German Society for Cell Biology and ZEISS award Carl Zeiss Lecture 2023 to Professor Dr. Jochen Guck

Lecture and award ceremony in a public webinar on 29 November 2023


The German Society of Cell Biology (DGZ) and ZEISS have honoured Professor Dr. Jochen Guck with the Carl Zeiss Lecture 2023. This award recognises internationally outstanding achievements in cell biology and pioneering microscopy methods for research into cell biology issues.

Jochen Guck, director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, head of the department of biological optomechanics and spokesperson for the Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin in Erlangen, received the highest honour in cell biology for his groundbreaking new experimental work at the interface between physics and medicine.  His development of new microscopy and measurement techniques such as real-time deformability cytometry (RT-DC) and his novel application of Brillouin microscopy deepen our fundamental understanding of cell mechanical processes in previously unexplored clinical contexts, allowing their translation into diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

Jochen Guck's department researches the physical properties of cells, the smallest fundamental units from which biological systems and tissues are built. How is it possible for them to move in their physical 3D environments and thereby fulfill their biological functions? What physical differences distinguish diseased cells from healthy ones? In order to answer these questions, Professor Guck and his team use specially developed photonic and biophysical tools to investigate the mechanical and optical properties of living cells and tissues. For example, researchers are able to carry out the individual mechanical characterization of a large number of cells in a biological sample within seconds. Using specific biophysical measurement and microscopy techniques, the biomechanical properties of healthy cells can be determined and distinguished from those of diseased cells. This research is targeted at medical applications in the improved diagnosis of diseases and the development of new therapeutic approaches in regenerative medicine.

This award means that Prof. Jochen Guck joins a prestigious list of winners including the biophysicist Prof. Dr. Petra Schwille, the cell biologist Prof. Dr. Tim Mitchison, the cell biologist and former president of the Max Planck Society Prof. Dr. Peter Gruss and many others.

The public awards ceremony will take place online and can be followed live.

The Carl Zeiss Lecture - together with the presentation of other DGZ award winners - will take place as part of a public webinar on 29 November 2023 from 12.30-16.00 (Zoom meeting ID: 859 1573 3336; Passcode: awards23).

About the Carl Zeiss Lecture

The Carl Zeiss Lecture was founded by ZEISS in 1990 to support the DGZ in inviting internationally recognised scientists to its annual meetings. In 1993, ZEISS and the DGZ

jointly agreed to transform the Carl Zeiss Lecture into a prize. In future, the prize will be awarded every two years - the next time in 2025 as part of the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the DGZ.

The award winners will be selected by a committee consisting of the President of the DGZ, the Conference President, a member of the Advisory Board and a representative of ZEISS. All members of the DGZ can submit proposals for the Carl Zeiss Lecture.



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