Franz-Ulrich Hartl
  • 2011 Albert-Lasker Basic Medical Research Award


2011 Albert-Lasker Basic Medical Research Award German biochemist and Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. He is known for his pioneering work in the field of protein-mediated protein folding and is a recipient of the 2011 Lasker Award along with Arthur L. Horwich for their discoveries concerning the cell's protein-folding machinery

Education and Work Experience

1985, Dr. Institute of Physiological Chemistry, University of Munich
1989-1990, Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA
1993-1997, Member (with tenure), Program in Cellular Biochemistry and Biophysics, Sloan-Kettering Institute
1997-Present, Director of Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry

Honors and Awards

2004, Gairdner Foundation International Award
2011, Albert-Lasker Basic Medical Research Award
2012, Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine
2019, Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

Major Academic Achievements

Franz-Ulrich Hartl and Arthur L. Horwich’s research has discovered that not all proteins can fold inside cells by themselves. They determined that a protein called Chaperonin acts as a cage-like folding “machine” that provides a safe place for proteins to fold, away from outside interference. “By unravelling the mysterious workings of these amazing machines, the researchers gave the medical world a key understanding of how proteins reach their biological potential”, says Maria C. Freire, President of the Lasker Foundation. Because faulty proteins also play a role in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson, Hartl’s results could contribute significantly to developing new drugs for the treatment of these diseases.