The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina presents Anthony Hyman, director at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden and member of the CSBD with the Schleiden Medal. The scientist receives the award for outstanding scientific work in the field of cell biology. The award ceremony will take place at the festive opening of the Annual Meeting of the Leopoldina in Halle (Saale) on Friday, 22 September 2017.
Prof. Dr. Anthony Hyman (born 1962) is one of the most influential cell biologists of our time. His research focusses on processes of cell division and the cytoskeleton. One major achievement is the functional genome research on embryos of the nematode C. elegans. Hyman carried out the first genome-wide RNA screening with C. elegans, in order to systematically study its genome. He also comprehensively described the cell division in the C. elegans embryo and identified the significant genes involved in this process. These findings fundamentally changed the view on the development of genetic defects.
Another aspect of Hyman’s research deals with functional compartments in the cytoplasm which do not have a membrane. They are formed when liquid components separate from other components in the cell. Hyman was able to show which proteins control the formation of such liquid compartments and how this process is reversed, for example by misfolded proteins. In this case, proteins clump and can become the trigger for degenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Anthony Hyman studied zoology at the University of London. He received his PhD in 1988 from King's College in Cambridge (UK) and subsequently worked at the University of California in San Francisco (USA). In 1993 he moved to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. Since 1998, Anthony Hyman has served as a Director of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden. Anthony Hyman was awarded the EMBO Gold Medal in 2003 and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize in 2011 for his achievements.
The Schleiden Medal is named after the academy member Matthias Jacob Schleiden (1804-1881). The botanist is one of the founders of the cell theory. The medal has been awarded by the Leopoldina since 1955 for outstanding findings in the field of cell biology.
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