Ingelheim and Munich/Germany, 03 November 2006 - Professor Alois Fuerstner from the Max-Planck-Institute for Coal Research in Muelheim/Ruhr received this year’s Heinrich Wieland Prize for exceptional achievements in the synthesis of glycolipids. Today, Professor Nepomuk Zoellner, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, presented the award and the prize money of 50,000 euro to the scientist at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.
Professor Fuerstner’s work has resulted in the identification of the molecular structure of many relevant glycolipids using metal catalysed methodology. His work was awarded with the Heinrich Wieland Prize for its contribution to make synthetic approaches to this class of molecule possible. These findings are noteworthy, since they open up the field of biological evaluation of glycolipids for potential therapeutic effects. Some important glycolipids can now be fully synthesised in vitro.
“In accordance with our key principle, to provide value through innovation, we aim to promote innovative thinking by supporting excellent researchers, such as Alois Fuerstner”, said Dr Andreas Barner, Vice Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors and Head of Research, Development and Medicine at Boehringer Ingelheim, “His laborious basic research efforts may lay the ground for significant progress in the development of new therapeutic options.”
“I am delighted to be the laureate of the Heinrich Wieland Prize in 2006”, commented Prof. Alois Fuerstner. ”We hope that with further research we will be able to disclose the molecular structures of even more lipid natural products and hence contribute to advance their biological evaluation”, he added.
Heinrich Wieland Prize
The Heinrich Wieland Prize is named after the German Nobel prize-winner Prof. Heinrich Otto Wieland (1877-1957). Heinrich Wieland was a cousin of Helene Boehringer, the wife of Albert Boehringer, who was the founder of Boehringer Ingelheim. From 1915 to the end of 1920, he was advisor at Boehringer Ingelheim and during this time he established the first scientific department of the company. Since 1964, the Heinrich Wieland Prize has been awarded annually to promote research on chemistry, biochemistry, physiology and clinical medicine of lipids and related substances. The prize is among the most treasured international science awards and has a successful history of over 40 years. To date it has been presented to 58 scientists. The Heinrich Wieland Prize is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim and awarded by an independent Board of Trustees.
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 143 affiliates in 47 countries and almost 37,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.
In 2005, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 9.5 billion euro while spending almost one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development.