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Klung Wilhelmy Science Award for Philipp Kukura

Chemist from the University of Oxford received the award at Freie Universität Berlin on November 22, 2018

№ 333/2018 from Nov 22, 2018

The chemistry professor Philipp Kukura received the 2018 Klung Wilhelmy Science Award. The prize, worth 60,000 euros, was awarded on Thursday, November 22, 2018, in the Henry Ford Building at Freie Universität. A researcher at the University of Oxford, Kukura was recognized for his pioneering work on the development and application of imaging methods on the visualization and characterization of individual biomolecules.

Philipp Kukura grew up in Hamburg and studied chemistry at the University of Oxford and the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a Ph.D. in 2006. Following four years as a postdoctoral researcher with Professor Vahid Sandoghdar at ETH Zürich, Kukura returned to the University of Oxford as an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellow. In 2016 he was appointed a professor of chemistry there. Kukura has received numerous awards, including the Harrison Meldola Medal, the Marlow Award der Royal Society of Chemistry, the Young Investigator Award, a medal from the European Biophysical Society, and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. In 2018 he was one of the finalists of the UK Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists. Kukura leads an interdisciplinary research group, partly funded by an ERC Starting Grant, whose members develop and apply optical methods to study biological molecules. He is the founder and director of Arago Biosciences, a start-up founded in 2018, which enables the development and characterization of new pharmaceutical agents and diagnostic tools by applying these optical methods in the life sciences.

The Klung Wilhelmy Science Prize honors leading young researchers. It is awarded in cooperation between the Otto Klung Foundation at Freie Universität Berlin and the Dr. Wilhelmy Foundation. In alternating years it goes to a chemist or a physicist respectively. Five of the previous winners later went on to win a Nobel Prize – physicists Theodor W. Hänsch, Gerd K. Binnig, Horst L. Störmer, and Johann Georg Bednorz and the chemist Hartmut Michel. Other winners were later honored with various major national and international awards.

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