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Prof. Dr. Peter Hegemann receives Otto Warburg Medal 2018

The Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) and Elsevier/BBA honour the biophysicist for his research in the area of light-induced ion channels.

Prof. Dr. Peter Hegemann from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has been awarded the Otto Warburg Medal 2018. The Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) as well as its cooperation partners, the information analytics company Elsevier and  Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) journals, honoured the professor for experimental biophysics for his breakthrough research in the area of light-activated ion channels.

“I am honoured to receive the special award tonight", Prof. Hegemann said in Mosbach. “I want to thank the jury, I want to thank Elsevier for the financial support, but most of all, I want to thank my team, who I have been lucky to work with over the years, in good times and in bad times, and especially in the beginning of the oftentimes difficult projects.”

Prof. Hegemann’s field of expertise focuses on the structure-function relations of light-regulated proteins. His work is fundamental for basic research and provides tools for other areas within life sciences. His discovery of light-activated ion channels (channelrhodopsins), in particular, provided the foundation for the new research area of optogenetics. These channels are the most prominent representation to explain neuronal functions. It is expected that they will be able to contribute to curing neuronal illnesses in the future. “Prof. Hegemann not only revolutionized an entire field of research with his work, but also paved the way for new therapeutic approaches”, Prof. Johannes Herrmann, President of the GBM, stated. “We are more than happy to honour him with the Otto Warburg Medal."

“Elsevier stands for high quality scientific content and has brought to life numerous initiatives to promote and honour excellence in science”, Petra Ullrich, Director Europe Research Solutions at Elsevier, explained. “With his work and research, Prof. Hegemann is not only an inspiration for science, but also a role model for young researchers.”

The Otto Warburg Medal is considered to be the highest award in the area of biochemistry and molecular biology. The award promotes outstanding achievements in the area of biochemical and molecular biological basic research on an international level. The award was handed over on the occasion of the 69th Mosbacher Kolloquium. Prof. Hegemann accepted the award in person. The scientist received a cash prize of EUR 25,000 for his pioneering findings, which is intended to be used for further research.

The Otto Warburg Medal has been awarded since 1963 and enjoys great international prestige. Previous winners include leading international scholars, such as Prof. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Prof. Stefan Jentsch.

Since 2012, information analytics company Elsevier and the scientific Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) journals have been exclusive partners of the Otto Warburg Medal and sponsor the award.

Media Contacts:
Dr. Anke Lischeid
Managing Director, GBM
+49 69 660567-12

Stefanie Schieke
Associate Director, APCO Worldwide
+49 30 59 000 20-23

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