Awards and prizes: LMU biochemist wins top research prize

Feb 28, 2019

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has awarded one of its most prestigious honors, the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, to Professor Henriette Uhlenhaut, an endocrinologist at LMU’s Gene Center.

Henriette Uhlenhaut, a member of the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy at LMU, is one of ten scholars and scientists selected to receive the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize 2019. Uhlenhaut is Professor of Metabolic Biochemistry and Genetics at the Gene Center and a Group Leader in the Institute of Diabetes and Cancer at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that underlie the regulation of gene activity by hormones. More specifically, she studies the molecular genetic basis of the signaling pathways triggered by the binding of glucocorticoid hormones to their receptors, and the physiological impact of this class of hormones on metabolism and the immune system. A better understanding of the mode of action of these molecules will contribute to the development of novel therapies for common disorders such as diabetes or inflammatory disorders.

Henriette Uhlenhaut studied Biotechnology at the Technical University of Braunschweig and at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. She carried out the research for her graduate thesis at the Salk Institute in San Diego. Her PhD work, which was devoted to a topic of clinical interest, was carried out at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. She subsequently held postdoctoral positions at the Salk Institute and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin. From 2013 to 2018 Uhlenhaut headed an Emmy Noether Junior Research Group in Molecular Endocrinology in the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at the Helmholtz-Zentrum München, and in 2014 she received one of the coveted Starting Grants awarded by the European Research Council (ERC). In addition, she is a member of two DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centers for Chromatin Dynamics (SFB 1064) and the Adrenal Gland (SFB 205).

The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, funded by the DFG and the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, is awarded annually to outstanding early-career researchers. The Prize is worth 20,000 euros.