Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine 2013: Professor Dr. Angelika Amon and Professor Ivan Dikic MD PhD


Professor Dr. Angelika Amon

The winner of the 2013 Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine, Professor Dr. Angelika Amon, holds the Kathleen and Curtis Marble Chair for Cancer Research at Howard Hughes Medical Institute of the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Born in 1967 in Vienna, the Austrian-American scientist has devoted her research to the problem of aneuploidy. This term describes a gene mutation in which there are too many or few individual chromosomes in addition to a normal chromosome set. Assuming the consequences are not already fatal, both cases can cause detriments to the health of the severest nature: mental disability, miscarriages and even cancer.

Professor Amon is receiving the prize for her groundbreaking investigations of correct and improper chromosome segregation and, in turn, the mechanisms which lead to such consequences, above all tumours. Knowledge of the regulatory circuits is the key to understanding abnormal cell division processes which are characteristic of cancer. Thanks to Professor Amon’s research, the discovery of new possibilities in tumour treatment can be expected on the long term.

Professor Ivan Dikic MD PhD

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.’