08-Apr-2019 - Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH

Inhoffen Medal 2019 awarded to specialist for synthetic organic chemistry

Medically relevant compounds can often be found in nature. To make them suitable for drugs, they need to be isolated from their natural sources. If sufficient quantities of the agent cannot be isolated in that manner, chemical synthesis comes into play. Without chemical synthesis, many agents were not available for the industrial production of drugs. Phil S. Baran of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, USA, aims to develop the “perfect synthesis”. His methods and reagents are applied in fundamental chemical research and in the production of pharmaceuticals. They are commercially marketed with much success. In honour of his outstanding achievements, he is being awarded the Inhoffen Medal by the “Friends of the HZI”, the sponsors' association of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI).

“HZI and Technische Universität Braunschweig celebrate the award of the Inhoffen Medal which is given in recognition of world-leading research in the field of total synthesis of natural agents. In just a short period of time, Phil Baran has revolutionised the synthesis of organic natural compounds and set innovative impulses in synthetic methodology as well," says Prof Peter H. Seeberger, laudator and director of the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, in honour of Baran's achievements.

Phil Baran majored in chemistry at the New York University and received his doctorate in 2001 at the Scripps Research Institute (SRI). He then worked as a scientist at Harvard University and returned to the SRI in 2003 to set up his own research group. He has received numerous awards including a Mukaiyama Award, the Emmanuel Merck Lecture and a MacArthur Fellowship.

The Inhoffen award of the HZI sponsors' association, worth €8000, is the most prestigious German award in the field of natural substance chemistry. The award will be presented in the scope of the Inhoffen Lecture, a joint event of HZI, Technische Universität Braunschweig and the Friends of the HZI. The ceremony is scheduled to be held on Friday, April 12, at 15 pm in the Forum of the HZI.

In the scope of the Inhoffen Lecture, the HZI sponsors' association also honours outstanding doctoral theses in life sciences. This year's sponsor awards, worth €1000 each, go to Dr Katharina Borst of the TWINCORE - Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research and to Dr Michael Kany of the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland, a branch location of the HZI. Borst researched the behaviour of myeloid liver cells during infection with viral hepatitis, whereas Kany investigated patho-blocker targets in pathogenic bacteria.

Facts, background information, dossiers
More about Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
  • News

    American biochemist to receive this year's Inhoffen Medal

    How do bacteria cope when exposed to toxic mercury, how are they able to outlast antibiotics, and how can they be killed using so-called "suicide inhibitors?" These are but a few of the many research topics US biochemist Christopher Walsh has devoted his career as a scientist to. Walsh will ... more

    Improving the degradation of toxic hydrocarbons

    The world-wide project "MAGICPAH", coordinated by the Braunschweiger Helmholtz-Zentrums für Infektionsforschung (Helmholtz Center for Infection Research in Braunschweig- HZI), is examining how bacterial communities are able to support the degradation of toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon ... more

More about TU Braunschweig
  • News

    Transgressing planetary boundaries: A crisis wake-up call for chemistry

    A paper just published in the journal Chemical Science calls for urgent attention to the crucial role that chemistry must play in tackling the multiple crises that are now unfolding due to the transgression of planetary boundaries. Nine boundaries, first proposed in 2009, define safe operat ... more

    How to find hidden treasures in chemistry with software

    Haem proteins come in many varieties. They are true all-rounders and provide an extraordinary number of different functions in almost every area of living nature, especially in the biological energy balance. The centre in all these different proteins is always the same molecule. But how can ... more

    Luminous Molecules

    Many people know the effect from discos when “black light” makes clothes or writing boards glow. The reason for this are so-called fluorescent dyes. They send back part of the light they are exposed to in a slightly different way and thus glow. Particularly large fluorescent molecules are o ... more

More about Scripps Research Institute