Franz-Ulrich Hartl
  • 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.