Matthias Hentze Receives HMLS Investigator Award
Posted December 19 2016
In recognition for his efforts in establishing the Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit (MMPU), Prof. Dr Matthias Hentze has received this year's HMLS Investigator Award. The Heidelberg Molecular Life Sciences (HMLS) award is endowed with 100,000 euros.

In his welcome speech, HLMS Research Council Coordinator Prof. Dr. Thomas Rausch praised the scientist for his “dedication to join forces across the life science campus”, at the same time highlighting Prof. Hentze's outstanding research on the control of gene regulation. Matthias Hentze is a researcher at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg and is one of the two directors of the MMPU, a cross-institutional research cooperation in the field of molecular medicine.


Matthias Hentze, recipient of this year's HMLS Investigator Award together with HMLS Research Council Coordinator Thomas Rausch and MMPU Co-Founder Andreas Kulozik


Prof. Dr. Andreas Kulozik, Medical Director of the Clinic for Paediatrics III – Oncology, Hematology, Immunology, and Pulmonology at Heidelberg University Hospital, made the speech in Matthias Hentze’s honor and said he “was the key driver to develop EMBL into an institute with interest in human biology”, the basis for the foundation of the MMPU as “there is a lot of interface with medicine”. The MMPU aims to apply current findings from the field of molecular biology to useful applications in daily clinical practice and to the development of personalized medical treatment strategies. Hentze and Kulozik are the co-founders of the joint venture between the Heidelberg Medical Faculty of Ruperto Carola and the EMBL in Heidelberg. Currently the MMPU consists of nine international, interdisciplinary research groups focused on different diseases such as HIV, leukemia and chronic pain.


Matthias Hentze (b.1960) studied medicine at the University of Münster and the medical schools in Southampton, Glasgow, Oxford and Cambridge. He received his doctorate in Münster, followed by a research stay at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda (USA). In 1990 he habilitated at Heidelberg University in the field of medical molecular biology. He was appointed adjunct professor at Ruperto Carola in 2005. Prof. Hentze has been conducting research at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg since 1989 and has been a director there since 2013.


Prof. Hentze opened up a new field of research in molecular biology. He studies what is known as translational control, the main processes involved in transmitting genetic information in the cell. His work is focused on gene regulation in the cytoplasm instead of the cell nucleus, which is typically primarily associated with gene regulation processes. In receiving the award, Prof. Hentze said that he was deeply moved as “this is something that comes from your colleagues”. In his opinion, Heidelberg "is the best place to do science in Europe", because all the life science institutions are here and work together. 


The Heidelberg Molecular Life Sciences (HMLS) initiative is part of the “Molecular and Cellular Basis of Life” Field of Focus anchored in Ruperto Carola’s institutional strategy. Participants include the Faculty of Biosciences, the Medical Faculties of Heidelberg and Mannheim, the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, the German Cancer Research Center and European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).



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