Schering Stiftung

Prize winner 

Prof. Elly Tanaka
Ernst Schering Preis 2017

Prof. Elly Tanaka Ernst Schering Preis 2017
Photo: Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie (IMP), Wien

Prof. Elly Tanaka - Ernst Schering Preis 2017

Prof. Elly Tanaka - Ernst Schering Preis 2017

Prof. Martin Grötschel, Prof. Maria Leptin, Prof. Elly Tanaka, Prof. Stephan Kaufmann - Ernst Schering Preis 2017

Prof. Martin Grötschel, Prof. Maria Leptin, Prof. Elly Tanaka, Prof. Stephan Kaufmann - Ernst Schering Preis 2017
Photo: Julia Zimmermann

Prof. Elly Tanaka - Ernst Schering Preis 2017

Prof. Elly Tanaka - Ernst Schering Preis 2017

Elly Tanaka

Ernst Schering Prize 2017

Elly Tanaka

Ernst Schering Prize 2017

Prof. Dr. Elly Tanaka is a senior scientist at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna, Austria, and the leading specialist in the field of regeneration biology. With the aid of innovative molecular biological and microscopic techniques, she was able to identify the stem cells that induce the regeneration of limbs and spinal cord in salamanders. Combining regeneration and stem cell research, her work delivers long-sought answers regarding the molecular and cellular fundamentals of regeneration.

Prof. Dr. Elly Tanaka is awarded the Ernst Schering Prize 2017 for her outstanding research in the field of regeneration biology.

Professor Tanaka was nominated for the Ernst Schering Prize 2017 by Dr. Jan-Michael Peters, Managing Director of Science at the IMP. “I am utterly delighted that Elly Tanaka’s research achievements are honored with the prestigious Ernst Schering Prize, for like few others, she perfectly fits the criteria for the prize.Her insights, which are the result of her creative and persistent research, are truly pioneering and will define the field of regeneration biology also for the future scientists she is training, among other places, at the IMP,” says Peters.

Prof. Dr. Maria Leptin, mentor of Professor Tanaka and director of the EMBO in Heidelberg, who will give the presentation speech at the award ceremony, says about Professor Tanaka: “Elly Tanaka is a uniquely creative and independent-minded scientist. Thanks to her, we have groundbreaking insights into the regeneration capacity of organs and tissues, which were facilitated through her original application of cutting-edge analytical methods using a classic test animal, the axolotl.”

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Side events 

High School Lecture

September 25, 2017
How do animals regenerate their body parts?

Schulfarm Insel Scharfenberg, Berlin-Tegel (nicht öffentlich)

Scientific Lecture

September 25, 2017, 4–5 p.m.
Deciphering molecules and cells for limb and spinal cord regeneration

Berlin-Brandenburgisches Zentrum für Regenerative Therapien.
Charité Campus Virchow-Klinikum
Föhrer Str. 15 | 13353 Berlin

BCRT Webpage

Press Review 

The fact that Elly Tanaka will continue to explore the phenomenon can be seen in her enthusiasm for this research: "The process of regeneration is simply beautiful."

26.09.2017, Florian Schumann, Tagesspiegel

If an axolotl loses a part of his body, it grows again. How and why does the regeneration works so well in this animals? Researchers want to find it out for years.

06.10.2017, Laura Borchardt, NDR Info – Logo – Das Wissenschaftsmagazin

Media library

Video — September 25, 2017

Elly Tanaka - science career and limb regeneration

September 2017

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Gallery — September 25, 2017

Award Ceremony

Ernst Schering Prize 2017 and Friedmund Neumann Prize 2017

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Award Ceremony 2017 

Award ceremony — September 25, 2017

On September 25th, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. the renowned science awards will be given to Elly Tanaka and Ivana Nikić-Spiegel.

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Award Ceremony

Invitation Card

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Further information

with research abstract and CV

Download File

Scientific Lecture

Invitation card

Download File


Constance Scharff explores the genes required for proper development of speech and language. The biologist graduated from Rockefeller University in New York in 1991 with a thesis on the neurobiology of singing in songbirds. At the Collège de France in Paris she worked on the development of gender differences in the brains of hens and roosters. Back in New York, she became assistant professor at Rockefeller University in 1994, studying the development of new nerve cells in the adult brain. In 2001, Scharff was appointed to the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, in 2005 to a professorship for behavioral biology at the Free University. Since 2008 she is Vice President of the German Zoological Society and since 2012 member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.


Carl-Henrik Heldin has, since 1992, been professor in Molecular Cell Biology at Uppsala University, Sweden. Between 1986 and 2017, he was the Branch Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Uppsala. Professor Heldin is the chair of the Boards of the Nobel Foundation, the Science for Life Laboratory, and the European Molecular Biology Organization. His research interest is related to the mechanisms of signal transduction by growth regulatory factors, as well as their normal function and role in disease. An important goal is to explore the possible clinical utility of signal transduction antagonists.


Stefan Kaufmann is founding director and director of the Department of Immunology of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin and Professor for Microbiology and Immunology at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin. He received his Ph.D. in biology (“summa cum laude”) from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and completed his habilitation in the field of immunology and microbiology at the Freie Universität Berlin in 1981. From 1987 until 1991, he was Professor for Medical Microbiology and Immunology, and from 1991 until 1998, he was Full Professor for Immunology at Ulm University.


Hartmut Michel studied Biochemistry at the Universities of Tübingen and Munich. He completed his doctoral degree at the University of Würzburg in 1977 and habilitated in 1988 at the University of Munich. Since 1987 he is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics at Frankfurt/Main, where he leads the Department for Molecular Membrane Biology. In 1988, Hartmut Michel was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, together with Johannes Deisenhöfer and Robert Huber, for their investigation of the molecular structure of the photosynthesis reaction center in the rhodopseudomonas viridis bacterium.


Günter Stock is a german physiologist. He was Professor of Vegetative Physiology in Heidelberg from 1980 to 1983. From 1983 to 2005 he has worked at the Schering AG, from 1989 to 2005 as board member, with responsibility for research and development. From 2006 to 2015 he was the President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Since 2012 he has been serving as All European Academies (ALLEA) President since 2012. Since 2015 he is the chair of the Executive Board of the Einstein Foundation Berlin.


Fiona Doetsch investigates stem cells in the adult mammalian brain. Elucidating the molecular and cellular pathways underlying their regulation may provide insight into brain repair.


Bernard Meunier is currently Emeritus Director of Research at the Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination du CNRS, Toulouse, and Distinguished Professor at the Chemistry Department of Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, P. R. China (since 2012). He has been Chair in Technological Innovation Liliane Bettencourt at the Collège de France, Paris (2014–2015), President of the French Academy of Sciences (2015–2016), and President of the CNRS (2004–2006). His main interests in the field of bioinorganic and medicinal chemistry is the design and development of hybrid molecules as antimalarial or anti-schistosomiasis drugs and of new copper-specific chelating agents as potential therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s disease.


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