Susan Lindquist Recognized for Contributing to Molecular Understanding of Parkinson's Disease
Mosbach, Germany, Mar. 27, 2008 - American scientist Susan Lindquist, Ph.D., was awarded today the Otto Warburg Medal in Mosbach, Germany. The medal is considered the most prestigious German award for biochemists and molecular biologists, and is awarded by the German Association of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM). Seven recipients of the Otto Warburg Medal have subsequently received the Nobel Prize. This year's prize was sponsored by QIAGEN.
Dr. Lindquist is member of the Whitehead Institute, professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The award recognized her research into the field of protein folding, allowing a greater understanding of serious diseases like Parkinson's. "I am very proud to receive the Otto Warburg Medal of the GBM. I also appreciate QIAGEN's commitment to furthering research in biochemistry and molecular biology by sponsoring this prize," said Dr. Lindquist.
Proteins are essential components of all organisms and participate in every process within cells. Susan Lindquist has dedicated her research to these biomolecules, particularly to how they manage to build their shape - a process called protein folding. One of her important findings is that a dysfunction in the folding of the molecules' three-dimensional structure can have profound influence on the development of human diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Lindquist and colleagues have developed yeast strains that serve as living test tubes in which these disorders can be studied, revealing the role of protein folding. For instance, she has succeeded in reproducing many of the biological consequences of Parkinson's in yeast cells and her team is screening for drugs to prevent and treat the disease.
Lindquist's wide-ranging investigations in protein folding also have included prions - the so-called small proteinaceous infectious particles. Prions are proteins that can change into a self-perpetuating infective form. They have become well-known in the last decades as the cause of the mad cow and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Lindquist investigated how prions form and then trigger these diseases.
"Susan Lindquist's findings in the field of protein folding are groundbreaking," said Prof. Alfred Wittinghofer, President of the GBM. "It is only because of her outstanding research that we understand today many human and animal diseases such as mad cow disease. If one day these severe diseases can be cured, Susan's research will have been a crucial contributing factor."
Dr. Birgit Jostes, Senior Global Director Corporate Marketing and Strategy at QIAGEN, said: "It is an honor for us to be able to contribute to the success of internationally recognized scientists through the sponsorship of the Otto Warburg Medal. Through our innovative sampling and testing technologies, it is QIAGEN's mission to contribute to the success of our customers as they pioneer discoveries such as Susan Lindquist's. Those findings serve as the basis for the development of effective therapies against most challenging diseases."
Find out more about the Otto Warburg Medal at www.otto-warburg-medaille.org.
About the Otto Warburg Medal: The Otto Warburg Medal has been awarded by the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) since 1963. It honors scientists who have made first-class, internationally recognized contributions in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology. The focus is on outstanding personalities who enjoy an excellent reputation extending far beyond their specialist field and beyond their particular country of origin. The Otto Warburg Medal is regarded as the highest award for biochemists and molecular biologists in Germany. For those honored, this scientific distinction is usually not their last: seven of the previous prize-winners went on to receive a Nobel prize.The Medal has been endowed with prize money of 25,000 euros since 2007, sponsored exclusively by QIAGEN. Further information about the Medal and awardees can be found at www.otto-warburg-medaille.org.
About GBM: The German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) is the largest professional association for the life sciences in Germany. With its almost 5,500 members, it is committed to serving the interests of all those working and researching in the dynamic and promising disciplines of chemistry, medicine and biology - from professors to first-year students. Whether it is the German Research Foundation, journalists, the authorities, or professional associations in other disciplines: anyone needing to call on expertise in questions of biochemistry and molecular biological sciences turns first and foremost to the GBM. Further information about GBM can be found at www.gbm-online.de.
About QIAGEN: QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company, is the leading global provider of sample and assay technologies. Sample technologies are used to isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from biological samples such as blood or tissue. Assay technologies are used to make such isolated biomolecules visible. QIAGEN has developed and markets more than 500 consumable products as well as automated solutions for such consumables. The company provides its products to molecular diagnostics laboratories, academic researchers, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and applied testing customers for purposes such as forensics, animal or food testing and pharmaceutical process control. QIAGEN's assay technologies include one of the broadest panels of molecular diagnostic tests available worldwide. This panel includes the only FDA-approved test for human papillomavirus (HPV), the primary cause of cervical cancer. QIAGEN employs more than 2,600 people in over 30 locations worldwide. Further information about QIAGEN can be found at www.qiagen.com.
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