Jung Foundation for Science and Research presents 2021 medical awards in digital form


Hamburg, 20 May 2021. Today, the Jung Foundation for Science and Research presents its three awards for cutting-edge medicine in the fields of metabolism, natural product research, immunology and neurology. With a total prize fund of €540,000, they are among the most highly endowed medical awards in Europe.

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The Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine, with a prize fund of €300,000, benefits scientists whose projects have contributed significantly to the progress in human medicine and who can be expected to continue to do so in the future. This year, the prize goes to the natural product researcher Professor Dr. rer. nat. Christian Hertweck and the metabolism researcher Professor Dr. med. Dr. h. c. Matthias H. Tschöp. Christian Hertweck is deputy director at the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans-Knöll Institute (HKI) – in Jena as well as head of the department for Biomolecular Chemistry there. He also holds the Chair of Natural Products Chemistry at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. He is receiving the award for his pioneering work on bioactive natural substances such as metabolic products of microorganisms, from which new active substances can be developed. Matthias H. Tschöp is the scientific director and spokesperson of the management board at the Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich. For more than 20 years, the award-winning physician and scientist has been fighting two widespread diseases that are particularly common in western industrialised nations. He is now being honoured for his pioneering research into new therapeutics for adiposity and diabetes.

The Ernst Jung Gold Medal for Medicine honours the entire lifetime achievements of scientists who have made and continue to make a exceptional contribution to the progress in medicine. In 2021, it is being awarded to the internationally renowned immunologist Professor Antonio Lanzavecchia, M.D., for his significant contribution to the current understanding of how the immune system works and how immunisation mechanisms take place. He is emeritus professor at ETH Zurich and at USI Lugano and senior research fellow and the scientific founder of Humabs Biomed, a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical company Vir Biotechnology. He is continuing his academic research at the National Institute of Molecular Genetics, INGM, in Milan, Italy. The prize comes with a scholarship of €30,000, which he can award to a young scientist of his choosing.

The Ernst Jung Career Advancement Award for Medical Research supports young physicians and promotes them to launch and develop first independent research projects with a total amount of €210,000 over three years. This year, the award goes to Dr. Dr. med. Randolph Helfrich, an aspiring neurologist, for his research project on the role of sleep in the physiology and pathophysiology of memory systems, which can contribute to methods of diagnosing and treating neurological disorders. Randolph Helfrich is an assistant physician in the neurology department at the Clinic of Neurology at Tübingen University Hospital, focusing on the area of epileptology. He is also the leader of a working group at the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research at Tübingen University Hospital.

The Ernst Jung Career Advancement Award is the only one of the three awards that is open to applications. It is aimed at young medical specialists, who have carried out at least two years of scientific research work abroad, and want to work at a German hospital to intensify their research and to simultaneously complete their residency. The current call for proposals runs until August 2021. For more information, visit www.jung-stiftung.de.