Press Releases

Entry from: 14.05.2018
Category: Press Releases, News

High Honors for Christian Hackenberger

The European Peptide Society honors scientist Christian Hackenberger with the Leonidas Zervas Award 2018 for his outstanding success in peptide research. This is one of the most coveted awards for exceptional scientists in the field of peptide research.

Prof. Dr. Christian Hackenberger, Foto: Silke Oßwald

Professor Dr. Christian Hackenberger, Head of the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Leibniz-Humboldt-Professor for Chemical Biology at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin receives the Leonidas Zervas Award. The award recognizes chemist Professor Hackenberger for his significant contributions to peptide research. The award ceremony will be part of the 35th European Peptide Symposium in Dublin on August 26, 2018.

The Research of Christian Hackenberger

Proteins regulate many signal pathways in cells. They control healthy life, but at the same time even small protein modifications can make us sick. Common modifications are phosphorylations and glycosylations as well as other post-translational modifications such as acetylation, ubiquitylation and methylation, which act like 'toggle switches' between health and disease. 
Scientists in the specialty of chemical biology examine such protein modifications and try to control them in order to understand the biological effects of post-translational modifications.
In his laboratory, Christian Hackenberger and his team already developed several chemical reactions for the targeted modification of isolated proteins as well as proteins in living organisms. In the process, Professor Hackenberger and his team demonstrated naturally occurring protein modifications and investigated their functions. One special example of such research is their study of the Alzheimer-relevant Tau protein.
Another core area of Christian Hackenberger's work consists of researching new protein-based drugs. In this area, he also uses the highly selective reactions of organic chemistry to synthesize antibody-drug-conjugates. A successful example of this research resulted in the planned joint foundation of the start-up company 'Tubulis Technologies' with the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. This newly established company ventures into developing better tolerable cancer drugs based on antibody-drug conjugates. In March 2018, the 'Tubulis Technologies' Company received the Leibniz Gründerpreis (New Enterprise Foundation Award) of the Leibniz Association.

The Person
Christian Hackenberger studied  chemistry at the universities in Freiburg (Germany) and Madison (Wisconsin, USA). He received his doctoral degree at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) in Aachen (Germany). As postdoctoral fellow, he worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge (USA). In 2005, he accepted a position at the Freie Universität (FU) Berlin. At the FU, he headed a team in the Emmy Noether Program of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). After his habilitation in 2011 (a postdoctoral thesis to qualify for an academic career), he was appointed Associate Professor of Bioorganic Chemistry. His research group has the distinction of being the first recipient of a 'Plus 3' Grant in the 'Perspektiven Programm' of the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation.

From 2008 to 2012, Professor Christian Hackenberger was spokesperson and coordinator of the integrated graduate program 'Multivalence in Chemistry and Biochemistry' of the Collaborative Research Center 765 of the FU Berlin. Since 2012, he is the spokesperson for the DFG Focus Program 1623 'Chemo-selective Reactions for the Synthesis and Use of Functional Proteins'. Christian Hackenberger was honored with the lecturer stipend of the German Chemical Industry Fond and the ORCHEM Prize of the Liebig Association for Organic Chemistry. He also received the Heinz-Maier-Leibniz Award, the most important prize for junior academics awarded by the DFG (German Research Foundation).
Since 2012, he works as Head of the Chemical Biology Department at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Leibniz-Humboldt Professor (W3) for Chemical Biology at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. Since 2018, he is co-founder of the planned start-up 'Tubulis Technologies'.

About the Leonidas Zervas Award
In 1988, the European Peptide Society established the Leonidas Zervas Award. Peptide researchers from 26 nations belong to this society. The Peptide Society honors a peptide researcher with the Leonidas Zervas Award every two years on the occasion of the biannual Peptide Symposiums. This is one of the most coveted awards for exceptional scientists in the field of peptide research. The European Peptide Council selects the award winners.


Professor Dr. Christian Hackenberger
Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP)
Campus Berlin-Buch Robert-Roessle-Str. 10
13125 Berlin, Germany
Telephone: +49 (0) 309 479 3181

Public Relations:
Silke Oßwald
Telephone: +49 (0) 309 479 3104
Email: osswald(at)
The Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) is part of the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB, Research Association Berlin). The FVB combines eight science, life science and environmental science institutes in Berlin under one roof. More than 1,900 associates work in these institutes. The award-winning institutes are members of the Leibniz Association. The Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB) emerged from the former DDR Akademie der Wissenschaften (Academy of Sciences in the former German Democratic Republic under Russian rule) in a unique situation in German history.

Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FMP)
Campus Berlin-Buch
Robert-Roessle-Str. 10
13125 Berlin, Germany
+4930 94793 - 100 
+4930 94793 - 109 (Fax)

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