Rohini Kuner Receives HMLS Investigator Award
30 November 2017
Prize for Heidelberg Molecular Life Sciences endowed with 100,000 euros
In recognition of her ongoing efforts to consolidate innovative interdisciplinary research in the research city of Heidelberg and to further advance the life sciences, Prof. Dr Rohini Kuner has received this year's HMLS Investigator Award. With the award, the prize jury also pays tribute to Prof. Kuner's active support and encouragement of young researchers. The pain researcher teaches and conducts research at the Institute of Pharmacology of the Medical Faculty Heidelberg at Ruperto Carola. The Heidelberg Molecular Life Sciences (HMLS) award is endowed with 100,000 euros. The award ceremony was held on 29 November 2017.
The HMLS initiative is part of the “Molecular and Cellular Basis of Life” Field of Focus anchored in Heidelberg University's institutional strategy. 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 European Molecular Biology Laboratory. The award given by the Heidelberg Molecular Life Sciences initiative recognizes Prof. Kuner's involvement in the Chica and Heinz Schaller Foundation as well as her scientific contributions to Collaborative Research Centre 1158, "From Nociception to Chronic Pain", for which she is spokesperson. Rohini Kuner is also a member of the CellNetworks Cluster of Excellence at Heidelberg University.
Rohini Kuner (b. 1970) studied pharmaceutical biotechnology in India and earned her doctorate in 1994 at the University of Iowa (USA). She began working at the Centre for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University as a post-doc in 1995 and later worked for a Heidelberg bioscience company before joining the Institute of Pharmacology at Ruperto Carola in 2000. After founding her own Emmy Noether research group in 2002, she habilitated in 2005 at the Medical Faculty Heidelberg. She has been a professor of molecular pharmacology at the Institute of Pharmacology since 2006. Prof. Kuner has already been the recipient of multiple research awards.
Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of pain, especially chronic pain and how it develops and changes the nervous system. She and her research group are studying the connections of nerve cells in this context. How do these connections change in the various stages of pain disorders? The researcher hopes to discover whether the new connections are the cause of chronic pain. Aided by this basic information on "pain memory", further pharmaceutical studies will be carried out in order to target the development of new treatments.
The award ceremony at the BioQuant Centre was opened on 29 November 2017 by Prof. Dr Thomas Rausch, a bioscientist at Heidelberg University and research council coordinator of the “Heidelberg Molecular Life Sciences” initiative. Dr Rolf Sprengel of the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research delivered the address honouring the award recipient. Prof. Kuner's presentation explained her research work.