Asifa Akhtar Awarded Germany’s Leibniz Prize

Molecular biologist, Asifa Akhtar, was awarded Germany's most prestigious awards, the Leibniz Prize for her work on epigenetic gene regulation.

Asifa Akhtar, a molecular biologist, who also happens to be a Pakistan-born native, was chosen to be awarded one of Germany’s most important research awards, the Leibniz Prize!

Asifa Akhtar works for Germany’s Max Planck Society. She was its first international female vice president for their biology and medicine section and she will be awarded the Leibniz Prize by 2021.

The Max Planck Society is Germany’s most important and extensive research organization, which was established in 1948 and has since had 18 Nobel laureates emerge from the ranks of its scientists. It is on par with the best and most prestigious research institutions worldwide. The foundation further took to Twitter and said, “Very excited that two Max Planck Press scientists are among the 2021 Leibniz Preis recipients: our Vice President Asifa Akthar, MPI of Immunobiology & Epigenetics and Volker Springel, MPI for Astrophysics. Congratulations!”

The Leibniz Prize is recognized as the most important research award in Germany, rewards a maximum of €2.5 million per award to its winners and Asifa Akhtar is one of them! Dr. Akhtar is being awarded for her groundbreaking cell-biological work on the mechanisms of epigenetic gene regulation.

Moreover, the Leibniz Prize launched under the Leibniz Programme, established in 1985, aims to improve the working conditions of outstanding researchers, expand their research opportunities, relieve them of administrative tasks, and help them employ particularly qualified early career researchers.

Born in Karachi, Asifa Akhtar completed her doctorate at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, UK, in 1997 before settling in Germany where she was a Postdoctoral student at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and the Adolf-Butenandt-Institute in Munich from 1998 to 2001.

Asifa Akhtar has also won the Feldberg Prize in 2017, and now shall be receiving the Leibniz Prize in 2021.

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