Leibniz prizewinners 2005

This release is also available in German.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) Grants Committee today named the prizewinners of the DFG's Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Programme for 2005. The most valuable research prize in Germany will go to ten scientists and academics, two women and eight men. The prize of 1.55 million euros funds research work over a five-year period and can be used flexibly by the prizewinners, depending on their specific requirements.

The programme, established in 1985, aims to improve the working conditions of outstanding researchers, to extend their research opportunities, to relieve them of administrative work and make it easier for them to employ especially highly qualified young researchers. Scientists and academics from all research areas can be nominated for the award. The DFG Nominations Committee considers the nominations it receives for the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize and selects researchers who, above all, can be expected to particularly advance their scientific achievement with this additional boost in funding. This year's prizewinners again include a number of younger scientists.

Today's decision brings the total number of prizes awarded under the Leibniz Programme to 228. Of these, 49 winners have been from the humanities, 64 from the life sciences, 81 from the natural sciences and 34 from engineering. Of 130 nominations received for 2005, the following ten Leibniz Prizewinners were selected:

Prof. Dr. Peter B. Becker (46), Cell Biology/Biochemistry, University of Munich (1.55 million euros)

The biochemist Peter Becker studies chromatin dynamics, in other words, the packaging of DNA. The human genetic code is contained in long DNA sequences. In order to fit inside a cell, these sequences have to be "packed". The degree of packing is also determined by the degree to

Contact: Cornelia Pretzer
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

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