Developing therapeutics for diabetes: Matthias Tschöp receives the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine 2021 for the development of therapeutics for the principal metabolic diseases


Hamburg, 20 May 2021. Adiposity and diabetes are two of the most widespread conditions affecting people in the world today and increase the risk of severe Covid-19 as well as other illnesses such as cancer. Professor Dr. med. Dr. h. c. Matthias H. Tschöp from the Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich and the Technical University of Munich is receiving the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine 2021 for his outstanding work and discoveries in this field. The award, with a total prize fund of €300,000, is presented each year by the Jung Foundation for Science and Research in Hamburg to leading researchers whose projects make a significant contribution to medical progress.

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Matthias Tschöp has been conducting research for more than 20 years into the development of improved active substances against the metabolic disorders of adiposity and diabetes which are prevalent in western industrialised countries. Early in his research career, he made a series of groundbreaking discoveries on the molecular communication between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain. These findings enabled him to develop novel drug candidates, including a separate class of therapeutics known as hormone polyagonists. Many of these polyagonists are now successfully in phase II and III clinical trials and are considered some of the most promising approaches currently available for combating the widespread diseases of adiposity and type 2 diabetes.

Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine recognises and supports Tschöp’s research teams

Matthias Tschöp has already received more than 30 national and international awards. He is now the recipient of the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine 2021. ‘The Jung Foundation for Science and Research is known for its commitment to the advancement of medicine both nationally and internationally. My personal journey through life has taken me from medicine to science, from Germany to the world, and from the academic landscape to biotech and the pharmaceutical industry and back. In doing so, I have ultimately learned that transformative potential is often found at the meeting points between these worlds,’ says Tschöp. ‘The Ernst Jung Prize has always recognised groundbreaking discoveries that have become possible at these meeting points between medicine and science – between basic research and application. They include many examples, such as the works of Harald zur Hausen and Emmanuelle Charpentier, who are an inspiration and role models to me.’ Matthias Tschöp shares the prize equally with the natural product researcher Professor Dr. rer. nat. Christian Hertweck based in Jena. Accordingly, he will receive €150,000 to recognise and further promote his work. The Jung Foundation has been committed to the advancement of human medicine for over 40 years. With the Ernst Jung Prize as well as two additional awards, the Foundation provides more than half a million euros each year for the benefit of science.