They carry out research to find answers to leukaemia, diabetes or AIDS

Jung Foundation for Science and Research announces prize winners for 2015.

Hamburg, January 8th 2015. The Hamburg-based Jung Foundation for Science and Research is announcing the winners of this year’s distinctions for top-level medicine today. The three prize awards, totalling 540,000 euros, are distinctions for pioneering medical discoveries and are an honour for projects that serve for medical advancement and the development of new therapy solutions.

The Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine with a purse of 300,000 euros goes to the microbiologist Prof. Dr Emmanuelle Charpentier PhD (46) from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Brunswick (Braunschweig). The Frenchwoman is the co-discoverer of the gene editing technology “CRISPR-Cas9”, which makes it possible to modify genes of human cells in a targeted manner. This is an approach that holds the possibility in store of long-term, individualised therapy for hereditary diseases or infectious illnesses like AIDS.

With the Ernst Jung Medal for Medicine in Gold, the foundation distinguishes the scientific life’s work of Prof. Dr med. Dr rer. nat. Dr h. c. mult. Walter Neupert (75). The renowned cell biologist is Professor for Physiological Chemistry with emeritus status at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich (München) and has been engaged at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried since 2007. His past and present works focus on the mitochondria of human cells whose malfunctioning can result in metabolic disorders such as sugar diabetes or nervous afflictions.

The Ernst Jung Career Promotional Prize for medical research with a purse totalling 210,000 euros goes to Dr med. Behzad Kharabi Masouleh (34), Assistant Physician at the Clinic for Oncology, Haematology, Haemostaseology and Stem Cell Transplantation of the University Clinic of Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen). The Iranian by birth is working on resolving signal structures of leukemic stem cells that give rise to a recurrence of leukaemia (blood cancer) and, therefore, therapeutic failures.

8 January 2015 marks the 39th year since Ernst Jung’s passing. In memory of the founder, the new prize winners are announced on that date each year. The formal award-giving ceremony will be held in Hamburg on 8 May 2015.


About the awards

The Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine, with an endowment of 300,000 euros, is one of the highest medical prize awards in Europe. The foundation was established in 1967 and has already been supporting research projects of leading-edge scientists by means of these distinctions since 1976.

The foundation decided to award the Ernst Jung Medal for Medicine in Gold in the year 1990. It is considered to be in honour of the largely concluded life’s work of researchers whose work produced significant findings for new medical therapy solutions. This is an award with special symbolic power – but not only: together with the medal, the prize winner is given the privilege of selecting a junior scientist whom a scholarship amounting to 30,000 euros at present is made available.

The Ernst Jung Career Promotional Prize also is amongst Europe’s leading awards for medicine in its category. It will be presented in 2015 for the tenth time and is intended to reinforce Germany as a scientific location. The prize money of 210,000 euros enables highly qualified junior medical talents who have spent a long time abroad to continue and intensify their research projects in Germany. Unlike the two other distinctions by the Jung Foundation, whose prize winners are nominated by the scientific Board of Trustees, junior researchers are welcome to apply for the Ernst Jung Career Promotional Prize of their own accord.