Professors Hilbert von Löhneysen, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Axel Meyer, University of Konstanz, and Nikolaus Pfanner, Albert Ludwigs University, Freiburg, all Germany, have received the Hector Research Award. The prize acknowledges both pioneering research achievements and the scientists’ attitudes as university teachers and aims to create a network of Hector Fellows for the promotion of improved understanding of natural science. The award will be presented by the Hector Foundation II, Weinheim, Germany, on February 3rd in Heidelberg, Germany, and is endowed with € 150,000 each.
Hilbert von Löhneysen studied at the Universities of Göttingen and Cologne, Germany, and spent a year as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (National Center of Scientific Research, CNRS), Grenoble, France. In 1981, he obtained his Habilitation from RWTH Aachen University, Germany. Since 1986, he has been a C4 Professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, and since 2000, he has headed the Institute for Solid State Physics there.
His work focuses on the physics of metallic coating systems and nanostructures, properties of strongly correlated electron systems, such as heavy-fermion systems, rare earth and transition metal alloys, magnetism and superconductivity, and metal-insulator transitions.
Axel Meyer gained his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of California, Berkeley, USA. He spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Allan Wilson at the same university. He was appointed Assistant Professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA, in 1990, and becaome Associate Professor in 1993.
In 1997, he joined the faculty at the University of Konstanz, Germany, as full Professor, where he studies evolutionary biology, in particular, morphological differentiation and its developmental basis within a phylogenetic framework, genetic differentiation among populations and species, and the evolution of genes, genomes, and novel gene functions.
Nikolaus Pfanner studied medicine at the University of Munich, Germany, and became a Junior Group Leader there in 1987. He spent a year as a postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton University, USA, before joining the faculty at Albert Ludwigs University as a full Professor in 1992.
His work centers on recognition of the preproteins by receptors on the mitochondrial surface, the transport of this preproteins across the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes, and the role of molecular chaperones in the translocation and folding of proteins.