Issue Date: June 4, 2007
Peter Seeberger Wins Körber Prize
Peter H. Seeberger, a professor of organic chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, is the recipient of the 2007 Körber Prize for Science. He is being cited for his groundbreaking research in the synthesis of complex sugars, which may form the basis of vaccines for a variety of diseases.
The Körber Prize, named for entrepreneur and philanthropist Kurt A. Körber, is valued at $1.02 million and is one of Germany's most prestigious science awards. The prize recognizes European scientists for pioneering research.
Seeberger led the development of an automated oligosaccharide synthesizer that reduces the time to produce a single complex sugar from months to less than a day.
Using the "sugar machine," Seeberger and his colleagues are developing possible sugar-based vaccine candidates against malaria, leishmaniasis, AIDS, anthrax, and tuberculosis. Preclinical tests of a malaria vaccine are under way in animals. Tests of the vaccine on humans will begin in 2008.
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