Balzan Prize awarded in ceremony in Bern

The Laureates of the Balzan Prize 2019: Luigi Ambrosio, Erika von Mutius (DZL Site CPC-M), Klaus F. Rabe (ARCN), Tobias Welte (BREATH), Jacques Aumont and Michael Cook (Photo: Balzan Prize Foundation)

The President of the Swiss National Council, Marina Carobbio, handed this year’s Balzan Prizes over to the directors of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL). The ceremony was held in the Federal Council Hall of the Federal Palace in Bern.

The DZL directors received the accolade for outstanding achievements in the area of “pathophysiology of respiration: from basic sciences to the bedside”. Additional Balzan Prizes – each comes with a Prize money of 750.000 Swiss francs – go to Jacques Aumont (Film studies), Michael Cook (Islamic studies) and Luigi Ambrosio (Mathematics).

The Prize Committee emphasizes that the scientists succeeded in “motivating and training the next generation of scientists within the German Center for Lung Research.” Half of the Prize money has to be invested in projects for young scientists. The DZL board of directors plans to initiate studies investigating the influence of e-cigarettes on lung health.

Speaking for the DZL, Erika von Mutius pointed out that teamwork is essential for success in a highly complex field as medical sciences. She added that the DZL pursues three overarching goals: Translation of basic research to the bedside, promotion of young researchers and strengthening of patients’ individual responsibility and their awareness for their health.

Starting in 1961, the Balzan Prize honors researchers from humanities and sciences as well as people who rendered outstanding services to arts and culture. Moreover, the Foundation awards a Peace Prize. Past laureates were the composer Paul Hindemith, the biologist Ernst Mayr and Mother Teresa.

Further information:

Homepage of the Balzan Foundation

Video of the Ceremony

Video of the Speeches of the Laureates



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