F.-Ulrich Hartl receives Herbert Tabor Research Award

April 19, 2013

Proteins are the molecular building blocks and machinery of cells and are involved in practically all biological processes. Together with his US-colleague Arthur L. Horwich of Yale School of Medicine, F.-Ulrich Hartl, director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried near Munich, receives this year´s Herbert Tabor Research Award of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) for his research in protein folding. The award coming with a 30,000 US-Dollar (around 23,200 Euros) honorarium is given in acknowledgement of excellent scientific achievements in the fields of biological chemistry and molecular biology and honors outstanding members of the ASBMB.

Hartl and Horwich were the first scientists to identify and characterize a group of proteins called chaperones. These important molecular machines help other proteins fold properly into their three dimensional structure. Both researchers did not only unravel the function but also the structure and the complete molecular operating mechanism of this protein group. Because faulty proteins also play a role in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson´s, the results of the scientists could contribute significantly to developing new drugs for the treatment of these diseases.

“We are delighted to receive this award. It shows us that our scientific work in the field of protein folding is highly recognized by the large community of biochemists and molecular biologists represented by the ASBMB,” says Ulrich Hartl. The ASBMB is one of the most important scientific societies with over 12,000 members from all around the world. Both scientists will each deliver an Award Lecture and receive the prize on April 20, 2013, in Boston.

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