Two researchers from Munich, Germany and the United States share one of the most prestigious prizes for medical research. The 120,000 Euro awarded to the Paul Ehrlich – and Ludwig darmstaedter prize in 2019 goes to the German cell biologist Franz-Ulrich Hartl (61), and the Americans Arthur Horwich (68), such as the Paul Ehrlich-Foundation, announced on Wednesday in Frankfurt.

The two researchers are honored for their fundamental Work on protein folding. These were “of considerable relevance, because it is misfolded and clumped proteins, diseases are an important feature of many neurodegenerative, such as Alzheimer’s dementia,” said the Board of Trustees of his choice. “These unexpected discoveries have established an entirely new field of research.”

your Work made it possible to “look into the Toolbox of the cell,” said the Foundation. The proteins of all organisms are folded in a complicated process. They are in need of folding helpers called molecular Chaperones,. Shield protein chains and give you the opportunity to quickly find their correct three-dimensional shape.

Hartl is a Director at the Max-Planck-Institute for biochemistry in Munich, Horwich conducts research at the Yale School of Medicine in the United States. Horwich works, in particular, about the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Hartl, especially about Parkinson’s disease. “A better understanding of the false folds could provide important starting points for the treatments of these diseases,” said the Board of Trustees.

The EUR 60,000 young investigator award also goes to Munich. Is awarded to Dorothee Dormann (42) from the Biomedical Centrum (BMC) of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. She also works on neurodegenerative diseases. Dormann had shown that the exclusion of two proteins from the cell nucleus promotes the emergence of such diseases, it was said to the grounds. “Also Dormann hopes with your research to find points of contact for the therapy.”