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Professor Thomas Lengauer Receives Hector Science Prize

Prof.Thomas Lengauer, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, has been awarded the Hector Science Prize. The Hector Foundation II herewith honors his achievements in the field of bioinformatics and his commitment to teaching in higher education. The prize of 150,000 euros is awarded annually to outstanding researchers at German universities.

Professor Thomas Lengauer received the prize on January 30, 2015  along with Eva Grebel, Professor of Astronomy at Heidelberg University. This is the seventh time that the benefactor, Hans-Werner Hector, has recognized outstanding German researchers. The prize also includes the appointment as Fellow of the Hector Fellow Academy, which promotes interdisciplinary projects and academic networks. An important aspect of the Foundation is the promotion of particularly talented doctoral students, who can take the first steps to a scientific career under the mentorship of Hector Fellows.

       "I am looking forward to the interdisciplinary discussions in the Hector Fellow Academy," says Professor Lengauer, "as the key to many future breakthroughs in science lies at the interfaces of different disciplines."
       Lengauer is a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken and an Honorary Professor at Saarland University and the University of Bonn. Since the 1990s, he has significantly contributed to the development of bioinformatics as a scientific discipline. Today, his research topics include computer-assisted analysis of the structure and interactions of proteins, computer-aided drug design, and the development of bioinformatic methods to better understand, diagnose, and treat diseases.

The laudation described his contributions: "The Hector Foundation grants him the Hector Science Prize and calls him into the circle of Hector Fellows in recognition of his outstanding scientific research achievements in computer-aided design and bioinformatics, particularly the development of methods to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of diseases and for computer-aided drug discovery, as well as his interdisciplinary approach as a teacher of higher education and his being a role model for young academics and students.”

This is not the first time Thomas Lengauer has received membership in a research organization.  He is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech – the National Academy of Science and Engineering, and the Academia Europaea. In addition,he has been awarded the Karl-Heinz Beckurts Prize, the Heinz-Ansmann Prize for AIDS Research, and the Konrad Zuse Medal of the German Computer Science Society.

Background:Computer Science Research in Saarbrücken

The MaxPlanck Institute for Informatics is not the only institution on the campus of Saarland University exploring new aspects of computer science. It is situated door to door with the Saarland University Department of Computer Science, the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, the Center for Bioinformatics, the Center for IT-Security, Privacy and Accountability, the newly extended Cluster of Excellence "Multimodal Computing and Interaction ", the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI),  and the Intel Visual Computing Institute.

Background:Hector Foundation II

The Hector Foundation II was established in March 2008 by Dr. h.c. Hans-Werner Hector and his wife, Josephine Hector.  It promotes:

· mentally and /or physically disabled people through financial assistance to existing supportive facilities or by the establishment and maintenance of such facilities;

· medical research through support of research projects;

· structured programs for mathematically, technically, and scientifically talented high school, university, and graduate students;

· care facilities that support youth care, public health, and the welfare system through occasional financial contributions; and,

· the establishment of personnel funds for elite universities to make performance-related payments to teaching and research staff in the mathematical, technical, or scientific disciplines. 


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Press Contact:

Bertram Somieski
Max Planck Institute for Informatics
Max Planck Institute for Software Systems
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Tel +49/681/9325-5710 – somieski(-at-)