ANU conferred the degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa to Professor Matthias Hentze MD for his exceptional contributions to science.
Professor Hentze is a world-leading biomedical researcher, working in the fields of cell biology, genetics and molecular medicine. He is an early pioneer of RNA research and made substantial contributions to our understanding of genome regulation. His descriptions of the mechanisms to control mRNA translation are now enshrined in all leading textbooks of biochemistry and molecular cell biology. His recent work, in collaboration with Professor Thomas Preiss at JCSMR, has led to the discovery that hundreds of seemingly well characterised cellular proteins also bind RNA suggesting previously unrecognised ways to connect cell metabolism and gene expression.This work is expected to have profound implications for cell and systems biology, and give new insight into diseases including cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Matthias is Professor of Molecular Medicine at Heidelberg University and Director of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), one of the premier biology research centres in the world, and an official strategic partner of Australian science. Matthias’ numerous prestigious research awards include Germany's highest research honour, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, which he received in 2000. In 2016, he was elected as a Corresponding Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.