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Press release No. 67/2017, 2017-03-14 | zur deutschen Fassung | print version | Search

International Award for Thisbe K. Lindhorst

“IUPAC 2017 Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering” award goes to chemist of Kiel University

To celebrate International Women's Day (Wednesday, March 8), the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) announced the awardees of the IUPAC 2017 Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering. Thisbe K. Lindhorst, Professor of Organic and Biological Chemistry at Otto Diels Institute of Organic Chemistry at Kiel University is one of twelve women, who were honored. "I am very happy to receive this award", says Lindhorst. "Men and women in chemistry have to accept responsibility for a better future and the IUPAC award shows that our commitment is being recognized!" When Thisbe Lindhorst was appointed Full Professor at the University of Kiel in 2000, she has been the first female Full Professor of Organic Chemistry after the Second World War. Lindhorst has been a role model ever since, encouraging young women to pursue a career in science and mastering high performance in chemistry and family life.

In 2016, Lindhorst was elected president of the German Chemical Society (GDCh), being only the second women in this position in a 150 year long history. She has themed her life as a scientist under the motto "thinking values", highlighting that the awareness of an ethical basis has to accompany every expert knowledge. Her research is dedicated to the glycosciences, an area of chemistry, which investigates the biological function of carbohydrates in cell-cell communication and in cell recognition. She has pioneered the field of multivalency studies in the glycosiences. Only recently her research group has shed light on the importance of molecular orientation on cell surfaces in the context of biological recognition and response. These finding have a potential in the development of anti-microbial drugs and for a specific anti-adhesion therapy against microbial infection. "To understand glycobiology, is a huge challenge and immensely important. After we have recognized the importance of genes and proteins, today we must understand what the ‘glycome’ means for an individual organism to improve our life", explains Thisbe Lindhorst.

The awards program, initiated as part of the 2011 International Year of Chemistry celebrations, was created to acknowledge and promote the work of women chemists and chemical engineers worldwide. An award ceremony will take place during the IUPAC World Chemistry Congress in São Paulo, Brazil. Professor Vanderlan da S. Bolzani, co-chair of the special symposium, remarked: “We are especially pleased with this year’s awardees. Each year since 2011, the award has gained more attention in the community. During this year’s Congress and with the help of IUPAC leadership, we plan to continue this trend. My hope is to make every day International Women’s Day!”

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Thisbe K. Lindhorst, Professor of Organic and Biological Chemistry at Otto Diels Institute of Organic Chemistry at Kiel University was honoured with the “IUPAC 2017 Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering”-award.
Copyright: GDCh / Photo: Tobias Schwerdt, Heidelberg

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About IUPAC:
IUPAC was formed in 1919 by chemists from industry and academia. Since then, the Union has succeeded in fostering worldwide communications in the chemical sciences and in uniting academic, industrial and public sector chemistry in a common language. IUPAC is recognized as the world authority on chemical nomenclature, terminology, standardized methods for measurement, atomic weights and many other critically evaluated data. In more recent years, IUPAC has been pro-active in establishing a wide range of conferences and projects designed to promote and stimulate modern developments in chemistry, and also to assist in aspects of chemical education and the public understanding of chemistry. More information about IUPAC and its activities is available at

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Text / Redaktion: ► Raissa Nickel