Awards & Honours

Dick Costolo (CEO of Twitter), Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer Doudna, and actress Cameron Diaz. PHOTO: Kimberly White/Breakthrough Prize

Emmanuelle Charpentier – group leader at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), in the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine – shared the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for her discoveries on the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9, a powerful technology for editing genomes. The award recognises “excellence in research aimed at finding cures for intractable diseases and extending human life”. Charpentier received $3 million, and was honoured together with Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna.

This has been a rewarding year for Joint Head of Unit Peer Bork. He is the fourth EMBL scientist to be elected to the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, to which he will be officially inaugurated in a ceremony in 2015. For his contribution to research development in the field of microbiology, the Japan Bifidus Foundation has honoured him with the Dr Tissier’s medal. He also received an honorary professorship at the University of Würzburg – becoming only the second individual to be so recognised by the University’s Faculty of Biology.

EMBL Director Matthias Hentze gave the 2014 Cesar Milstein Lecture – named after the Argentinian 1984 Nobel Laureate – in October, at the Leloir Institute in Buenos Aires. The following month, at Uppsala University in Sweden, he gave the third annual Lennart Philipson Memorial Lecture, honouring EMBL’s second Director General. In March 2015, he will receive the Feodor Lynen Medal at the spring meeting of the German Society for Chemistry and Molecular Biology, which recognises outstanding contributions in the subject area of the Symposium, in this case “Metals in Biology: Cellular functions and diseases”.

Tags: award, cell biology, crispr, genomics, methods, partnerships, pathogen


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