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Prize Winners at the University of Marburg

Numerous national and international awards prove the excellence of the scientists and researchers at the University of Marburg. The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, the most highly endowed German prize, has been awarded to Marburg fourteen times. The CVs of eleven Nobel Prize winners are also linked to the University of Marburg.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the DFG

The most highly endowed scientific prize has been awarded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since 1986. The DFG currently provides award winners with up to 2.5 million euro for their research work.

The Leibniz Program is designed to improve the working conditions of outstanding scientists and researchers, expand their research opportunities, relieve them of administrative burdens, and make it easier for them to employ especially qualified early stage faculty.

Leibniz Prize winners of the University of Marburg:

Year Prize Winner
2024 Prof. Dr. Tobias Erb, Synthetic Microbiology
2022 Prof. Dr. Stefanie Dehnen, Anorganic Chemistry
2012 Prof. Dr. Friederike Pannewick, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies
2006 Prof. Dr. Gyburg Uhlmann, née Radke (since 2007: Freie Universität Berlin), Classical Philology
2004    Prof. Dr. Thomas Carell (since 2004: LMU Munich), Organic Chemistry
2003 Prof. Dr. Roland Lill, Cell Biology
2002 Prof. Dr. Bruno Eckhardt, Theoretical Physics
1997 Prof. Dr. Paul Knochel (since 1999: LMU Munich), Organometallic Chemistry)
1997 Prof. Dr. Stephan W. Koch, Theoretical Physics
1996 Prof. Dr. Reinhard Lührmann (since 1999: MPI Göttingen), Physiological Chemistry and Molecular Biology
1991 Prof. Dr. Ernst Goebel (since 1995 PTB Braunschweig), Experimental Physics
1991 Prof. Dr. Rolf Müller, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology
1989 Prof. Dr. Manfred T. Reetz (until 1991; since 2011: first Senior Professor at the University of Marburg), Organic Chemistry
1987 Prof. Dr. Rudolf Thauer, Biochemical Microbiology
  Leibniz Prize winners who are now members of the University of Marburg:
1993 Prof. Dr. Regine Kahmann, Molecular Genetics, LMU Munich (since 2001 at the University of Marburg)

Nobel Prize winners

Year/Department Prize Winner
Emil von Behring (1854-1917), who was professor of Hygiene at the University of Marburg from 1895 until his death, was honored with the first Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1901 for his work in developing a cure for diphtheria. The discoverer of serum therapy invested the money from the Nobel Prize in an estate in Marburg-Marbach, which became the nucleus of the Behringwerke, founded in 1914. It still exists to this day as the “Behringwerke Marburg Industrial Park.”
Ferdinand Braun (1850-1918) studied to become a schoolteacher in Marburg and taught as a professor of mathematical physics at the University of Marburg from 1877 to 1880. The physicist and 1909 Nobel Prize winner developed the “Braun transmitter,” which was important for wireless telegraphy, and the cathode-ray tube, the most important component of the television set and the radar receiver. (Commemorative plaque, Hofstatt 2)
Albrecht Kossel (1853-1927): The physician and physiologist who received the 1910 Nobel Prize for Medicine, was director of the Physiological Institute in Marburg from 1895 to 1901. He conducted research on the cell nucleus and proteins and discovered the nucleic bases adenine, thymine, and cytosine.
Hans Fischer (1881-1945), the 1930 winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, studied chemistry and medicine in Marburg from 1899 to 1904. Later professor at the Technical University of Munich, the Nobel Prize was awarded for his research on the chemistry of pyrrole and the synthesis of hemin.
Otto Loewi (1873-1961): pharmacologist, was an assistant at the University of Marburg from 1898 to 1905, where, in 1900, he also earned his Habilitation. Together with Sir Henry Hallett Dale (UK), this 1936 winner of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine discovered the transmission of nerve impulses by chemical means.
Adolf Butenandt (1903-1995) studied chemistry and biology at the University of Marburg from 1921 to 1925. This 1939 winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry was one of the leading researchers in the field of sex hormones and the biochemical effect of hereditary factors.
Otto Hahn (1879-1968) studied and earned his doctorate in chemistry at the University of Marburg from 1897 to 1904. Hahn discovered nuclear fission and thus became the founder of the atomic age. (Commemorative plaque, Renthof 12)
Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) spent an exchange semester at the University of Marburg in 1912. The Russian writer (“Doctor Zhivago”) received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958. He initially accepted the prize, but later rejected it due to political pressure from the Soviet government.
Karl Ziegler (1898-1973), who received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1963 (together with Giulio Natta) for his discoveries in the field of polymers, studied and worked at the University of Marburg from 1916 to 1925.
Georg Wittig (1897-1987): chemist, began studying in Marburg in 1920, subsequently worked as an assistant, and in 1932 became an Associate Professor at the University of Marburg. In 1979, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Jules Hoffmann (geb. 1941): French biologist born in Luxembourg, received the Nobel Prize for Medicine together with Bruce Beutler (USA) and Ralph Steinman (Canada). Hoffmann researches how the bodies of animals and humans ward off dangerous bacteria and viruses, fungi, and parasites. He was a postdoctoral fellow in Marburg in the 1970s.

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