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Tim Clausen receives Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Award

15 May 2003

On May 15, biochemist Tim Clausen will receive the prestigious Heinz Maier-Leinbitz Award from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Tim Clausen is currently a Group Leader at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna.

In total, six outstanding junior scientists and scholars are to receive the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Award 2003. The award, endowed with 16,000 Euros for each of the scientists, is to be jointly presented to them by DFG President Professor Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker und State Secretary Dr. Uwe Thomas of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) in Bonn. Named after former DFG President and nuclear physicist Heinz Maier-Leibnitz, the award is funded by the BMBF in recognition of the excellent research achievements of young scientists under the age of 33. The award winners were selected in a multistage selection process out of a total of 74 proposed candidates.

Biochemist Tim Clausen graduated in biology from the University of Constance. He went on to do his doctorate at Munich Technical University and returned to Constance to work on his "Habilitation". His research focuses on structural-functional relationships in the active centre of pyridoxal (PLP) dependent enzymes and flavoproteins. Thanks to its considerable importance in metabolic processes and its wide variety of reaction mechanisms, this highly diversified group of proteins has attracted the attention of scientists for several years. This is why Tim Clausen has focused on a less known sub-class of these enzymes which are also involved in the metabolisms of amino acids containing sulphur or in the regulation of gene expression in prokaryotes. He has displayed unusual skills in combining molecular biology and biochemical expertise with a sound knowledge of high-dissolution X-ray structural analysis. 

In 1994, he started working as head of a study group at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried. Owing to his excellent research achievements, Tim Clausen was appointed group head for structural biology at the IMP in November 2002.