19.02.2013 - Three researchers – one from the UK and two from Germany – have been awarded the Louis-Jeantet prize for Medicine.
Michael Stratton, Chief of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, UK, and the two German biochemists Peter Hegemann, Berlin, and Georg Nagel, Würzburg (photo), will receive a prize money of CHF700,000. Stratton got the prize, of which CHF75,000 is for personal use, for his work aimed at understanding the genetic causes of human cancer. He discovered the roles of the BRCA2 and BRAF genes in breast and skin cancers. Hegemann and Nagel, who share the prize, pioneered the field of optogenetics, a technique to control gene expression by switching light on and off. Namely, they discovered ion channels that can be activated by light.