Otto Warburg Medal for Peter Hegemann
Prof. Dr. Peter Hegemann from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has been awarded the Otto Warburg Medal 2018. The Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) as well as its cooperation partners, the information analytics company Elsevier and Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) journals, honoured the professor for experimental biophysics for his breakthrough research in the area of light-activated ion channels.
Prof. Hegemann’s field of expertise focuses on the structure-function relations of light-regulated proteins. His work is fundamental for basic research and provides tools for other areas within life sciences. His discovery of light-activated ion channels (channelrhodopsins), in particular, provided the foundation for the new research area of optogenetics. These channels are the most prominent representation to explain neuronal functions. It is expected that they will be able to contribute to curing neuronal illnesses in the future.