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Franz-Ulrich Hartl and Arthur Horwich named 2019 Dr. Paul Janssen Award Winners

Franz-Ulrich Hartl and Arthur Horwich named 2019 Dr. Paul Janssen Award Winners

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For revolutionary insights into the fundamental molecular process of protein folding

F.-Ulrich Hartl, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, and Arthur Horwich of Yale School of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute were named winners of the 2019 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research. Selected by an independent committee of world-renowned scientists, Hartl and Horwich won for their revolutionary insights into chaperone-mediated protein folding. Hartl expressed his delight to have been selected as one of the winners of the Dr. Paul Janssen Award. “This is a fantastic honor and recognition of the work of my laboratory”, he said. The award includes a $200,000 prize and will be presented at ceremonies in the USA and Belgium in September

Proteins are the molecules in cells that drive almost every biological process. Through their collaboration, Hartl and Horwich discovered that proteins are folded into their proper shape with the help of other specialized proteins called molecular chaperones. This process allows the proteins to reach their functional shape, which enables them to perform their biological function. These insights have broad implications throughout biology and medicine, and hold promise for the development of new therapeutic strategies for treating diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer, in which defects in protein folding are involved.  

Their studies revolutionized our understanding of how proteins achieve their shape and revealed how defects in this process may contribute to a variety of disorders ranging from metabolic to neurodegenerative diseases.

Drs. Hartl and Horwich combined their brilliant insights and elegant approaches to overturn the dogma of their day about the process of protein folding,” said David Julius, Chair of the 2019 Dr. Paul Janssen Award selection committee. “Their studies revolutionized our understanding of how proteins achieve their shape and revealed how defects in this process may contribute to a variety of disorders ranging from metabolic to neurodegenerative diseases.

In memory of Dr. Paul Janssen

The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research was established by Johnson & Johnson in 2004 to honor the memory of Paul Janssen – founder of Janssen Pharmaceutica. Since its inception, the Award has recognized 16 outstanding scientists, three of whom have gone on to win the Nobel Prize for the same work. Winners are chosen by an independent selection committee of the world’s most renowned scientists. The Award, which includes a $200,000 prize, is presented at ceremonies in the U.S. and Belgium in September. For more information: http://www.pauljanssenaward.com/