Walter Neupert, 1939 - 2019
June 27, 2019
Walter Neupert studied chemistry and medicine at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. In 1968, he received his PhD here in the field of biochemistry. The subject of his thesis – mitochondria, the cells’ powerhouses – became his main research field throughout his scientific career. During his professorial appointments at University of Göttingen (1977-1983) and Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (1983-2010), he studied the genesis and architecture of mitochondria with a focus on how proteins are transported through the mitochondrial membrane. Walter Neupert helped to develop biochemistry from a basic research topic into a medical research one. Mitochondrial defects lie at the bottom of numerous illnesses like cancer, heart diseases, and metabolic disorders. From 2008 on, Walter Neupert, who felt deeply attached to the Munich area, continued his research as a Max Planck Fellow at the MPI of Biochemistry in Martinsried. He had found his life’s destiny in pursuing his ideas in the lab and collaborating with young colleagues. Only a few weeks ago, he published a paper together with colleagues from Munich and Japan about a mechanism controlling the quality of proteins in mitochondria. Walter Neupert’s influence on science will continue long after his death – in the meantime, many of his students themselves have developed into leading scientists in the field of cell biology.