Center for Systems Biology awards Ernst Dieter Gilles Prize for the first time

June 13, 2024

Douglas Lauffenburger exemplifies the successful integration of biosciences and engineering. The Stuttgart Research Center Systems Biology (SRCSB) has honored this esteemed MIT scientist with the Ernst Dieter Gilles Prize.
[Picture: University of Stuttgart, SRCSB]

“Professor Lauffenburger is not only one of the world's most influential pioneers in the field of bioengineering and systems biology. He is also regarded as one of the greatest role models for excellent research at the interface of biosciences and engineering,” emphasized Professor Markus Morrison, Managing Director of the SRCSB and Head of the  Institute of Cell Biology and Immunology (IZI) at the University of Stuttgart, at the award ceremony during the SRCSB Day 2024.

Biomedical technology for a better understanding of diseases

Lauffenburger has been Ford Professor of Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston since 2009. Over the course of his career, the US scientist has played a key role in advancing the development of biomedical technology. With his research group, he utilizes methods and findings from mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, and engineering to develop models that investigate and influence cellular behavior at the molecular level. This contributes to a better understanding of cancer and infectious diseases as well as inflammatory diseases. He is a member of the David H. Koch Institutes for Integrative Cancer Research and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

SRCSB Director Professor Markus Morrison (left) presents the Ernst Dieter Gilles Prize to MIT Professor Douglas Lauffenburger (right).

The nucleus of systems biology in Germany

The SRCSB honors the late Professor Ernst Dieter Gilles, who passed away in 2019, by awarding this prize for the first time. “Professor Gilles was a pioneer in systems biology. And thanks to his work, the University of Stuttgart is now regarded as the nucleus of interdisciplinary cooperation between the natural sciences and engineering,” emphasized Morrison. Gilles was Director of the Institute for System Dynamics and Control Engineering at the University of Stuttgart from 1968 to 2005 and Director of the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems from 1997 to 2008. In Stuttgart, he established the Technical Cybernetics course and the DFG research group “Methods for Modeling and Calculating the Dynamics of Process Engineering Processes”, which later became a collaborative research center. His achievements have earned him the Carl Friedrich Gauss Medal and four honorary doctorates in Germany and abroad.

About the Stuttgart Research Center Systems Biology

The Stuttgart Research Center Systems Biology (SRCSB) has been structuring and coordinating excellent, interdisciplinary research and education in the fields of systems biology and synthetic biology at the University of Stuttgart since 2014 and consistently puts the Stuttgart way of networked disciplines into practice. It operates across the boundaries of traditionally separate disciplines and faculties, creating a framework for seamless integration of life sciences, systems science, and engineering. It is a nationally and internationally renowned center for cutting-edge research in systems biology and synthetic biology and contributes to the Biomedical Systems profile area at the University of Stuttgart. 18 institutes from seven faculties are involved in the SRCSB.

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Jutta Witte


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University Communications

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