Leibniz Prize for Heidelberg Scientist Irmgard Sinning

Irmgard Sinning
Prof. Dr. Irmgard Sinning

Prof. Dr. Irmgard Sinning, chair at the Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center (BZH), will receive the 2014 Leibniz Prize from the German Research Foundation (DFG) - Germany’s most prestigious research prize. The award is endowed with 2.5 million euros for future research endeavours. Prof. Sinning’s research combines biochemistry, biophysics and structural biology “at the highest level”, according to the appraisal by the DFG. She investigates large molecular machines that ensure the delivery of membrane proteins to their specific target membranes. The DFG underscores Prof. Sinning’s significant fundamental contributions to understanding a certain critical transport process.

The research award of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Programme has been presented annually by the DFG since 1986. The German Research Foundation has named 11 researchers, four women and seven men, as the 2014 prize recipients. The awards ceremony will be held in Berlin in March of next year.

As a professor for biochemistry and structural biology, Irmgard Sinning has been teaching and conducting research at Heidelberg University since 2000. Her studies of the molecular processes of protein transport within the cell are based on biochemical research methods combined with protein crystallography. Her work aims to uncover how molecular machines function. This includes a protein RNA complex ubiquitous in plants, animals and bacteria that acts as a cellular “postman” and performs a key function in the delivery of membrane proteins.

Irmgard Sinning studied food chemistry at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. She worked on her PhD thesis at the Max Planck Institutes for Biochemistry and for Biophysics.and earned her doctoral degree from LMU in 1989. After postdoctoral sojourns in Frankfurt and Uppsala, she was a group leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg before her professorial appointment to Ruperto Carola. From 2006 to 2010, Prof. Sinning was Executive Director of the Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center.


Second funding period for Transregional Collaborative Research Centre 83

The DFG has decided to continue funding the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre (TR) "Molecular Architecture and Cellular Functions of Lipid/Protein Assemblies", a joint research project of the Universities of Heidelberg, Dresden and Bonn. After issuing a positive assessment, the DFG approved nearly 11 million EUR in funding for a second funding period of four years. Heidelberg University is the official Speaker of the TR – activities of TR 83 extending across locations are coordinated at Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center. In the long term, the researchers of the project want to understand the ways in which every membrane lipid contributes to the structure and function of a biological membrane. For the TR 83, the University's Biochemistry Center is cooperating with Heidelberg University Medical Centre, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, the Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) of TU Dresden, the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, the Life & Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES) and the Institute of Innate Immunity of Bonn University, and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the CAESAR research centre in Bonn.


New Research Training Group in Particle Physics

The DFG also supports a new Research Training Group to explore topical issues in particle physics research at the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy of Heidelberg University in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics. The “Particle Physics Beyond the Standard Model” group for doctoral training was approved for DFG funding to an amount of approx. 3.5 million euros over a period of four and a half years. This will enable 30 junior researchers to build bridges between the various areas of theoretical and experimental particle physics through their doctoral projects. The Research Training Group will take up its work in April 2014. The group will focus on the exploration and uniform description of the effects in particle physics from very low to the highest energy scales.

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Latest Revision: 2014-01-08
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