|Prof Schöler, A Merited Scientist to Receive Kazemi Prize|
Royan second Kazemi Prize went to a German scientist, Prof. Hans Robert Schöler for his scientific achievements.
Respecting the efforts and reviving the memories of Dr Kazemi Ashtiani, the late founder of Royan Institute, amongst national and international scientists as well as nonscientists, a yearly prize in biology entitled “Kazemi Prize” has been established to be awarded to a scientist who made an extraordinary progress in the biological sciences. Kazemi Research Award is a prize to appreciate extreme efforts of this scientist who dedicate his/her life to make progress in human life and relief people’s pain.
The first Kazemi Prize awarded to Prof. Rudolf Jaenisch one of the most innovative and creative scientists in the field of developmental biology, gene regulation, stem cell biology, and stem cell-mediated therapies in 2010. This year the prize awarded to Prof. Hans Robert Schöler on September 8th, 2011 at the closing ceremony of Royan 12th International Research Award.
Professor Dr Hans R. Schöler is one of the world’s leading scientists in stem cell research. He is appointed Director of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster, Germany, and holds a full Professorship at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster. Schöler was awarded the doctorate degree in Molecular Biology “summa cum laude” from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, in 1985. His expertise extends over 20 years of basic laboratory research in the Research and Development group at Boehringer Mannheim (now Roche) in Germany, at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, and at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), the most prestigious and renowned molecular biology facility in Europe, in Heidelberg, Germany. In 1999, Schöler was appointed Marion Dilley and David George Jones Chair in Reproduction Medicine and Head of the Center for Animal Transgenesis and Germ Cell Research of the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
The brilliant discovery by his laboratory of how mouse embryonic stem cells can be converted into oocyte-like cells holds tremendous implications for stem cell research. As a respected pioneer of stem cell research. Schöler has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications in prime journals and has written numerous book chapters on stem cells and present-day cloning strategies.
He developed an in vivo competition assay that provided the first evidence that cellular factors mediate the activity of transcriptional viral and cellular enhancers. He studied the activity of such factors by in vitro transcription assays and helped define the binding sites of specific nuclear factors. This led to the identification of Oct4 and several other proteins. cDNA cloning and detailed analysis suggested that the POU transcription factor Oct4 plays an important role in the mammalian germline. Subsequent papers confirmed that Oct4 is also essential for the pluripotency and survival of germline cells, and is alone sufficient to induce pluripotency in adult neural stem cells.
In 2004 Dr. Schöler was assigned Director at the Max Planck Institute in Münster, Germany, where he continues his excellent, state-of-the-art research in the renowned Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, one of the world's premier scientific research organizations. In addition, Dr. Schöler still holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry at University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Biology, Philadelphia. Since July 2005, Dr. Schöler is a member of the central ethics committee for stem cell research in Berlin. In 2008 Schöler – together with Irving Weissman and Shinya Yamanaka – was awarded the Robert Koch prize, one of the most prestigious German prizes in the natural sciences.