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16th CeMM Landsteiner Lecture by Benjamin F. Cravatt and the 2022 Denise P. Barlow Award Ceremony


Prof. Benjamin F. Cravatt at the 15th CeMM Landsteiner Lecture (©Franzi Kreis / CeMM).

On 8 May 2023, CeMM held its 16th Landsteiner Lecture featuring keynote speaker Benjamin F. Cravatt, Professor, and Norton B. Gilula Chair of Chemical Biology at the Department of Chemistry of The Scripps Research Institute (USA).

The event opened with “Les Tecchler”, the first duet performed by cellist Matthias Bartolomey and violinist and mandola player Klemens Bittmann, whose music style emphasizes the spontaneity and improvisation of jazz, incorporating rock elements, grooves, ballads, and fast up-tempo compositions.

CeMM Scientific Director Giulio Superti-Furga gave a welcome address, followed by the Denise P. Barlow Award Ceremony, which honors young academic talent and was launched by the Viennese institutions IMP, Max Perutz Labs, IMBA, and CeMM in memory of the formidable researcher Denise Barlow (1950-2017). The prize recognizes the best PhD thesis on topics covering basic cell biology, biochemical, molecular biological, structural, and computational work, with a focus on new biological mechanisms. In 2022 Matthias Hinterndorfer won the award for his PhD thesis titled “Time-resolved genetic screens to dissect gene functions and regulatory networks,” conducted under the supervision of Professor Johannes Zuber at the IMP Vienna. Matthias is currently working in the laboratory of CeMM PI Georg Winter, where his focus lies on  dissecting the genes and cellular machinery required for chemically induced targeted protein degradation.

After two more musical performances by BartolomeyBittmann, keynote speaker Benjamin F. Cravatt delivered his lecture titled "Exploring human biology with persistent chemistry." Cravatt is a pioneer in using chemical substances to map out and gain a better understanding of biology. He has developed innovative methods that enable the identification of all enzymes within a particular class that are actively present in a cell, simultaneously. Unlike other approaches, his methods measure function, using what are known as "functional" samples. He is a true master of "chemical biology", and his contributions have been recognized with a recent award, the prestigious Wolf Prize.

A big thank you to Benjamin F. Cravatt for delivering an inspiring and visionary 16th Landsteiner Lecture! We also want to congratulate Matthias Hinterndorfer for his well-deserved award and express our gratitude to the 320 attendees who joined us in person at this magnificent event once again!

If you could not attend the lecture, please watch the full recording here.


About the CeMM Landsteiner Lecture series
The CeMM Landsteiner Lecture series is named in honor of Karl Landsteiner, the Viennese scientist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering blood groups. The invited speakers, carefully selected by CeMM Faculty, are prominent scientists whose molecular research is deemed to have had a significant impact on medicine. From 2007 to 2018, the lecture was held in the stunning 18th-century frescoed festive hall of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, where once Haydn and Beethoven conducted premieres of their work. In 2019, it took place at the impressive building of the House of Industry in Vienna and as online format during the pandemic. From now on, the lecture will be held once again at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.