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Wolfgang Baumeister

Wolfgang Baumeiser to receive 2022 Alexander Hollaender Award

VVP Wolfgang Baumeister, of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, has been named the winner of the 2022 National Academy of Sciences’ Alexander Hollaender Award in Biophysics for his pioneering work in electron microscopy to advance structural cell biology. 

An innovator in the field of electron microscopy., Baumeister has pioneered the development of cryogenic electron tomography.  This has enabled him to apply transmission electron microscopy to several areas of great biological interest, obtaining images of complex macromolecular and supramolecular assemblies at unprecedented resolution.  

Baumeister’s work in electron cryotomography has made it possible to conduct high-resolution analyses of biological macromolecules in their native cellular environment.  This work has included capturing crucial images of the proteasome and proteins involved in neurodegeneration.  Beyond his contributions to technology development, Baumeister’s innovative applications of electron microscopy have led to extraordinary advances in our understanding of the molecular organization of cells and key organelles and continue to advance structural cell biology.

The Alexander Hollaender Award in Biophysics is presented every three years and carries with it a $20,000 prize. The Award recognizes outstanding contributions made to the field of biophysics. Henrietta W. Hollaender established the Alexander Hollaender Award in Biophysics in honor of her husband, Alexander W. Hollaender, who brought to prominence the field of photobiology.  With an interest in the lethal and mutagenic effects of monochromatic ultra-violet radiation on cells, Dr. Hollaender identified the first clear indication that changes in nucleic acids needed to be analyzed, rather than proteins.