Richard Willstätter Prize for Chemical Biology goes to Annette Beck-Sickinger

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[Press release from 25/01/2023; author: DECHEMA, Nina Viogt]
Annette G. Beck-Sickinger, Professor of Biochemistry and Bioorganic Chemistry, has received the Richard Willstätter Prize for Chemical Biology 2023. The prize honors research achievements that make a decisive contribution to a deeper understanding of chemical-biological relationships. The prize, which is jointly sponsored by four scientific societies – DECHEMA, DPhG, GBM and GDCh – is awarded by the joint Chemical Biology Division. The prize money amounts 6,000 euros. The award ceremony took place on the occasion of the Advances in Chemical Biology conference on January 24, 2023.

Annette G. Beck-Sickinger has advanced important areas of chemical biology, particularly through her research on peptide-protein interactions. Her research topics range from studies on interactions of peptide and protein ligands with G-protein coupled receptors, their modulation and elucidation of mechanisms of action, to the development of therapeutic peptides and proteins for the treatment of metabolic diseases, in tumor therapy and in pain research. She is also investigating the chemical modification of proteins for molecular characterization of their function, selective immobilization of proteins on surfaces, and development of novel biomaterials through functional coatings. The awardee is also distinguished by her extraordinary commitment to sustainably advancing the discipline of chemical biology in scientific discourse, teaching, and society.

With diploma degrees in biology and chemistry, Annette G. Beck-Sickinger received her habilitation in 1989 from the University of Tübingen, where she worked in 1995 after research stays at the Scripps Clinic & Research Foundation, La Jolla/USA, at the ETH Zurich and at Rigshospitalet Copenhagen. Since 1997 she has been Professor of Bioorganic Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Leipzig.

Annette G. Beck-Sickinger is Vice President of the Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a member of the Saxon Academy of Science, the German National Academy Leopoldina, the Göttingen Academy of Sciences, and in the Senate of the DFG. Since 2020, she is the spokesperson of the SFB1423 “Structural dynamics of GPCR activation and signaling”.

She has been awarded various prizes, including the Leonidas Zervas Award of the European Peptide Society (2020), the Gold Medal of the Max Bergmann Circle, and the Albrecht Kossel Prize of the German Chemical Society (2018). In 2017, she received the Saxon Order of Merit.

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