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Organic chemist receives Latsis Prize

Basel University organic chemist Karl Gademann will receive the National Latsis Prize 2011, worth SFr100,000 ($122,000), it has been announced.

The 39-year-old researcher is described as being at the “crossroads of chemistry and biology”.

“By isolating and synthesising natural materials he discovers surprising relationships which open up new research fields,” said a statement by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), which awards the prize annually to a research scientist under the age of 40 working in Switzerland.

“He receives the National Latsis Prize 2011 in recognition of his achievements in the total synthesis of natural products of biological interest.”

For instance, his research has led to the development of a number of new treatment approaches in medicine, such as blue-green algae for fighting against Alzheimer’s disease, although a lot of work is still needed before they can be turned into marketable drugs, said the SNSF.

The prize will be awarded on January 12, 2012 at a ceremony in the capital, Bern.

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