Robert Koch Gold Medal awarded to Prof. Jörg Hacker for his life’s work

For his life’s work, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Jörg Hacker will be awarded the Robert Koch Medal in Gold on November 11, 2022 in Berlin. The network cordially congratulates Prof. Hacker on this very special honor!

From the press release of the Robert Koch Foundation dated 20.04.2022:

“Jörg Hacker is “not only an outstanding scientist”, said the then Federal Minister of Health, Ulla Schmidt, about him in 2008. “He knows how to share his findings with others and to communicate science in a way that people outside his field understand.”

Jörg Hacker is a pioneer in molecular infection research. In 1983, he described the so-called “pathogenicity islands” of bacteria, genetic elements that contain multiple genes that can trigger disease in a coordinated manner in us, for example. These genetic elements are only loosely anchored in the genome of bacteria, or they are even passed on separately. They can be easily exchanged between bacteria. Thus, harmless bacteria can very quickly evolve into dangerous pathogens. Or bacteria can exchange genes that make them resistant to antibiotics. Through his research, Jörg Hacker has made a decisive contribution to understanding the evolution of
microbial pathogens.

After studying in Halle, Jörg Hacker worked at the University of Würzburg from 1980, and from 1993 as head of the Institute for Molecular Infection Biology. From 2008 to 2010 he was president of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, and from 2010 to 2020 president of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Under his aegis, the Leopoldina evolved into the German Academy of Science, the national, independent advisory body of today. In his many roles as a shaper of science, Jörg Hacker has made a unique contribution to the development of the framework conditions for research in Germany.”