HMLS Investigator Award for Michael Brunner and Carsten Schultz
For their outstanding work in the molecular life sciences and their commitment to strengthening the fields of biochemistry and chemical biology in the Heidelberg research hub, Prof. Dr. Michael Brunner and Dr. Carsten Schultz will receive this year’s HMLS Investigator Award. The prize from the Heidelberg Molecular Life Sciences (HMLS) is endowed with 200,000 euros and will be presented to Prof. Brunner, Director of the Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center, and Dr. Schultz, Senior Scientist and research group leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), on 26 November 2012. The HMLS initiative is a part of the Institutional Strategy for which Heidelberg University receives funding from the Excellence Initiative. Participants include the Faculty of Biosciences, the Medical Faculties of Heidelberg and Mannheim, the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, the German Cancer Research Center and EMBL.
The award winners work and teach at the interface of chemical and biological research. They are interested in the dynamics of cellular processes, which they analyse with biochemical methods and chemically synthesised substances in order to gain a comprehensive picture of life in our cells.
Michael Brunner was appointed to the Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center in 2000 after he had habilitated at LMU Munich, where he was a research group leader. Previous postdoctoral research sojourns had taken him to Princeton University and the Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York. His research delves into the workings of the internal clock. His group studies the molecular mechanisms that enable an organism to optimally adjust its metabolism and behaviour to the constantly recurring change between day and night. Not only are the central cellular processes studied, but also the way this internal clock influences any number of different processes in the organism.
Carsten Schultz has been with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg since 2001. The chemist worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California in San Diego (USA) and habilitated at the University of Bremen. He then went on to do research at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund. His work focuses on the development and use of chemical methods to investigate biological events. Dr. Schultz is particularly interested in the analysis of intracellular signal networks that control a large number of physiological processes in all organisms, including human beings. In addition to fundamental aspects regarding the construction and interaction of such networks, he applies his tools to health issues, e.g. by making sensor molecules to identify the development of lung emphysema in cystic fibrosis and COPD patients.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Rausch, Vice Rector for Research and Structure at Heidelberg University, will open the award ceremony. Heidelberg scientists Prof. Dr. Irmgard Sinning (Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center) and Dr. Jan Ellenberg (European Molecular Biology Laboratory), will offer congratulatory remarks and Prof. Brunner and Dr. Schultz will discuss their research. HMLS Coordinator Prof. Dr. Frauke Melchior will present the award. The event, which is open to the public, will be held in the Ute Greenier Hall on the 7th floor of the BioQuant Centre, Im Neuenheimer Feld 267, at 5pm on 26 November 2012.
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