Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize for FAU biochemist

Junior professor Aline Bozec has been awarded the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize 2016 (photo: Jens Wegener)
Junior professor Aline Bozec has been awarded the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize 2016 (photo: Jens Wegener)

Aline Bozec receives most important research prize for young researchers

Junior professor Dr. Aline Bozec has received the most important award for young researchers in Germany from the German Research Foundation (DFG). The biochemist, who has been a researcher at the Department of Medicine 3 – Rheumatology and Immunology at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen since 2011, will be presented with the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize – which is worth 20,000 euros – in Bonn on 18 May 2016.

During her research, Aline Bozec discovered early on that there are various interfaces between bones and other tissue and organ systems. In her work carried out in France, Austria, Spain and Germany she has described the central transcription factors and signalling pathways that are relevant to the activity of cells in osteoclasts (cells that break down bone), osteoblasts (cells that build bone), and fat cells. In doing so she has shed light on fundamental phenomena relating to the regulation of bone formation and resorption, the modulation of regenerative mechanisms in stem cells niches in bone marrow, and how these processes affect health and disease.

Born in France in 1977, Aline Bozec has been head of an Emmy Noether independent junior research group and junior professor at FAU since 2011. She played a key role in setting up the Collaborative Research Centre 1181 ‘Schaltstellen zur Auflösung von Entzündung’ (switching points for resolving inflammation) and is head of a sub-project in the DFG Priority Programme ‘Osteoimmunology’. After studying biochemistry in Orleans and completing her doctoral degree – for which she received an award from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research – at the University of Lyon, Aline Bozec conducted research on the influence of inflammation and tumours on the skeletal system at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Vienna and the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO). She was appointed junior professor of osteoimmunology at FAU in 2011.

‘In the past few years, Ms Bozec has not only succeeded in establishing an international working group at FAU that conducts high-quality research, attracts an impressive amount of third-party funding and produces papers that are published in top-level journals but has also been very involved in teaching, particularly in training for doctoral candidates,’ says Prof. Dr. Georg Schett, director of the Department of Medicine 3, describing the prize-winner’s accomplishments. ‘In addition to her outstanding research achievements, her extraordinary commitment and her excellent people skills, Ms Bozec impressively manages to combine a successful career with demanding family commitments as a mother of several children. She is a wonderful role model for other young women and a fantastic example of what we want to promote at FAU,’ says FAU Vice President for Research Prof. Dr. Nadine Gatzert.

Established in 1977, the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize is awarded to outstanding young researchers on an annual basis in recognition of their achievements and with the aim of inspiring them to continue their excellent academic work. Named after nuclear physicist and former DFG president Heinz Maier-Leibnitz, the prize is considered the most important award for young researchers in Germany. In addition, in a survey of large research organisations published in the magazine ‘bild der wissenschaft’ it was voted the third most important of all research prizes in Germany. A total of 134 researchers from all subjects were nominated for the award this year. The panel of judges appointed by the DFG and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) chose five young researchers as the winners of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize 2016. The prize money of 20,000 euros is provided by the BMBF.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Aline Bozec
Phone: +49 9131 8529002

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