15 March 2022
Photo: UHH, AG Pearson
DGK member Dr. Manfred Weiss (right) and Dr. Manuel Hinterstein, DGK Chair of the Prize Committee, personally congratulated Dr. Andrea Thorn on the Max von Laue Prize 2022.
Dr. Andrea Thorn of the Department of Physics at Universität Hamburg was awarded the Max von Laue Prize 2022. With this honor, the German Society for Crystallography (DGK) recognizes outstanding scientific work by young scientists in the field of crystallography.
Presenting the award, Dr. Manfred Weiss highlighted Dr. Thorn’s diverse activities in crystallographic method development. Dr. Thorn develops computer programs that enable researchers to use measurement data from X-ray and neutron sources to determine the structures of large molecules, for example from the sting of the coronavirus, an area where she has also made important contributions. Andrea Thorn leads the Coronavirus Structural Task Force, an international team of 26 scientists who critically examine the published molecular structures of coronavirus and optimize structural models for vaccine and drug research.
The task force dissemminates its results not only to researchers but also to the public: Dr. Thorn has explained in numerous interviews in newspapers, radio, and television programs such as Terra-X, Nano, ZDF WISO, planet e. how the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus takes over host cells, multiplies and can thus trigger COVID-19. Years of research in computational methods and theory have allowed Dr. Thorn and her team of method developers to make a significant contribution in the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the beginning of the year, Andrea Thorn has also been conducting research in the Cluster of Excellence "CUI: Advanced Imaging of Matter", contributing her expertise on the function of macromolecular structures in Research Area C.
The prize was awarded at the DGK annual meeting. What is special: although the meeting took place virtually, the prize was handed over personally in the new research building HARBOR by DGK member Dr. Manfred Weiss of the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin and Dr. Manuel Hinterstein of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology who is Chair of the Prize Committee.