Robert Koch Gold Medal 2011
The Robert Koch Gold Medal has been awarded to the biochemist Professor Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, currently Strasbourg, France.
The Medal in Gold for his life’s work was awarded to Professor Winnacker, the current General Secretary of the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) in Strasbourg, France. Winnacker has contributed significantly to the description of life processes at molecular level and therefore to the development of molecular biology and genetic engineering. As a result of his many years as a member of numerous different research associations and committees, he has had a significant bearing on international research in the field of life science research, as well as on policy-making in this field. His position also allowed him to provide invaluable impulses to the sustainable development of the German and European scientific system.
Born in the German city of Frankfurt/Main, the former long-standing president of the German Research Foundation (DFG) was able to make best use of his role to render outstanding services to the promotion of young scientists. Winnacker was also one of the initiators of the Excellence Initiative, which has had a tremendous impact on the German academic landscape in recent years, as well as being a strong advocate of ‘science without borders’ and overcoming national egoism.