Prestigious science award honors IMP Senior Scientist Elly Tanaka for her outstanding research in the field of regeneration biology.
Elly Tanaka, who joined the IMP only last autumn as a senior scientist, is a leading specialist in the field of regeneration biology. For her outstanding research, she is awarded this year’s Ernst Schering Prize. The 50,000-euro prize is one of the most prestigious German science awards. Given annually by the Ernst Schering Foundation, Berlin, it honors scientists worldwide whose pioneering basic research has yielded new, inspiring models or led to fundamental shifts in biomedical knowledge. “I feel deeply honoured by the award of this year’s Ernst Schering Prize”, says Elly Tanaka. “This prestigious award poses a valuable opportunity for my lab and myself to step back from the focus of our research and share the view on a bigger picture with a broad audience. This is an exciting time to do research on regeneration. I am convinced the award will be received as sign of recognition among past and current colleagues in my field, and I hope to inspire young scientists through it.”
In its official announcement, the Schering Foundation emphasized the exceptional contribution of Elly Tanaka to our current understanding of regeneration: “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.” Elly Tanaka was nominated for the Ernst Schering Prize 2017 by 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.
Maria Leptin, mentor of Elly Tanaka and director of the EMBO in Heidelberg, who will give the presentation speech at the award ceremony, says: “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.” The award ceremony will take place in Berlin on 25 September.