Prof. Krammer. Photo: DKFZ
Professor Dr. Peter Krammer, head of the immunogenetics division of the German Cancer Research Centre, has been selected to receive the University of Heidelberg's Lautenschläger Research Prize 2003, worth EUR 250,000. Federal education minister Edelgard Bulmahn will be presenting the prize on 10 October 2003. The decision was announced today by the Awarding Committee for the Lautenschläger Research Prize, which is made up of 12 internationally renowned scholars and scientists.
Professor Krammer has been distinguished for his pioneering research in the field of apoptosis (controlled cell death). Apoptosis is the most frequent form of natural cell death in organisms. It serves to rid the body of cells that have done their work, have become superfluous in the course of embryo development, or display genetic deficiencies. Controlled cell death is a protective mechanism. If it gets out of hand, it can be the cause of many illnesses. This happens in two different ways. Too much apoptosis leads to uncontrolled tissue death and is observable in patients with heart attacks, strokes, lesions of the spinal cord, AIDS, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Too little apoptosis, by contrast, is a central problem in cancer and autoimmune diseases.
Krammer's research aims at steering the process in the other direction and thus making the diseases in question more treatable. Of especial note in this connection is the close cooperation between basic research at the Cancer Research Centre and clinical research at the University of Heidelberg.
The Lautenschläger Research Prize is donated by the founder of the MLP AG financial services company, Manfred Lautenschläger. The prize is awarded to internationally renowned scholars and scientists working at the University of Heidelberg or at institutions elsewhere with a record of intensive cooperation with the University. Scholars and scientists from all fields are eligible for the award, whether they are working in application-oriented or basic research.
The presentation ceremony will take place in the Great Hall of the Old University, Heidelberg, at 7 p.m. on 10 October 2003. The Prize will be presented by Edelgard Bulmahn, Federal Minister of Research and Education. Guest speaker is the Spanish writer and holder of the Peace Prize of the German Association of Publishers and Booksellers, Jorge Semprún.
Note to the press: Photos of Prof. Krammer are available from
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