Honorary Doctorate from Freie Universität Berlin for Reinhard Georg Lührmann
Recognition as world’s leading scientist in the field of RNA biochemistry
№ 171/2020 from Sep 28, 2020
The esteemed biochemist Prof. Dr. Reinhard Georg Lührmann, emeritus director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Freie Universität Berlin. It was awarded on September 25, 2020, at the Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Freie Universität Berlin as part of a small ceremony adapted to the current pandemic situation. With the award, the Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Pharmacy recognized the extraordinary scientific achievements of the biochemist, in particular his pioneering work on the spliceosome. Reinhard Georg Lührmann made significant discoveries about the molecular composition, the working principles, and the atomic structure of the spliceosome as well as contributing to a better understanding of the splicing reaction.
The spliceosome is a highly complex, dynamic molecular machine in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. It catalyzes an essential step in gene expression, the cutting of introns (non-coding sections) from the pre-mRNA and the assembly of exons (coding sections). This reaction, known as splicing, produces the finished mRNA, which can then be transcribed into a protein. Many diseases can be traced to defects in the splicing reaction, which underlines the central role of the spliceosome in releasing genetic information.
Reinhard Georg Lührmann is one of the leading RNA biochemists worldwide. He was a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Philipps University of Marburg. In 1999, he moved to the Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen as director. He currently heads an emeritus group there. In 1996 he won a Leibniz Prize, the most important research award in Germany. He has also won a Feldberg Prize (2002), the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine (2003), the Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Science of the International RNA Society (2014), the International Prize of the President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2017) and an honorary doctorate from Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland (2019).
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