Awardees 2013

Joschka Bauer received the prize for his master thesis “Characterization of spider silk proteins with non-repetitive amino terminal domains”. He studied biochemistry at the Universität Bay­reuth and worked for his mas­ter thesis in the department of engineering science in the division for bio­materials, headed by Professor Thomas Scheibel. He continued to work on this topic as a doctoral student.

Michaela Blech was awarded the prize for her doctoral work on the “Structural and biophysical characterization of antigen:antibody binding interfaces and their potential biological implications in GM-CSF and inter­leukin-1β signalling”, performed between 2009 and 2013. Her project was embedded in a fruitful collaboration between the laboratories of Pro­fessor M. Hafner at the Hochschule Mannheim and of Dr. M. Bauer in the division for structural research of Boehringer Ingelheim in Biberach. Her results led to an improved understanding of how antigens are recognized by antibodies raised against them. At present, she works as a research scientist for Boehringer Ingelheim.

Tilman Plass received the award for his doctoral work on the “Develop­ment of a new technique for covalent labeling of proteins inside living cells”, performed between 2009 and 2013 at the EMBL in Heidel­berg in the group of Dr. E. A. Lemke. He studied chemistry and biology at the universities in Göttingen and in Brisbane/Australia, and he received a diploma degree in both programs. The work of Tilman opened new ave­nues for the incorporation of non-natural amino acids during cellular pro­tein biosynthesis as well as for their chemical modification. His results lead to new powerful possibilities for examining and for modifying pro­teins in the cellular context. He published his work in excellent journals, among others in Angewandte Chemie, in J. Am. Chem. Soc. and in Na­ture Chemistry.

Matthias Müller received the prize for his doctoral work on “Mecha­nisms of the reversible enzymatic adenylylation of Rab protei­ns”, performed between 2009 and 2013 at the Max-Planck-Institut für mole­kulare Physi­ologie in Dortmund in the laboratory of Professor Roger Goody. In this groundbreaking piece of work, he discovered a novel covalent modifica­tion of Rab proteins, performed by pathogenic microorganisms such as Legionella pneumophila. Excellent publications resulted from his work, among others a highly cited first-author paper in Science. Matthias stud­ied biochemistry at the Universität Halle.