Can something which is everywhere also be useful everywhere?

Research on the ubiquitin signal pathway identify new modes of attack for medications.

Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine 2013 winner Professor Ivan Đikić, MD PhD, is professor of biochemistry and director of the Institute for Biochemistry II at the Faculty of Medicine at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main and director of the Molecular Signalling work group. He is also director of the Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (BMLS). Born in 1966 in Zagreb, Croatia, the scientist has focused on the signal pathway of the marker peptide ubiquitin. ‘Ubiquitous’ means ‘omnipresent,’ and ubiquitin is in fact present in all nucleated cells of living organisms; it is of the utmost importance in cell biology.

With his groundbreaking work on the ubiquitin signal pathway, Professor Đikić has succeeded not only in gaining new insights into fundamental cellular mechanisms and into the molecular cause of a great many diseases, but also in identifying new target proteins for the development of new medicines. The Jung Foundation for Science and Research is presenting him with the 2013 Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine for his research on ‘clarifying the function of ubiquitin modifications central control signals in cellular processes.’