Catalyzing the development of breakthroughs in the life sciences

Science Impact:

We are fueling progress in the fields of the life sciences to provide pioneering and sustainable solutions for a growing and ageing population.

Awarding
scientific achievements

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Our Objective

Bayer Foundation’s Science Awards strive to honor outstanding achievements in science and education from established senior scientists, as well, as from young future scientific stars. All awards are subject to nomination by senior members of scientific institutions or by a Bayer R&D unit. Self-nominations are not eligible. Winners are selected by the Foundation Council and the members of the Board of the Bayer Foundation.

1. Awarding renowned scientists:

Otto Bayer Award for pioneering scientific research

About the award

With the Otto Bayer Award, Bayer honors outstanding scientists from German-speaking countries for their pioneering research in the field of chemistry, biochemistry or biology. The winner receives prize money of € 75,000. The award is named after the renowned Dr. Otto Bayer who invented polyurethane in the year 1937.

 

Who is eligible?

Outstanding scientists from German-speaking countries.
Self-nominations are not eligible

 

Nomination criteria

Proven record of conducting frontier research in chemistry, biochemistry or biology.

 

Timing

A call for nomination is published in spring of every second year alternating with the Hansen Family Award. The winner receives the prize in a festive ceremony of the yearly hold Bayer Foundation Day. 

 

STATUS: Award currently closed. 

 

Previous winners

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    Dr. Tobias Erb

    Dr. Tobias Erb (MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg, Germany) won the Otto Bayer Award in 2018 for his outstanding achievements in the field of synthetic biology. By using synthetic organic chemistry methods, he and his team members created new biological metabolic pathways (e.g. synthetic photosynthesis) on the drawing board, thereby developing biology into a synthetic discipline.

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    Professor Dirk Trauner

    Professor Dirk Trauner (Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany) won the Otto Bayer Award in 2016 for his pioneering contributions in photopharmacology and chemical optogenetics. With his team he developed photo switches of biologically active compounds which in turn have the potential to be used as chemotherapy agents.

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    Professor Frédéric Merkt

    Professor Frédéric Merkt (ETH Zurich, SZwitzerland) won the Otto Bayer Award in 2014 for his outstanding contributions in molecular spectroscopy. With his research he enabled the characterization of activated atoms and molecules and provided novel insights into the basic chemical behavior of molecules.

    Hansen Family Award for Medical Research

    About the award

    Alternating with the Otto Bayer Award, the Hansen Family Award (every second year) honors world leading scientists from German-speaking countries for cutting-edge achievements in medical sciences. This award, also with a prize money of € 75,000, was named after the former Bayer CEO Dr. Kurt Hansen, a trained chemist who was a firm believer in the power of scientific talents for the long-term success of Bayer AG.

     

    Who is eligible?

    Outstanding scientists in German-speaking countries

     

    Nomination criteria

    Candidates must have a proven record of outstanding excellence in science with the potential to drive innovation in medicine.

    Candidates should be actively researching medical sciences, medicine or related field.

     

    All awards are subject to nomination by senior members of scientific institutions or by a Bayer R&D unit.

     

    Timing

    A call for nomination is published in spring of every second year alternating with the Otto Bayer Award. The winner receives the prize in a festive ceremony of the yearly hold Bayer Foundation Day.

     

    STATUS: Open for Nominations 30th March - 3rd May 2021.

     

    Previous winners

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      Professor Edith Heard

      Professor Edith Heard received the Hansen Family Award in 2019 for groundbreaking insights and paradigm shifting discoveries in the area of epigenetics. She and her team contributes significantly to our understanding of the interplay between chromatin structure and gene activity, which is essential for the development of new drugs aimed at treating cancer and other diseases.

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      Professor Jens Brüning

      Professor Jens Brüning (MPI for Metabolism Research, Cologne, Germany) and Professor Matthias H. Tschöp (Helmholtz Centre, Munich, Germany) received the Hansen Family Award in 2017 for their discoveries in the area of diabetes and obesity. Both scientists contributed with their research to the understanding of metabolic and hormone-related pathways and signals in the human body and thereby to urgently needed new prevention and treatment options of diabetes.

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      Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier

      Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier (MPI for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany) received the Hansen Family Award in 2015 for her development of a revolutionary technology for editing genomes. With her “molecular scissors” system she and her team provided researchers world-wide with a tool to locate defective gene sequences, remove them and insert healthy sections.

