The German Research Foundation (DFG) has announced the recipients of the 2003 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize. Among the 11 prize winners are three life scientists. Each will receive up to €1.55 million.

One of the winners is the cell biologist Roland Lill, whose research at the University of Marburg concentrates on mitochondrial biogenesis. Lill discovered one of the reasons why mitochondria are essential for eukaryotic cells: they harbour the machinery for the biosynthesis of iron–sulfur (Fe/S) proteins. Working on the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, he has identified more than 10 mitochondrial proteins that are involved in this biosynthesis machinery.

Christof Niehrs at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg receives the Leibniz Prize for his work in the field of early vertebrate development. Studying mesoderm development in Xenopus laevis, Niehrs identified several genes that play a key part in the mechanism of head induction.

The third award in the...

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