7 September 2017

Humboldt Professor Tschöp to receive Carus Medal

German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina honours outstanding research on diabetes and obesity.

The medical researcher Matthias Tschöp is one of the world's most eminent scientists working in the field of diabetes and obesity research. In 2012, he became the first physician ever to be awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship. The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has now selected him to receive one of this year's Carus Medals.

Ground-breaking discoveries on the feeling of hunger

Tschöp is Chair of Diabetes Research / Insulin Resistance at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Scientific Director of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center and the Helmholtz Pioneer Campus, and Adjunct Professor at Yale University.

Dr Tschöp has made a number of ground-breaking discoveries in the area of metabolic disease and has developed several drug candidates for treating diabetes and obesity; these drugs are already undergoing clinical trials. He has shown that the peptide ghrelin functions as a "hunger hormone" by informing specific areas of the brain about the availability of nutrients. Based on these findings, Matthias Tschöp subsequently discovered a number of other mechanisms which are involved in communication between the stomach and the brain, in regulating food intake, energy metabolism and glucose metabolism, and in controlling body weight and fat mass.

Carus Medal ceremony to be held in Halle on 22 September

In addition to Tschöp, the neuroscientist Elisabeth Binder, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich, is also being awarded the Carus Medal this year. Elisabeth Binder has hosted several Humboldt Fellows over the years and thus also has ties to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The medals will be awarded during the formal opening ceremony at the Leopoldina Annual Meeting being held in Halle (Saale) on Friday, 22 September 2017.

The foundation funding the Carus Medal was established to mark the 50th anniversary of the professorship of the Academy's 13th president, Carl Gustav Carus (1789-1869). Subsequently awarded for the first time in 1896, the Carus Medal recognises important scientific discoveries or achievements by junior scientists in a field represented by the Leopoldina. Previous recipients include Jacques Monod (1965) who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine the same year; Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (1989), who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1995; and Stefan Hell (2013) who was chosen for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry the year after he received the Carus Medal. Since 1961, the Carus Medal has been awarded in conjunction with the Carus Award which is funded by the City of Schweinfurt, the city in which the Leopoldina was founded. The Carus Award comes with a cash award of €5,000.

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