Arthur L. Horwich, Sterling Professor of Genetics at Yale School of Medicine and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is a co-winner of the 2019 Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research.
Horwich and Franz-Ulrich Hartl, director of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, were honored for their work on specialized proteins called molecular chaperones, which assist protein folding in cells.
Their work demonstrated that these proteins are essential for proper folding of proteins to their active “native” forms. The failure to correctly fold can result in proteins sticking to each other, forming aggregates, which feature prominently in a number of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Paul Janssen, known affectionately as “Dr. Paul” was a preeminent drug discovery scientist and founder of Janssen Pharmaceuticals based in his native Belgium, now an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson. The award is given to researchers whose work have significantly impacted human health.
The official ceremony will take place in late September in Janssen’s hometown of Beerse, Belgium.