Awards for two young scientists

Awards for two young scientists

This year’s Karl Lohmann Award and DGHM Graduation Award go to researchers from Tübingen, Germany


Tuebingen, October 4th, 2013. The Karl Lohmann Award 2013 goes to Dr. Jörg E. Braun for his doctoral research in the laboratory of Prof. Elisa Izaurralde, Director of the Department of Biochemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen, Germany. The award is accompanied by prize money of 2,000 Euros. The Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) awarded this prize yesterday, the 3rd of October 2013, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. On the 22nd September 2013, Dr. Shakeel Ahmad Shahid already received the DGHM Graduation Award, donated by the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM). Shahid is a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology and the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin, Germany. This award is accompanied by prize money of 500 Euros.


The Karl Lohmann Award is conferred every second year to reward young researchers under 35 years of age. Formerly donated by the Society for Biochemistry of the GDR, the prize was now awarded on the 3rd of October 2013, the German Reunification Day. Dr. Jörg E. Braun, a former PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology received this prize for his research work about post-transcriptional gene regulation, which earn him his doctoral degree in 2012 under Prof. Elisa Izaurralde, Director of the Department of Biochemistry.

Braun has already received the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society for his outstanding work on the mechanisms of miRNA-mediated gene silencing. Each year since 1978, a few young and highly gifted researchers are awarded the Otto Hahn Medal to promote their scientific career and a research period abroad. “The Karl Lohmann Award is a great prize and an accolade for the Izaurralde lab as well as for my doctoral work. I studied how mRNAs, the messenger molecules of the genetic information, get degraded when they are no longer needed by the cell. I could show that miRNAs recruit certain mRNA decay enzymes to mRNA targets to promote their degradation,” says Braun. The young scientist has been a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, USA since 2012.

A week ago, on the 22nd of September 2013, Dr. Shakeel Ahmad Shahid was awarded the DGHM Graduation Award in Rostock, Germany. The young scientist received this prize for his thesis in 2012, his publications, and his interdisciplinary research work in the fields of structural biology and microbiology, which he achieved in the context of a project financed by the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung (foundation).

The teams of project leaders Dr. Michael Habeck and Dr. Dirk Linke, Max Planck Institute of Developmental Biology, Department of Protein Evolution, and that  of Dr. Barth van Rossum (FMP), have been working for three and a half years on the project “Methods for Life Sciences”. This Tübingen-Berlin cooperation is financed for five years. The first research results have officially been recognized by the foundation and the project will continue until 2014. Shahid’s data is obtained mainly in Berlin.

Each year the DGHM donates up to five Graduation Awards for excellent theses in the field of microbiology. The dissertation must have been completed and the degree title awarded within the year prior to bestowal of the award.


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The Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology conducts basic research in the fields of biochemistry, genetics and evolutionary biology. It employs about 350 people and is located at the Max Planck Campus in Tübingen. The Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology is one of 80 research institutes that the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science maintains in Germany.

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Jörg Braun
Ahmad Shahid