Tobias Giessen, Ph.D., a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wyss Institute and Harvard Medical School working in Pam Silver’s lab, has been awarded the Leopoldina Prize for Young Scientists by the German National Academy of Sciences. The award will be presented during the ceremony of the annual assembly of the German National Academy of Sciences on Friday, September 22, 2017 in Halle (Saale), Germany.
Giessen studied chemistry at Philipps-Universität Marburg and Imperial College London, and received his Ph.D. in Chemistry with a focus on Biochemistry in 2013. In his dissertation he studied how bacteria assemble different classes of bioactive small molecules, known as “natural products.“ These molecules possess a multitude of bioactivities, and many of them are used as antibiotics. He was able to elucidate the assembly pathway of a new class of antibacterials, which might serve as promising general scaffolds for the development of new bioactive compounds with improved clinical performance.
As a Leopoldina fellow, Giessen studies prokayotic cell components called encapsulin nanocompartments. He is interested in both elucidating their basic biological functions as well as engineering them for applications such as nanoreactors and synthetic organelles, with the aim of improving photosynthesis and the production of bioactive compounds in bacteria.
The German National Academy of Sciences has awarded the Leopoldina Prize for Young Scientists since 2009. The award, established through a donation by Karl Lohmann, provides €2000 to a scientist up to 30 years of age who has made outstanding contributions to one of the fields of study represented by the Leopoldina.