      2. Awarding young scientific talents:

      Early Excellence in Science Awards

      About the award

      Bayer’s Early Excellence in Science Awards has four categories, namely Biology, Chemistry, Medical Sciences and Data Sciences in Life Sciences. With these awards, Bayer honors talented young scientists (for up to 5 years following completion of their PhD) from all over the world for pioneering research achievements. In each category the awardees receive prize money of € 10,000.

       

      Who is eligible?

      Young, outstanding scientists working worldwide.

       

      Nomination criteria

      Max. 5 years following the PhD completion:
      - Scientific achievements in the early stage of their career;
      - Proven record of scientific excellence
      - In (one of) the following categories:
      *Chemistry; *Biology; *Medical sciences; *Data science in life sciences.

       

      Timing

      A call for nomination is published in spring of every year with the Otto Bayer Award or Family Hansen Award in parallel. The winner receives the prize in a festive ceremony of the yearly hold Bayer Foundation Day. 

       

      STATUS: Open for Nominations 30th March - 3rd May 2021. 

       

      Previous winners

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        Winner of EESA for Medical Sciences
        Dr. Susanne van Veluw

        Dr. Susanne van Veluw (Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA) for developing and applying cutting-edge imaging techniques to visualize hitherto undetectable micro infarct lesions in the human brain.

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        Winner of EESA for Chemistry
        Dr. Christina Woo

        Dr. Christina Woo (Harvard University, Boston, USA) for her pioneering research on the role of small molecules influencing protein function and biological signaling using large-scale chemical biology approaches.

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        Winner of EESA for Biology
        Dr. Julian Stingele

        Dr. Julian Stingele (Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany) for his discovery of an entirely unexpected DNA repair pathway, which is crucially important to prevent ageing and tumorigenesis.

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        Winner of EESA for Medical Sciences
        Dr. Kathryn Susan Hayward

        Dr. Kathryn Susan Hayward (University of British Colombia, Australia) for her impact on the field of stroke rehabilitation and recovery focused on individuals with significant loss of arm and hand function in early post-stroke.

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        Winner of EESA for Chemistry
        Dr. Keary M. Engle

        Dr. Keary M. Engle (Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA) for his unparalleled contributions at the interface of organometallic chemistry, organic synthesis and catalysis – particularly in the area of effective syntheses of small molecules by smart catalysis.

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        Winner of EESA for Biology
        Dr. Christoph Engel

        Dr. Christoph Engel (University of Regensburg, Germany) for his outstanding research providing the molecular basis for ribosomal RNA synthesis by RNA polymerase in eukaryotic cells. 

        The Bayer Thrombosis Research Award

        About the award

        The Bayer Thrombosis Research Award is presented every two years with prize money of € 30,000 to a scientist in a German-speaking country whose work focuses on basic and applied clinical research in the field of thrombosis.

         

        Who is eligible?

        Scientists working in German-speaking countries with a focus on thrombosis.

         

        Nomination criteria

        Proof of work focus on basic and clinical research into thrombosis, particularly on the diagnosis, prevention and therapy of thromboembolic diseases, including epidemiology and health policy approaches.


        Suitable candidates should have completed their PhD or MD no longer than 5 years ago and they either should be working in a German speaking country or have completed major parts of scientific training in the German-speaking world.

         

        Timing

        The winner receives the awards at a festive ceremony held at Bayer Pharmaceuticals. 

         

        STATUS: Award currently closed.

         

        Previous winners

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          Dr. Changjun Yin

          Dr. Changjun Yin (Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany) in recognition of his research on Atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as inflammatory conditions with high risks to develop thrombosis-related diseases. Together with his research group he bridged basic science using animal models and human translational studies and thereby opened a new avenue to treat patients afflicted with atherosclerosis and AD.

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          Dr. David Seiffge

          Dr. David Seiffge (University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland) for his applied clinical research on non-vitamin-K-dependent oral anticoagulants (NOAKs) in patients with acute stroke. Together with his team he was able to demonstrate that patients can be treated with NOAKs already shortly after an acute stroke and thereby significantly increase the success of the acute therapy of this life-threatening disease.

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          Dr. Markus Bender

          Dr. Markus Bender (Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg, Germany) for his pioneering work on a rare genetic condition causing severe wound bleeding in children. With his research team he discovered that a mutation in the gene encoding the protein profilin-1 prevents blood platelets to take their usual disc form and thereby lose the ability to contribute to clot formation.

          >Please feel free to reach out if you have further questions or comments about our awards.

          bayer.foundations@bayer.com