Otto Warburg Medal 2016 awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier

Frankfurt am Main, September 29th, 2015 – The winner of the Otto Warburg Medal has been chosen. On April 1st, 2016, the French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier will be awarded the renowned prize. Thereby, the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) and its partner Elsevier and Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) will honour the scientist for developing a method that helps to repair defective DNA sequences. Charpentier, who is tipped for the Nobel Prize laureate, will utilize the prize money of 25,000 Euros for her research.

“The Otto Warburg Medal has been awarded to many remarkable scientists in the past, and I am honored that my work on the CRISPR-Cas9 system is being recognized with this prestigious award. I am truly grateful for the commitment and enthusiasm my team has put into this project, and I hope that our discoveries will inspire many young scientists to pursue a career in basic life sciences,” says Emmanuelle Charpentier.

The scientist’s discovery is a milestone in the field of molecular biology, and will have a long-lasting, positive effect on the life of many people. Emmanuelle Charpentier’s findings can help advance the treatment of genetic or chronic diseases, such as AIDS or cancer. She has proven that bacteria, due to so-called “molecular scissors,” are able to remove the infiltration of genetic material. Emmanuel Charpentier utilizes such a mechanism to develop a molecular biological tool, which acts as a novel approach to treating severe human diseases.

“We are very pleased to be able to award the Otto Warburg Medal to such an important scientist,” states Prof. Johannes Buchner, president of GBM. “Emmanuelle Charpentier’s findings underline the importance of basic research. Only now is the development of new concepts for genome editing possible. This technology will continue to benefit science and we predict its medical application to be possible in the future.“

The Otto Warburg Medal is underlining the importance of excellent scientific research vis-à-vis young academics and the public. “Emmanuelle Charpentier is an impressive researcher, whose scientific results are providing hope to seriously ill persons and their relatives. Moreover, it acts as the starting point for further scientific literature in the area of cell biology,” says Dolors Alsina, Executive Publisher at Elsevier/BBA. “Women remain underrepresented in science. All the more, we are pleased that we are awarding the Otto Warburg Medal 2016 to a female scientist who can inspire young female academics to become active in science.”

Previous year’s winners include leading international scholars like Prof. Randy Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley, who was honored with the medal on the anniversary of the science award in October 2013. Shortly after, Schekman also received the Nobel Prize.

The Otto Warburg Medal has been awarded since 1963, and enjoys great international prestige. Since 2012, the scientific publisher Elsevier has been an exclusive partner of the Otto Warburg Medal and sponsors the award in collaboration with the leading journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA).

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Media Contacts:
Dr. Anke Lischeid
Managing Director, GBM
+49 69 660567-12

Stefanie Schieke
Consultant, APCO Worldwide
+49 30 59 000 20-23

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