Nav: Home

Copernicus Award 2016 for German-Polish Collaboration in Molecular Cell Biology

April 11, 2016

For their services to German-Polish research cooperation, Professor Dr. Agnieszka Chaci?ska, International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw, and Professor Dr. Peter Rehling, University of Göttingen, have been chosen to receive the Copernicus Award 2016, presented by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP). The jury representing the DFG and FNP selected the two researchers for their "pioneering work" in the field of molecular cell biology. Their research, said the joint jury, has generated new basic knowledge of the targeted transport of proteins inside cells. Their work on the mechanism that allows proteins to be transported into the mitochondria, a type of organelle, has had a profound impact on our understanding of the biogenesis of mitochondria. The Copernicus Award of 200,000 euros will be presented on June 7, 2016 in Warsaw by the presidents of the DFG and the FNP, Professor Dr. Peter Strohschneider and Professor Dr. Maciej ?ylicz.

Professors Rehling and Chaci?ska have been working together for many years and have produced numerous joint publications. Their collaboration began 15 years ago at the University of Freiburg and has continued to this day.

Agnieszka Chaci?ska has led the Laboratory of Mitochondrial Biogenesis at the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw since 2009. It was also in the Polish capital that she obtained her biology degree and doctorate. She then worked in Germany between 2001 and 2009, first as a postdoctoral researcher and then as a group leader at the University of Freiburg. For three years she led a project within the Freiburg-based Collaborative Research Centre "Functional Specificity by Coupling and Modification of Proteins". Between 2008 and 2009 she was also an associate member of the cluster of excellence "BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies". She completed her habilitation in 2008 at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics in Warsaw and in 2014 was appointed full professor by the President of Poland. She has won numerous accolades for her scientific work, most recently an award from the Polish Academy of Sciences in 2015. The aim of her research is to understand the dynamic processes involved in the formation of organelles and the biogenesis of mitochondria.

Peter Rehling has been a professor and director in the Department of Cellular Biochemistry at the University of Göttingen since 2007. His research interest is the molecular processes that allow proteins to pass through the membranes of mitochondria. He studies the ways in which multiprotein complexes on and in the membrane control these processes and how proteins transported into the cell transform themselves into multiprotein complexes. After obtaining his biology degree and then his doctorate in Bochum as part of a DFG-funded Research Training Group, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California in San Diego, USA, before returning to Germany to complete his habilitation in Freiburg. Here he worked as the group leader of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre, "Cellular Functions of Dynamic Protein Interactions". Since 2010 Rehling has been the deputy spokesperson for the Collaborative Research Centre "Integrative Structural Biology of Dynamic Macromolecular Assemblies" and this year he was appointed spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Centre "Compartmental Gates and Contact Sites in Cells". In 2013 he also received an ERC Advanced Grant.

The two cell biologists are the sixth pair to receive the Copernicus Award from the DFG and the FNP, which since 2006 has been conferred every two years to two researchers, one from Germany and one from Poland. It takes its name from the astronomer Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543) and is intended to symbolise the close research collaboration between the countries. The prize money is donated by the DFG and the FNP in equal shares and is divided evenly between the two prizewinners, who may use it for any scientific purpose that is within the scope of the funding programmes of both organisations. Priority should be given to jointly supporting early career researchers.
-end-
Further Information

Media contact:

DFG Press and Public Relations
Tel. 49-228-885-2443
presse@dfg.de

DFG programme contact:

Dr. Wilma Rethage
International Affairs
Tel. 49-228-885-2494
Wilma.Rethage@dfg.de

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Related Proteins Articles:

Coupled proteins
Researchers from Heidelberg University and Sendai University in Japan used new biotechnological methods to study how human cells react to and further process external signals.
Understanding the power of honey through its proteins
Honey is a culinary staple that can be found in kitchens around the world.
How proteins become embedded in a cell membrane
Many proteins with important biological functions are embedded in a biomembrane in the cells of humans and other living organisms.
Finding the proteins that unpack DNA
A new method allows researchers to systematically identify specialized proteins called 'nuclesome displacing factors' that unpack DNA inside the nucleus of a cell, making the usually dense DNA more accessible for gene expression and other functions.
A brewer's tale of proteins and beer
The transformation of barley grains into beer is an old story, typically starring water, yeast and hops.
More Proteins News and Proteins Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...