Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Otto Hahn Medal for Jaime Agudo-Canalejo


Jaime Agudo-Canalejo has been awarded with the Otto Hahn Medal from the Max Planck Society (MPG). He will receive the price in the ceremony during the 68th annual meeting of the MPG, which takes place from June 21st -22nd in Weimar, Erfurt and Jena. The society recognizes his outstanding doctoral thesis on the curvature elasticity of fluid membranes.

The supramolecular architecture of the living cell is based, to a large extent, on fluid membranes that consist of bilayers of lipid molecules. These membranes provide the interfaces between different cellular compartments, and separate the inside from the outside of the cell.

Dr. Jaime Agudo-Canalejo

© Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces

The membranes are fluid and extremely thin: their thickness is only about a millionth of a millimeter! As a consequence, the membranes have unusual fluid-elastic properties: they are very flexible and can easily adjust their shape in response to stimuli or changes in their environment.

In his doctoral thesis, which Jaime Agudo-Canalejo did at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in the department of Reinhard Lipowsky, he elucidated the complex morphological behavior of these membranes and significantly advanced the theory of curvature elasticity.

A particularly interesting and important example for membrane remodeling is provided by endocytosis, the process by which small nanoparticles enter human cells. These nanoparticles might be natural viruses that are infecting the cell, or synthetic particles carrying a medical drug, so understanding this process is of high biomedical importance.

During endocytosis, the membrane bends around the particle until the particle is completely engulfed: The particle then ends up inside the cell, enclosed by a membrane coat. Using a theoretical model of membrane elasticity, Jaime Agudo obtained a quantitative description of how endocytosis is enhanced or inhibited depending on the size of the particle and on the so-called spontaneous curvature of the membrane, thereby explaining previous experimental observations.

The model also provides insight on how to replicate the process of endocytosis in giant vesicles, synthetic membrane systems that mimic the behavior of real cells and provide important modules for synthetic biology.

Besides endocytosis, Agudo has studied other membrane remodeling processes, such as the formation of nanotubes in giant vesicles exposed to asymmetric environments; or the formation of narrow membrane necks in biological and biomimetic membranes, which is relevant to essential cellular processes such as cell division or autophagy.

Otto Hahn Medal
The Max Planck Society has honored up to 30 young scientists and researchers each year with the Otto Hahn Medal for outstanding scientific achievements since 1978. The award comes with a monetary sum of 7500 euros as recognition. The prize is intended to motivate especially gifted junior scientists and researchers to pursue a future university or research career. Since 1978, more than 910 scientists and researchers have been awarded the Otto Hahn Medal. The award is presented during the general meeting in the following year.

Katja Schulze | Max-Planck-Institut für Kolloid- und Grenzflächenforschung

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht TIB advances implementation of transition towards Open Access in high energy physics
13.03.2018 | Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB)

nachricht Additional 5 Million Euro Funding for Aging Research in Jena, Germany
09.03.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>