Professor Wolf B. Frommer receives Taiwan's Tsungming Tu Award
A leading plant biologist from the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Max Planck Institute for Breeding Research, Köln (Germany) and the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM), Nagoya University (Japan), receives the highest academic honor granted to foreign researchers in Taiwan.
On May 8, 2018, Professor Wolf B. Frommer received the 11th Tsungming Tu Award from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in Taiwan, in recognition of his excellent achievement in plant science.
The award is bestowed as part of the "Tsungming Tu - Alexander von Humboldt Research Award Programme", established in September 2006 by the National Science Council (NSC, restructured to MOST in March 2014) in Taiwan and the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung in Germany, for the purpose of promoting future research cooperation between the two countries. The award has been regarded as one of the most prestigious academic honors conferred to foreign scholars and is granted to foreign scientists of international renown with great discoveries or achievements in their academic research fields.
The award is named after Dr. Tsungming Tu, a legendary figure in Taiwan's medical field. Having lived through three different regimes of the Ching Dynasty, Japanese colonial rule, and the Nationalist government, Dr. Tu is considered one of Taiwan's foremost pioneers in many areas. His numerous contributions span across basic medical research, medical education, as well as medical therapy policy.
Previous winners of the award are: Professors Peter Jonas (2007), Klaus Ploog (2007), Peter Fulde (2009), Jürgen Hennig (2010), Harald zur Hausen (2011), Klaus Müllen (2011), Ansgar Jüngel (2011), Johannes Buchmann (2012), Claudia Felser (2015), Eberhard Groß (2016), Christoph Plass (2016), and Hannah Monyer (2017).
Professor Frommer's research focus is plant molecular biology and his group investigates different transport mechanisms of nutrients, such as proteins and glucose, in plants. This mechanism is known to operate very similarly in animal cells as well, which makes his work relevant to medical applications, such as understanding metabolic processes in cancer cells. As a principal investigator at ITbM, he is collaborating with ITbM's biologists and chemists to search for yet unidentified receptors for small molecules, and is conducting research on chemical genomics and imaging of processes related to cellular growth and dynamics.
He has received a number of honors, such as the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship and has been named as Highly Cited Researcher in 2017.