Otto Hahn Medal for Zhexin “Eric“ Wang

June 22, 2023

For his exceptional scientific achievments in the field of muscle research, the Max Planck Society has awarded Zhexin "Eric" Wang the prestigious Otto Hahn Medal 2022. The Otto Hahn Medal comes with a recognition award of 7,500 euros and is intended to strengthen young scientists' awareness of their own abilities and encourage them to find their own way.

Zhexin “Eric” Wang did his doctoral research on the structural organisation of muscles at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Prof. Stefan Raunser's department. During his time at the MPI Eric has established a new approach to visualise sarcomeres, the basic contractile muscle unit, using electron cryo-tomography and cryo-focused ion beam milling and obtained the first molecular picture of mammalian muscle sarcomeres. His 3D reconstruction of the sarcomere reveals the details of the intricate organisation of thin and thick filaments as well as bridging proteins, including a unique double-head myosin conformation. Eric has also determined the first structure of a previously "nebulous" muscle protein, appropriately named nebulin, in its native environment. 

“This is both visually fascinating and rewarding as the new insights from my research will facilitate future development of strategies against muscle diseases and muscle ageing”, says Eric.

Before joining the doctoral programme of the MPI in Dortmund in 2016, Eric did his undergraduate and master’s studies at Imperial College London. He just returned to the United Kingdom to become a postdoctoral researcher in Tanmay Bharat's laboratory at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge.

We congratulate Eric and wish him all the best and a successful scientific career!

Go to Editor View