10. May 2019

Humboldt Professorship: Dietmar Schmucker will research at the University of Bonn Humboldt Professorship: Dietmar Schmucker will research at the University of Bonn

Nine top researchers from abroad were honored on Thursday evening in Berlin with the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, Germany's highest research award endowed with up to 5 million euros. The award serves to attract renowned scientists from abroad to conduct research at German universities. The President of the Humboldt Foundation, Hans-Christian Pape, presented the awards together with the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek. Prof. Dr. Dietmar Schmucker will begin his research at the University of Bonn with the establishment of a center for fundamental research in neuroscience.

Group picture:
Group picture: - The president of the Humboldt Foundation Prof. Dr. Hans-Christian Pape (sixth from left) with the Humboldt Professors and the rector of the University of Bonn Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Michael Hoch (second from left). © Photo: Humboldt Foundation/David Ausserhofer

"Whoever comes to Germany with the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship should make a difference," emphasized Hans-Christian Pape, President of the Humboldt Foundation, and called on the prize winners: "They have come to make changes, they should bring a breath of fresh air into our system. This also applies to the dialogue with the public: get involved, talk about your research, bring-in your knowledge and your intellect".

A prominent researcher in molecular neurosciences, Prof. Schmucker investigates the genetic basis that leads to the interconnection of nerve cells in the brain. In the human brain, billions of nerve cells are interconnected in complex networks. Malfunctions in their interconnection are often the cause of neurological diseases. Prof. Schmucker has developed methods and techniques that help us to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the interconnection of the nervous system. His basic research is therefore of great medical relevance. In Bonn, Prof. Schmucker is planning to establish a neuroscience center. This, in cooperation with existing research institutes including the University of Bonn’s LIMES Institute, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Caesar Research Center, the city of Bonn will assume a prominent position in German neuroscience research.

"Professor Schmucker is an internationally leading brain researcher. He has discovered important basics of the genetic coding of synapse formation in the central nervous system and will decisively strengthen the neurosciences in Bonn," says Prof. Dr. Waldemar Kolanus, Managing Director of the LIMES Institute at the University of Bonn.

Prof. Schmucker is currently at the Center for Brain and Disease Research at the VIB Institute and the University of Leuven (Belgium). He studied biology at the University of Ulm, Kyoto University (Japan) and the University of Munich. He completed his doctorate at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and at the LMU in Munich. Prof. Schmucker worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University (New York City) and at the University of California Los Angeles. At Harvard Medical School he started his independent laboratory as assistant professor and then associate professor. Since the end of 2009, he has been a professor at the University of Leuven, where he is leading a major project on the developmental biology of neuronal circuits. He is a member of the renowned European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and has been awarded several prizes during his career.

Press release of the Humboldt Foundation: http://www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/pressemitteilung-2019-09.html

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQnkW7VVmGU

Festive event in Berlin:
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