Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany
Heinrich Wieland Laureate 2011 for work on chaperone-assisted protein folding and its impact on neurodegenerative diseases
Hartl is at the forefront of research into cellular protein folding. He was first to prove that proteins need the assistance of helper proteins, so-called molecular chaperones, in order to adopt their functional 3D structures in vivo. In seminal contributions Hartl deciphered the mechanism of action of essential cytosolic chaperones such as the Hsp70s and the chaperonins. His research also focuses on how aberrant protein folding and aggregation cause neurodegenerative diseases including Chorea Huntington or Morbus Alzheimer.
F. Ulrich Hartl studied medicine and obtained his doctoral degree in Heidelberg in 1985. He moved to the laboratory of Walter Neupert in Munich, first as postdoc and then as group leader. In 1991, he accepted a professorship in cell biology and genetics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Cornell Medical College in New York. Hartl returned to Germany in 1997 to take up his present postion as director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried near Munich.
Selected Honours & Memberships
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (2002), Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine (2005), Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics (2010), Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award (2011), Heinrich Wieland Prize (2011), Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine (2012)
German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), American National Academy of Sciences, AAAS, EMBO member
President of the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2003-2005), Chairman of the Biology/Medicine Section of the Max Planck Society (2005-2008)