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Lautenschläger Research Prize 2007 for Prof. Dr. Matthias Hentze and Prof. Dr. Andreas Kulozik

Endowed with 250,000 euros — Pioneering approach in the framework of the Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit, a joint venture of the University of Heidelberg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)


26. Juli 2007

In 2007 the Lautenschläger Research Prize, endowed with 250,000 euros, goes to the medical scientists Professor Dr. Matthias Hentze and Professor Dr. Andreas Kulozik for their joint research work on disturbances to the processing and control of the transmission of genetic information within the cell, the so-called RNA metabolism, in frequent genetic diseases affecting haematopoiesis and blood coagulation.

Professor Dr. Matthias Hentze  
Professor Dr. Matthias Hentze
Foto: privat

This announcement comes from the Awarding Committee of the Lautenschläger Research Prize, a body of twelve internationally renowned scientists and scholars. In the substantiation of its decision the Committee emphasises the pioneering nature of the approach and the successful implementation of cooperation between basic research and clinical application, as well as the close collaboration between university and non-university research institutions in Heidelberg in the framework of the Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit, a joint venture between the University of Heidelberg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). The Prize will be presented on 28 September in the Great Hall of the Old University, Heidelberg.

In their pioneering joint research work the two Prize recipients have focussed on a haematopoietic disturbance affecting millions of people all over the world to indicate how errors in gene expression can be corrected in the course of cellular quality control at the RNA level, thus preventing the outbreak of the disease. In addition, the two scientists have investigated one of the most frequent blood coagulation deficiencies and identified for the first time an unexpected mechanism behind RNA metabolism deficiency, describing its mode of impact at the molecular level. This newly discovered mechanism brings about higher efficiency in the processing of genetic information in the cell. It causes an imbalance in the blood proteins promoting and inhibiting blood coagulation that in its turn leads to a heightened predisposition for thrombosis. The Prize money is to be employed in using high-throughput technologies to identify molecular switches for these important gene expression control mechanisms, thus indicating avenues for systematic exploration in the ultimate design of novel therapeutic strategies.

Professor Dr. Andreas Kulozik  
Professor Dr. Andreas Kulozik
Foto: privat
The Lautenschläger Research Prize is donated by Manfred Lautenschläger, founder of the MLP AG financial services company. It is Germany’s most generously endowed research prize donated by a private individual. The Prize is awarded to internationally renowned scientists and scholars of the University of Heidelberg and to scientists and scholars from elsewhere with close research links to the University of Heidelberg. Representatives of all fields of research are eligible for the Prize, whether they are engaged in applied or basic research.

The presentation ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. on 28 September 2007 in the Great Hall of the Old University, Heidelberg.

(Photos of Prof. Hentze and Prof. Kulozik are available from






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