Otto Hahn Medal for Elena Reckzeh

Dr. Elena Reckzeh is awarded the Otto Hahn Medal 2020 of the Max Planck Society for her outstanding scientific achievements in the field of chemical biology

April 28, 2021

During her PhD in the department of Prof. Herbert Waldmann, Elena Reckzeh has developed active substances under the guidance of Prof. Herbert Waldmann and Dr. Slava Ziegler that put tumor cells on a radical sugar diet. Cancer cells grow particularly quickly and therefore need a lot of sugar - almost 10 times more than healthy cells. In order to be able to absorb these large amounts quickly, cancer cells have an extraordinarily high amount of so-called glucose transporters. With the active substances developed by Elena Reckzeh, glucose transport can be blocked and sugar uptake stopped: The cancer cells starve and die.

"I am overwhelmed by the award. It has given me a real boost of motivation, as it is not only a great honor, but also encourages to continue one’s path in academic research. In the future, I would like to continue research in the field of chemical biology and use organoids (self-assembled 3D structures from adult stem cells) as a model system to work as close as possible to the patient", says Elena.

The Otto Hahn Medal comes with a recognition award of 7,500 euros. The award is intended to strengthen young scientists' awareness of their own abilities and encourage them to find their own way.

 In 2020, Elena Reckzeh has already received the Dortmund Biomedicine Award. Since completing her PhD at MPI, Elena Reckzeh has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Hubrecht Institute in the Netherlands.

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