Yale’s Arthur L. Horwich, MD, and Franz-Ulrich Hartl of Germany have been awarded the 2019 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for their pioneering discoveries of molecular machines that assist protein folding in the cell.
The award, one of the most prestigious in German science, was presented March 14 in a ceremony at St. Paul’s Church in Frankfurt.
Horwich, Sterling Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics and an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Hartl, director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, were honored for their work in discovery and function of molecular chaperones, which direct the proper folding of proteins. When misfolded, proteins can aggregate, a state associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Horwich and Hartl have received multiple awards for their research, including the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, often a precursor to a Nobel Prize.
The Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize is traditionally awarded on Paul Ehrlich’s birthday, March 14, in the Paulskirche, Frankfurt. It honors scientists who have made significant contributions in Ehrlich’s field of research, in particular immunology, cancer research, microbiology, and chemotherapy.