Schering Stiftung

Prize winner 

Jens Claus Brüning

Jens Claus Brüning

Agouti-verwandtes Peptid (AGRP)

Agouti-verwandtes Peptid (AGRP)
Photo: MPI

Jens Claus Brüning

Ernst Schering Prize 2020

Jens Claus Brüning

Ernst Schering Prize 2020

Jens Claus Brüning is Director of the Max Planck Institute for Metabolic Research in Cologne and heads the Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Preventive Medicine at the University Hospital in Cologne. The physician and metabolism researcher is investigating the connection between diabetes mellitus type 2 and insulin resistance. He was able to show how the central nervous system regulates food intake and influences the availability of energy in the body. The brain plays a decisive role in regulating the energy balance and thus also in food intake.

The interactions between the very complex hormone system and the control in the nervous system are part of Prof. Brüning’s research focus. He was able to identify certain brain cells as control centers for metabolism and describe their effects.

His basic research is groundbreaking for new prevention and therapy approaches for obesity and metabolic diseases. Prof. Dr. Jens Claus Brüning will receive the Ernst Schering Prize 2020 for his outstanding research work.
A seven-member jury of international scientists* has selected Brüning’s research work from among 23 nominations.

Professor Brüning was nominated for the Ernst Schering Prize by Prof. Dr. Herbert Jäckle, retired director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. Professor Jäckle, who will talk to him about his work at the award ceremony, said: “Mr. Brüning is a physician who has made groundbreaking contributions to basic research. He owes this not only to his intellectual brilliance, but also to his social intelligence, with which he motivates his staff to achieve top performance while remaining humane and modest”.

In der Themenpartnerschaft „Gestörter Stoffwechsel“ zwischen dem Internetportal und der Schering Stiftung wird dieses gesellschaftlich relevante Thema für die breite Öffentlichkeit fachkundig und mit verständlichen, journalistischen Texten, Interviews und Animationen dargestellt.

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Side events 

Student lecture: How our brain controls food intake

October 01, 2020
Jens Brüning

Schulfarm Insel Scharfenberg, Berlin-Tegel (not open to the public)


Jens Brüning is a physician who has made groundbreaking contributions to basic research. He owes this not only to his intellectual brilliance, but also to his social intelligence, which enables him to motivate his staff in achieving top performance while remaining humane and modest.

Prof. Dr. Herbert Jäckle

With Jens Claus Brüning as this year's Ernst Schering Prize winner, we are honoring not only a physician who has succeeded in an impressive way in actively combining clinical and basic research, but who is also an excellent scientist whose research shows solutions to a global health problem

Dr. Katja Naie

Media library

Video — September 30, 2020

Ausschnitt der Preisverleihung

Ernst Schering Preis 2020 an Jens Brüning

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Gallery — September 30, 2020

Impressionen von der Preisverleihung

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Award Ceremony 

Theme partner 

Award ceremony — September 17, 2020

Schering Stiftung awards the Ernst Schering Prize to the physician and metabolism researcher Jens C. Brüning. The physician Florian Kahles will be awarded with the Friedmund Neumann Prize.

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Aminations, interviews and easy-to-understand texts explain the research field of the Ernst Schering Prizewinner 2020.

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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.


Pico Caroni has been a senior group leader at the Friedrich Miescher Institute (FMI) for Biomedical Research and a professor of neurobiology at the Biozentrum/The Center for Molecular Life Sciences at the University of Basel since 1995. He studied biochemistry at ETH Zürich and subsequently worked on regeneration in the central nervous system in Martin Schwab’s lab at the Brain Research Institute of the University of Zurich. Since 1989, Caroni has been a researcher at the FMI – first as a junior group leader – studying the plasticity of defined neuronal circuits and systems. He is interested not only in the fundamentals of learning and memory but also in the impact of gene mutations on the circuits and the resulting mental disorders.


Britta Eickholt has been Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin since 2011. She received her doctorate in 1998 at Guy's Hospital in London. In 2001, she received a lectureship at King's College London and started her own research group at the MRC Center for Developmental Neurobiology. She was appointed Professor of Molecular Neurobiology at King's College in 2010, before her move to Berlin in 2011. Her research focusses on the signaling mechanisms that regulate dynamic processes of the cytoskeleton in neuronal cells.


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.


Petra Knaus received her Ph.D. at the Center for Molecular Biology in Heidelberg in 1991. As a Research Fellow and Associate, she did her Postdoctoral Training at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, USA, until 1996. After her return to Germany, she was Junior Group Leader at the Biocenter in Würzburg. There she established her own lab with a focus on BMP receptor biology and signal transduction. In 2004 she became Full Professor for Biochemistry – Signaltransduction at the Institute for Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Freie Universität Berlin. In 2010 she received a W3 Professorship for Biochemistry – Signaltransduction and Regeneration at the Freie Universität Berlin and Charité. The interest of the Knaus lab is to understand the molecular mechanism of BMP signal transduction, and to identify common and distinct mechanistic concepts in different cell and tissue environments.


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.


Martin Oestreich has been Professor of Organic Chemistry (Synthesis & Catalysis) at TU Berlin since 2011. His appoitment was supported through an Einstein professorship by the Einstein Foundation Berlin. He studied chemistry at the Universities of Düsseldorf, Manchester, and Marburg (1991–1996) and received his doctoral degree at the University of Münster (1996–1999). After a postdoctoral stint at the University of California at Irvine (1999–2001), he completed his habilitation at the University of Freiburg (2001–2005). Martin Oestreich was Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Münster from 2006 until 2011. Visiting professorships took him to Cardiff (2005), Canberra (2010), and Kyoto (2018). His research interest range from homogeneous catalysis with main-group elements to elucidation of reaction mechanisms.


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