies on the pathogenicity of DNA viruses. Dr. >>Alexander J. Westermann, Institute for Molecular Infections Biology at the Julius Maximilian University in Würzburg, received the microbiology award in recognition of his work on the role and detection of small RNA molecules. Dr. >>Andreas Schlitzer, Life & Medical Sciences-Institute, Bonn University, received the immunology award in recognition of his studies on the development and differentiation of myeloid cells.