The 2003 Louis-Jeantet prize for medicine has been awarded to three biologists for their use of complex biophysical imaging techniques to further understanding of both diseased and healthy tissue.

Wolfgang Baumeister, director of the Department of Molecular Structural Biology, Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsreid near Munich, Germany, is well known for his work on the structure and function of the proteasome — a protein complex essential for intracellular protein degradation. He receives the award for the development of cryoelectron tomography to visualize the cell and its components in three dimensions. In this technique, the target is rapidly frozen to preserve structural integrity and multiple images are recorded from different angles. Subsequent computer analysis of these images generates a three-dimensional reproduction of the object.

He obtained his PhD from the University of Düsseldorf, in 1973 and following two years at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, returned...

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