Emeritus Prof. Andreas Engel Awarded Honorary Doctorate by Aarhus University in Denmark
For his outstanding research work in investigating the structure of membrane proteins, Professor emeritus Andreas Engel was awarded the Honorary Doctorate in Health Sciences on 14. September, 2012, by the Aarhus University in Denmark. Andreas Engel worked at the Biozentrum for over 25 years and made a considerable contribution to the elucidation of the structure of human aquaporin-1 and the development of methods for 2-D and 3-D structure determination.
On September 14th, 2012, Professor emeritus Andreas Engel was presented with the Honorary Doctorate in Health Sciences during the annual celebrations of the founding of the Danish Aarhus University. Andreas Engel belongs to the world’s leading researchers in structural biology with a focus on membrane proteins. His commitment as a mentor of young, talented researchers also received special recognition. Almost half of his PhD students and postdocs have continued on to build a career in fundamental scientific research.
The major focus of Andreas Engel’s work, in his over 25 years of research at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, was the investigation of aquaglyceroporin proteins. These form channels in the cell membrane transporting water and small organic molecules across the membrane. Engel’s work on the elucidation of the structure of human aquaporin-1 together with Peter Agre (Baltimore) and Yoshinori Fujioshi (Kyoto) led to the first determination of the atomic structure of a water channel membrane protein. Today, working together with the Aarhus University, he is addressing the challenging question of how aquaporin-2 is regulated in the human kidney, in order to maintain water balance.
Using electron crystallography, atomic force microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy techniques, Engel also studied two dimensional crystals from membrane proteins and lipids. In the process he made a significant contribution to the initial studies determining the 3-D structure of the bacterial porin OmpF and to the development of the technology for the 2-D crystallization of membrane proteins.
After reaching the status of emeritus at the University of Basel in 2010, Andreas Engel followed the call to the Case Western Reserve University in the USA, where he is involved in building a new microscopy center at the Cleveland Center for Structural and Membrane Biology.
Contact: Communications Ekaterini Markopoulos