Philip Leder

Robert Koch Gold Medal 2008

The Robert Koch Gold Medal 2008 was awarded to Professor Philip Leder.

Professor Philip Leder, of the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, received the Robert Koch Gold Medal for his fundamental scientific contributions to modern molecular biomedicine. His name was linked with the deciphering of the genetic code in the early 1960s. In particular, he has made a crucial contribution to modern molecular tumor research. This included the development of the first transgenic mouse to carry a human oncogene in 1984. The OncoMouse, which spontaneously develops breast tumors, constituted a pioneering feat for molecular cancer research and the search for potentially new medicines. In the last few years, Professor Leder has turned his attention to the correlation between oxygen supply and carbohydrate metabolism in tumor cells, which is essential for the growth of cancer cells. This, too, could be used therapeutically in the future.