Wednesday, 02. August 2017

Didier Stainier receives „Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Award“

Didier Stainier (middle) as well as the board members Uwe Strähle (left) and Stefan Schulte Merker durch the award ceremony in Budapest. Photo by Thaler Tamas.

Max Planck Researcher honored for outstanding achievements


Developmental biologist Didier Stainier, director at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim, Germany, has received the "Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Award" from the European Zebrafish Society "EuFischBioMed". The research prize named after the German Professor who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1995 was recently awarded for the first time at the annual meeting of the European Zebrafish Society in Budapest. Stainier received the award for his "outstanding achievements for research using the zebrafish".


The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become the main "pet" for developmental geneticists and other scientists worldwide. The former have made major discoveries in the genetic underpinnings of embryonic development using this small tropical fish.


Developmental biology is also the field Didier Stainier is focusing on: His goal is to identify genetic processes during the development of various organ systems. Hence, after many years of searching, his department discovered a key gene for the formation of blood vessels last year. 


Stainier moved from UCSF in San Francisco to the Max Planck Institute in 2012. In the Bad Nauheim-based institute, a large number of zebrafish are kept in one of the largest fish facilities in Germany. The transparency of the zebrafish embryos is one of the main advantages for researchers: the development of individual organs in fish embryos and larvae can be observed in real time using sophisticated microscopes. 

Using this technology, the role of certain genes during organ formation and function can be observed 'live'. 

Together with leading companies, Stainier has also significantly contributed to the development of state-of-the-art imaging techniques. Today, developmental biologists from all over the world can benefit from the results of this work.



PR contact


Dr. Matthias Heil

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D-61231 Bad Nauheim

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© 2018 Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim, Germany