Scientific highlights


Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize for Henriette Uhlenhaut

Professor Henriette Uhlenhaut will receive the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize 2019. She is Group Leader at the Institute for Diabetes and Cancer at Helmholtz Zentrum München and Professor of Metabolic Biochemistry and Genetics at the Gene Center of the LMU Department of Biochemistry in Munich

In her research, Uhlenhaut is focused on the mechanisms of gene regulation that underlie our body’s hormone responses. She investigates glucocorticoid hormone signaling at the molecular level and their physiological consequences for the immune system and metabolism. Thus she makes valuable contributions to basic biomedical research, both in terms of novel therapeutics approaches and disease pathology. Her findings could help to prevent the side effects of cortisone medications and could give many of those affected by inflammatory diseases a new quality of life.

Henriette Uhlenhaut studied biotechnology at the Technical University of Braunschweig and at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, USA. Her diploma thesis was written at the Salk Institute in San Diego, USA. She completed her doctorate at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, where she focused on human diseases. This was followed by postdoctoral work at the Salk Institute and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin. From 2013 to 2018, Uhlenhaut headed the Emmy Noether Group "Molecular Endocrinology" at the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at Helmholtz Zentrum München. In 2014, she was awarded a Starting Grant by the European Research Council (ERC). She is also a member of the Collaborative Research Center Chromatin Dynamics (CRC 1064) and the CRC/Transregio 205 “The Adrenal: Central Relay in Health and Disease”.

This year the German Research Foundation and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research are honoring ten early-career researchers with the renowned Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, which is endowed with 20,000 euros each.

As German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes mellitus, allergies and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The Helmholtz Zentrum München has about 2,300 staff members and is headquartered in Neuherberg in the north of Munich. Helmholtz Zentrum München is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 19 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 37,000 staff members. 

As one of Europe's leading research universities, LMU Munich is committed to the highest international standards of excellence in research and teaching. Building on its 500-year-tradition of scholarship, LMU covers a broad spectrum of disciplines, ranging from the humanities and cultural studies through law, economics and social studies to medicine and the sciences. 15 percent of LMU‘s 50,000 students come from abroad, originating from 130 countries worldwide. The know-how and creativity of LMU's academics form the foundation of the University's outstanding research record. This is also reflected in LMU‘s designation of as a "university of excellence" in the context of the Excellence Initiative, a nationwide competition to promote top-level university research. 

The Institute for Diabetes and Cancer (IDC) is a member of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center (HDC) at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and a partner in the joint Heidelberg-IDC Translational Diabetes Program. The Institute for Diabetes and Cancer is tightly integrated into the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) and into the special research area "Reactive Metabolites and Diabetic Complications" at the Heidelberg University Medical School. The IDC conducts research on the molecular basis of severe metabolic disorders, including metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, as well as their roles in tumor initiation and progression. 

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