22. September 2021
Nikolaus Pfanner receives Schlei­den Medal
© Hector Fellow Academy

Leopold­ina honors Nikolaus Pfanner with Schlei­den Medal for his findings on mitochondria

Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Pfanner is a physi­cian and cell biolo­gist. He has made a decisive contri­bu­tion to the under­stand­ing of the membrane system of mitochon­dria. Together with his research team, Nikolaus Pfanner was the first in an inter­na­tional context to de-code the compo­si­tion of this cell organelle by analyz­ing the entire set of proteins found inside — the proteome. In addition, he gained exten­sive insights into how proteins that are active in the cellu­lar power plants reach their point of action.

Many of his findings have found their way into cell biology and biochem­istry textbooks. In addition, he has contributed to the under­stand­ing of diseases, since malfunc­tions in protein trans­port can lead to serious diseases, especially of the nervous system and muscles.

The Schlei­den Medal is named after Academy member Matthias Jacob Schlei­den (1804–1881). The botanist is a co-founder of the cell theory. The medal has been awarded by the Leopold­ina since 1955 for outstand­ing findings in the field of cell biology.

Congrat­u­la­tions to Nikolaus Pfanner!