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Prof Wolfgang Baumeister awarded the 2019 Ivano Bertini Award for outstanding contributions to structural biology


The Ivano Bertini Award is offered by Instruct to recognise a significant achievement in frontier research that utilises an integrative structural biology approach. The award is an independently reviewed competition and commemorates Ivano Bertini, who developed powerful new methods in NMR and founded CERM in Florence. The award of €15,000 is endowed by Bruker BioSpin which is at the forefront of NMR instrument development with increasingly broad application and measurement sensitivity.


We are delighted to announce the 2019 recipient of the Ivano Bertini award is Wolfgang Baumeister, Director and Head of the Structural Biology department at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry and Honorary Professor of the Technical University in Munich.


Wolfgang Baumeister is world-renowned for his vision in studying molecular machines and assemblies in their functional context, i.e. in unperturbed cellular environments. He has pioneered the development of cryo-electron tomography as a key tool for cellular structural biology. This technique makes possible structural studies of cells in a close-to-living state in three dimensions with resolutions now approaching the subnanometer range. This is a revolutionary advancement, which has essentially created a new field, structural biology in situ.  


Baumeister’s work on biomolecular machines combines, in a most elegant and effective manner, the tools of molecular biology, biochemistry and biophysics. He developed pioneering work on the proteasome and other macromolecular complexes that are essential for protein quality control in living cells. He is a world leader in the dissection and understanding of the molecular machinery for intracellular protein degradation that is of critical importance for all organisms. His present activity, as well as his long-running achievements, demonstrate that the Baumeister laboratory is second to none in terms of technology and methodology; He has led the way for technology developments following a defined and ambitious scientific objective. This unique combination of scientific vision and deep knowledge for methods development makes Prof. Baumeister a scientific leader in the global context.

Professor Baumeister will receive his award at the Instruct Biennial Scientific Conference in Alcalá de Henares on 23rd May from Prof Lucia Banci (University of Florence and CERM), the 2017 recipient of the Bertini award, and Ruediger Weisemann from (Bruker BioSpin).