18 Aug 2021 - Otto Meyerhof Award 2021 goes to Christian Münch

Christian Münch, group leader at the IBC2, will receive the Otto Meyerhof Award 2021 by the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM). The award honours the outstanding research performance of young investigators under 40. The research of the Münch group focuses on the elucidation of cellular stress responses upon protein misfolding and as a consequence of disease-causing mutations and infections, building on Münch’s in-depth expertise in quantitative mass spectrometry and system biology approaches.

To quantitatively measure small changes in protein translation, the group developed a new analytical method called multiplexed enhanced protein dynamics (mePROD) proteomics. This approach has helped to study the effects of mTOR inhibition and integrated stress response activation (Klann et al., Mol Cell 2020). It is broadly adaptable to very different research questions, as very successfully shown by Münch and his team after onset of the corona pandemic: Within a matter of a few weeks, they were able to determine host cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection (Bojkova et al., Nature 2020) providing important insights into changes imposed by the virus upon host cells. Further analyses revealed cellular pathways that are crucial for SARS-CoV-2 replication in cells (Klann et al., Mol Cell 2020) These studies pointed to new therapeutic targets that are now under clinical evaluation or approved for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The Otto Meyerhof Award is endowed with 5,000 Euros, funded by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma. The prize ceremony will take place virtually on the 16th of September, with Christian Münch presenting the award lecture on „Dynamic protein synthesis changes in stress and disease”. For those wishing to attend the event, registration until the 14th of September is required:  https://gbm-online.de/gbm-awards-event.html.