Emil Fischer Medal for Peter H. Seeberger

  • Author: ChemistryViews (Photo: © Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces/David Ausserhofer)
  • Published Date: 01 September 2021
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH GmbH
thumbnail image: Emil Fischer Medal for Peter H. Seeberger

Peter H. Seeberger, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam, Germany, has received the Emil Fischer Medal 2020 from the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh, German Chemical Society). The award is endowed with EUR 7,500 and was presented at the GDCh Wissenschaftsforum 2021 on September 1, 2021. The GDCh awards the Emil Fischer Medal for outstanding performance in the field of organic chemistry.

Peter H. Seeberger receives the award for his groundbreaking contributions to the synthesis of complex carbohydrates and the chemical biology of carbohydrates, especially through the development of automated methods. In his work, he was able to elucidate the basic mechanisms of the interaction of glycans with other biomolecules. With his syntheses, Seeberger established the field of "molecular glycobiology", from which new types of vaccines, new cholesterol-lowering agents, diagnostics, and impulses for materials science have emerged. He has, thus, decisively influenced the development of carbohydrate-based vaccines and materials.

Peter H. Seeberger studied chemistry at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, and received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA, in 1995. After a stay as a postdoctoral researcher at the Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, New York, USA, he became Assistant Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA, in 1998. There, he was promoted to Firmenich Associate Professor of Chemistry in 2002. Starting in 2003, Seeberger served as Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and as Affiliate Professor at the Burnham Institute in La Jolla, CA, USA. Since 2009, he has headed the biomolecular systems department at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces and served as Professor at the Free University of Berlin, Germany. He also serves as Honorary Professor at the University of Potsdam.

Among many other awards, Seeberger has received the Horace B. Isbell Award from the Carbohydrate Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 2003, the Havinga Medal from Leiden University, The Netherlands, in 2007, the Körber European Science Award in 2007, the Yoshimasa Hirata Gold Medal from Nagoya University in 2007, the Claude S. Hudson Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry from the ACS in 2009, the Whistler Award from the International Carbohydrate Organisation in 2012, the Melville L. Wolfrom Award from the ACS Carbohydrate Division in 2019, and the Barry Cohen Prize from the Medicinal Chemistry Section of the Israel Chemical Society (ICS) in 2019.

Seeberger is an Honorary Lifetime Member of the ICS and was elected to the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, Germany. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry and serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of many other journals.

Selected Publications

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