DZL receives prestigious Balzan Prize

The German Centre for Lung Research (DZL) has been awarded the internationally highly renowned Balzan Prize, which includes prize money of 750,000 Swiss Francs. The International Balzan Prize Foundation promotes culture, the sciences and meritorious initiatives in the cause of peace and fraternity among peoples.

The Foundation awards four Balzan Prizes to researchers and scientists or artists who have distinguished themselves in their fields on an international level. The four designated subject areas rotate from year to year and derive from the areas of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Arts and Physics, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Medicine. It is the aim of the Balzan Prizes to promote culture, the sciences and particularly commendable initiatives for humanity, peace and fraternity among peoples, irrespective of nationality, race and religion. The prizewinners are selected by a committee of high-ranking recognized experts following an international competition open to submissions from throughout the world.

In Milan today, the names of the Prizewinners 2019 have been announced by the President of the Balzan General Prize Committee, Luciano Maiani, and the President of the Balzan Foundation Prize, Enrico Decleva, at the Corriere della Sera Foundation and presented by distinguished scientists from the General Prize Committee. The award ceremony will take place on 15 November in Bern.

Peter Suter, Honorary Professor of Medicine at the University of Geneva and former Chairman of the Swiss Academy of Sciences, explained the reasons for awarding the prize for the specialist field of „Pathophysiology of respiration: from basic sciences to the bedside“ to the committee members of the DZL with their outstanding achievements resulting from innovative research that has brought new therapies and improvements in the quality of life of patients with respiratory diseases. In addition, the DZL has created “new enthusiasm and training paths for future generations of scientists“.

Prof. Werner Seeger, Chairman of the Board and Speaker for the DZL, commented: „This prestigious award, achieved in a worldwide competition, acknowledges the high international renown attained by German lung research by establishing a national health centre in this field“.

Prof. Hans-Ulrich Kauczor, DZL Board Member and Director of the DZL Translational Lung Research Center (TLRC) in Heidelberg emphasizes: „This prestigious prize acknowledges in particular the multidisciplinary cooperation in lung research that characterizes the unique profile of the DZL, which will also continue to be a key driving force for innovation and translation.“

Prof. Klaus Rabe, DZL Board Member and Director of the DZL North Site Network (ARCN), emphasizes: „This honour belongs of course to the whole DZL and will certainly motivate us to promote this still relatively young researcher initiative even further. I am particularly pleased that in this way our clinical engagement and commitment to young scientists are recognized and will continue to be supported“.

Prof. Erika von Mutius, DZL Board Member and Director of the DZL Site (CPC-M) in Munich, welcomes „this high recognition of our work at the German Centre for Lung Research. It is an incentive for further excellent research for all our patients, to find new treatment methods and improvements in the lives of our families affected by lung diseases“.

Prof. Tobias Welte, DZL Board Member and Director of the Hannover DZL Site sums up: „As the representative of all those scientists actively involved in the DZL, I feel extraordinarily honoured. The award proves that translational research, which takes findings from basic research to their use in the clinic, is the right way forward to provide patients with visible success and to inspire interest in young people for medicine and science.“

Further Information

Text: DZL Central
Picture: R. Wegst

The DZL Board at the DZL Annual Meeting 2018 [1. row, from left: Prof. H.-U. Kauczor, Prof. T. Welte, Prof. K. Rabe, Prof. W. Seeger, Prof. E. von Mutius; far right: Prof. P. Suter]