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Christian Hackenberger receives breakthrough award in life sciences at the Berlin Science Week


Christian Hackenberger is honored at the Falling Walls conference with a “breakthrough of the year”-award in the life sciences. Ten scientific "breakthroughs of the year" were announced on Monday in various disciplines. With this award the jury recognizes Christian Hackenberger's research on protein-based biopharmaceuticals.

Today, the treatment of cancer with chemotherapy has many negative side effects, and treatments against viral infections have shortcomings. The research group of Christian Hackenberger found a way to improve the treatment of both. They have pioneered the development of protein-based therapeutics, based on the modification and cellular delivery of antibodies to target cancer and viral infections. This includes the engineering of an inhibitor against human and avian influenza and safer next-gen antibody-drug conjugates. These efforts led to the foundation of the highly successful start-up Tubulis.
Jury Chair Marja Makarow : “Christian Hackenberger’s breakthrough is a technology that enables drug molecules to be attached to antibodies, which find the broken linkers within the patient’s cancer cells, and release the necessary drug only where it should work – without harming normal tissue in its course. The jury concluded that the core idea of this science is fascinating, the theoretical approach great and the potential concerning cancer therapy and virus infection prevention is huge.”
The Falling Walls Foundation announced the Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs of the Year 2020. In ten categories, ranging from life sciences to science in the arts, outstanding research projects are honoured on 9 November, the day the Berlin Wall came down peacefully in 1989. The ten breakthroughs were identified by a distinguished global jury chaired by Helga Nowotny, president emeritus of the European Research Council. The juries chose the science breakthroughs of the year from 940 research projects that were nominated by academic institutions from 111 countries on all continents.


Prof. Dr. Christian Hackenberger
Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP)
Leibniz-Humboldt-Professur für Chemische Biologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Phone +49 (0)30 / 94793 - 181
Twitter: @PhosphorusFive

Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP)
Silke Oßwald
Phone +49 (0)30 94793 104
Twitter @LeibnizFMP




Prof. Dr. Christian Hackenberger

Head Hackenberger Group,

  • Humboldt-Leibniz Professor Chemical Biology Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Research Section

Chemical Biology