Schering Stiftung

Prize winner 

Gisbert Schneider is Professor of Computer-Assisted Drug Design at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at ETH Zurich. He is considered a pioneer in the field of targeted molecule design using machine learning methods.

Gisbert Schneider is Professor of Computer-Assisted Drug Design at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at ETH Zurich. He is considered a pioneer in the field of targeted molecule design using machine learning methods.
Photo: Daniel Winkler / ETH Zurich

Petra and Gisbert Schneider with a 3D model of a protein for which potential active ingredients were designed with the aid of artificial intelligence. The researcher couple has been working together for over thirty years on the development and practical application of innovative computer methods for pharmaceutical research.

Petra and Gisbert Schneider with a 3D model of a protein for which potential active ingredients were designed with the aid of artificial intelligence. The researcher couple has been working together for over thirty years on the development and practical application of innovative computer methods for pharmaceutical research.
Photo: Daniel Winkler / ETH Zurich

Gisbert Schneider in conversation with a lab member and their “colleague computer.” The AI software developed by Schneider’s MODLAB team provides valuable suggestions for drug research. The intensive scientific discussions are an important precondition for gaining knowledge.

Gisbert Schneider in conversation with a lab member and their “colleague computer.” The AI software developed by Schneider’s MODLAB team provides valuable suggestions for drug research. The intensive scientific discussions are an important precondition for gaining knowledge.
Photo: Daniel Winkler / ETH Zurich

Gisbert Schneider with lab members at the Molecular Design Laboratory (MODLAB) at ETH Zurich. MODLAB develops new computer methods for medicinal chemistry and translates them into immediate practical application.

Gisbert Schneider with lab members at the Molecular Design Laboratory (MODLAB) at ETH Zurich. MODLAB develops new computer methods for medicinal chemistry and translates them into immediate practical application.
Photo: Daniel Winkler / ETH Zurich

Gisbert Schneider’s interdisciplinary working group at ETH Zurich brings together researchers from the computer sciences and the engineering and natural sciences.

Gisbert Schneider’s interdisciplinary working group at ETH Zurich brings together researchers from the computer sciences and the engineering and natural sciences.
Photo: Daniel Winkler / ETH Zurich

Gisbert Schneider

Ernst Schering Prize 2022

Gisbert Schneider

Ernst Schering Prize 2022


Gisbert Schneider is considered a pioneer in the field of targeted molecule design using machine learning methods. The biochemist and bioinformatician has broken new ground and advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to the point that it is now possible to reliably predict the efficacy of drugs. His method builds on the knowledge about known active ingredients, natural products, and their effects, and uses AI to develop new drug candidates with desired properties. Through his excellent research and his unflagging commitment to technology transfer, he was able to gain the trust of industry and thus lay the foundations for the use of these methods in modern biomedical practice. Already today, this technology enables a much more efficient identification of potential active ingredients, thus significantly increasing the chances of success when it comes to the development of new drugs.

Prof. Dr. Gisbert Schneider is Professor of Computer-​Assisted Drug Design at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at ETH Zurich and director of the Singapore-ETH Center. For his outstanding research in the field of molecular design, especially the development of machine learning methods to predict drug activity, Gisbert Schneider receives the Ernst Schering Prize 2022. The transfer of this innovative concept into medicinal chemistry and chemical biology is recognized as an important contribution to the theory and practice of modern biomedicine.

Gisbert Schneider was nominated for the Ernst Schering Prize by the Office of the President of ETH Zurich. The head of the Strategic Foresight Hub at ETH Zurich, Dr. Chris Luebkeman, who will lead a conversation with the awardee about his research at the award ceremony, said: “Drug discovery is a long and laborious process. Gisbert Schneider recognized the potential of machine learning to accelerate the discovery of new medicinal agents and increase selection efficiency. His deep belief in and unwavering commitment to this new approach has led, on a sometimes unpopular path, to a paradigm shift in drug research. I am therefore very pleased that Schneider’s extraordinary achievements will be honored with the Ernst Schering Prize 2022.”

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Side events 

Lecture to high-school students: Artificial intelligence in modern drug research

September 30, 2022

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

Public Scientific Lecture

Lecture — September 29, 2022

This year's Ernst Schering Prize Laureate, Prof. Gisbert Schneider, will present his latest research results to a scientific audience.

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Ernst Schering Prize Lecture 2022

Lecture — September 29, 2022

Prof. Dr. Gisbert Schneider presents his research in the field of molecule design and the development of machine learning methods to predict drug activity.

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Award Ceremony 2022

Award ceremony — September 29, 2022

The Schering Stiftung awards the Ernst Schering Prize to the biochemist and bioinformatician Gisbert Schneider. The physician and research group leader Sarah Kim-Hellmuth will be awarded with the Friedmund Neumann Prize.

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Curriculum vitae

Prof. Dr. Gisbert Schneider

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Ernst Schering Prize Jury 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Simone Schürle is researching in the field of biomedical engineering and Assistant Professor for Responsive Biomedical Systems at ETH Zurich. She graduated in 2009 from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Industrial Engineering and Management with specialization in micro/nanosystems. She then joined the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) where she focused on magnetic manipulation techniques for biomedical applications. She was awarded with the ETH medal for her doctoral thesis and with fellowships from the SNSF, DAAD and the Society in Science for her postdoctoral studies at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was researching as postdoctoral fellow from 2014-​2017. Besides activities in public outreach work and education, she is serving as Global Future Council for the World Economic Forum. She is also co-​founder of MagnebotiX, a young spin-​off from ETHZ.

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