Peter Seeberger Wins Körber Prize | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: May 9, 2007

Peter Seeberger Wins Körber Prize

Vaccine research earns chemist prestigious German prize
Department: ACS News
Credit: ETH
Credit: ETH

The 2007 Körber Prize for Science has been awarded to Peter H. Seeberger, a professor of organic chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH). Seeberger 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 awards in science. 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.

Seeberger received a Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1995 from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He joined Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998 as an assistant professor and was named Firmenich Associate Professor of Chemistry in 2002. He joined ETH in 2003. He has been a member of ACS since 1992.

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