November 14, 2014
Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Berlin – This year the Robert Koch Foundation’s €100,000 Robert Koch Award is being equally divided between Professors >> Jean-Laurent Casanova from Rockefeller University / Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New York, USA, and >> Alain Fischer from the Collège de France and Imagine Institute, Hôpital Necker-Enfants-Malades, Paris, France. The two scientists are being honored for their groundbreaking work on understanding host genes and their products in infectious diseases. Emeritus Professor >> Hermann Bujard from the Centre for Molecular Biology at Heidelberg University is being awarded the Robert Koch Gold Medal for his life’s work, in particular for his research on malaria infections.
Also presented at the ceremony were the Robert Koch Foundation Postdoctoral Awards for outstanding work by young scientists, which come with prize money of 5,000 euros each. The German Societies for Hygiene and Microbiology, Immunology and Virology are each entitled to nominate suitable candidates. Dr. rer. nat. >> Dr. rer. nat. Tim Lämmermann, Bethesda, USA, received the immunology award for his research into the analysis of the migration of immune cells. Dr. >> Dr. Benedikt B. Kaufer, Berlin, received the Microbiology Award in recognition of his studies on the analysis of virus-associated tumors. The post-doctoral award for virology went to Dr. >> Dr. Kai Papenfort, Princeton, USA, for his research on the role of regulatory RNA molecules in pathogens.
Annette Widmann-Mauz, state secretary of the Federal Minister of Health, highlighted the work of the award winners, who are leading the fight against infectious diseases in the service of science. “How important this fight is and how big the challenges are in providing promising treatment methods is demonstrated especially in times of Ebola. This is why research in this field remains a paramount need.”