Matthias H. Tschöp receives Charles H. Best Lectureship and Award

Every two years the University of Toronto nominates a speaker to deliver the prestigious Charles H. Best Lecture, and presents a corresponding award. On 27 November 2017, this honor was conferred on Professor Matthias Tschöp from the Helmholtz Zentrum München.

Dr. Graham Collingridge (Chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Toronto) and Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp. Source: University of Toronto.

The award is named after the Canadian physiologist Charles H. Best, who co-discovered insulin. It is made in recognition of researchers who, like the award’s namesake, have made outstanding discoveries in the field of diabetes and metabolism research. Matthias Tschöp is the first European scientist to receive this distinction.

In his lecture, entitled "Unimolecular Polyagonists Reverse Obesity and Diabetes", Professor Tschöp reported on his research work to date and outlined future projects. Tschöp, who is Director of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center and the Helmholtz Pioneer Campus, was selected by a committee made up of senior investigators in the field of endocrinology from the University of Toronto and affiliated members in the various hospitals and research centers in the city. The award is endowed by Dr. John K. and Mary E. Davidson.

Professor Tschöp’s research projects focus on the molecular mechanisms that underlie diabetes and obesity and aim to discover new approaches to the prevention and treatment of these diseases. His main area of interest is gut-brain communication and the key role played by neural circuits in regulating obesity, glucose homeostasis and energy metabolism.

Recently, Matthias Tschöp was awarded this year’s Carus Medal by the Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Sciences, for his exceptional research work. He and his team are currently collaborating with physicians, engineers and chemists on the development of innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to the personalized prevention and treatment of obesity, diabetes and concomitant diseases.

Further Information

Matthias Tschöp studied Human Medicine at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, where he obtained his doctorate in 1998. In 2003, after research stays in the USA and Germany, he worked as Associate Professor, and from 2009 as Professor, Endowed Chair and Research Director at the University of Cincinnati. In 2012, he became the first physician to receive an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, which he took up at the Technical University of Munich. Prof. Tschöp is concurrently Scientific Director of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center and the Helmholtz Pioneer Campus, and also holds an Adjunct Professorship at Yale University. In recognition of his achievements he has received numerous other awards, including an ERC Advanced Grant, the Erwin Schrödinger Prize, the Endocrine Society’s Innovation Award and “Outstanding Scientific Achievement” Awards from the American Diabetes Association and the Obesity Society as well as a honorary doctorate from the University of Leipzig. Please find further information on the website of the University of Toronto.

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 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 18 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 37,000 staff members. 

Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Europe’s leading research universities, with more than 500 professors, around 10,000 academic and non-academic staff, and 40,000 students. Its focus areas are the engineering sciences, natural sciences, life sciences and medicine, com-bined with economic and social sciences. TUM acts as an entrepreneurial university that promotes talents and creates value for society. In that it profits from having strong partners in science and industry. It is represented worldwide with a campus in Singapore as well as offices in Beijing, Brussels, Cairo, Mumbai, San Francisco, and São Paulo. Nobel Prize winners and inventors such as Rudolf Diesel, Carl von Linde, and Rudolf Mößbauer have done research at TUM. In 2006 and 2012 it won recognition as a German "Excellence University." In international rankings, TUM regularly places among the best universities in Germany.