In order to sponsor young scientists and their research in a targeted manner, the Adolf Messer Foundation has been awarding two prizes every year since 1994: One for students at Darmstadt Technical University and one for students at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main.

These prizes support the promotion of outstanding achievements in the areas of natural science, medicine, engineering science as well as economic and social sciences. The prize winners may not be older than 40. Nominations may only be submitted by professors at the above-mentioned universities.

You can get further details about the awards as well as the selection criteria from the responsible departments of the universities.

Awards / Award winners:


Jun. Prof. Bai-Xiang Xu, Ph.D. (TU Darmstadt, Materials and Earth Sciences Dept.)
Research: „Electro-chemo-mechanical testing and analysis of nanostructured electrode materials in lithium-ion batteries“
The prize, endowed with 50,000 euros, was presented on 30 November in Darmstadt.

Dr. phil. nat. Nadine Rademacher (Frankfurt University, Institute of Earth Sciences)
Research: „What influence does a molecule’s carbon/nitrogen ratio have on the reactivity and the reaction products / synthesis of new materials consisting of lightweight elements with interesting properties“
The prize, endowed with 25,000 euros, was presented on 2 Juli in Frankfurt.


Dr. Annette Andrieu-Brunsen (TU Darmstadt, Chemistry Dept.)
Research: “Functionalization control at the nanometre scale: Near-field induced polymerization in mesopores”
The prize, endowed with 50,000 euros, was presented on 4 December in Darmstadt.

Dr. phil. nat. Markus Schöffler (Frankfurt University, Physics Dept.)
Research: “Determination of complex chiral molecules’ handedness with a reaction microscope”
The prize, endowed with 25,000 euros, was presented on 30 June in Frankfurt.


Dr. Chris Biemann (TU Darmstadt, Computer Science Dept.)
Research: “Ubiquitous Knowledge Processing”
The prize, endowed with 50,000 euros, was presented on 25 November in Darmstadt.

Dr. Claudia Lederer (Frankfurt University, Institute of Applied Physics)
Research: “Measurement of the neutron capture cross-sections of the stable Germanium isotopes at n_TOF/CERN“
The prize, endowed with 25,000 euros, was presented on 27 June in Frankfurt. 


Dr. Stefan Breuer (TU Darmstadt, Institute of Applied Physics)
Research: “Synthetic laser light allows new look at microparticles and fluid dynamics”
The prize, endowed with 50,000 euros, was presented on 19 February 2013 in Darmstadt.

Dr. Elke Duchardt-Ferner (Frankfurt University, Biochemistry Dept.)
Research: “Stepping out of the dark”
The prize, endowed with 25,000 euros, was presented on 5 July in Frankfurt.


Prof. Stephan Roth, Ph.D. (TU Darmstadt, Computer Science Dept.)
Research: “Combination of generative and discriminative models in low-level vision”
The prize, endowed with 50,000 euros, was presented on 25 October 2011 in Darmstadt.

Dr. Stefan Merker (Frankfurt University, Biology Dept.)
Research: “The evolution of Wallace’s tarsier – a newly discovered primate baffles scientists”

The prize, endowed with 25,000 euros, was presented on 30 June in Frankfurt, Campus Westend.


Dr. Tobias Meckel (TU Darmstadt, Biology Dept., Membrane Biology Unit)
Development of a single molecule microscope designed in-house, which allows individual molecules in the membrane of living cells to be studied in real time.
The Adolf Messer Prize, endowed with 50,000 euros, was presented on 7 December 2010 in Darmstadt.

Dr. Viola Oertel-Knöchel (Frankfurt University, Psychology Dept.)
Research: “Psychometric and neurophysiological correlates of episodic memory in patients with bipolar affective disorder compared to healthy control subjects”.
The Adolf Messer Prize, endowed with 25,000 euros, was presented on 8 July 2010 in Frankfurt.


Dr. Christina Roth (TU Darmstadt, Materials Sciences Dept., Renewable Energy Unit)
Research: “New ways of improving the activity and long-term stability of supported platinum nanoparticle catalysts for fuel cells and heterogeneous catalysis”.
The Adolf Messer Prize, endowed with 50,000 euros will be presented – belatedly – on 2 March 2010. 

Dr. Manuela Nowotny (Frankfurt University, Biology Dept.)
Research into the causes of tinnitus.
In 2009, the Adolf Messer Foundation Prize, endowed with 25,000 euros, went to young scientist Dr. Manuela Nowotny. At the Goethe University in Frankfurt, she is researching the causes of persistent noises in the ear, called tinnitus. Her work focuses on how acoustic stimuli are transformed into nerve signals in the inner ear. The prize money will open up the opportunity for Manuela Nowotny to continue her interdisciplinary research.
Press release by the Association of Friends and Supporters of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, 02/07/2009

Dr. Christine Thiele (Technical University of Darmstadt, Department Chemistry)
Research on the structural determination of organic compounds with residual dipolar couplings.

In 2008, the 50,000-euro science prize of the Adolf Messer Foundation was awarded to Dr. Christina Thiele. The 33 year-old chemist is a researcher at the Technical University of Darmstadt – the institution where Adolf Messer studied mechanical engineering. Christina Thiele received the award for her research work on the “structural determination of organic compounds with residual dipolar couplings”. The central idea behind this work is that the knowledge of existing molecular structures is often an essential prerequisite for their improvement. This makes it possible to optimise materials or catalysts – and increase the efficacy of drugs. Christina Thiele’s results therefore constitute much more than pure basic research. They will also help in the development of new active substances and materials. The Messer family established the Adolf Messer Foundation in 1978 in memory of Senator Dr. Adolf Messer, who would have been 100 years old on 6 April 1978. The foundation has also been awarding an annual prize to a scientist at the Goethe University in Frankfurt since 1994.
Press release of the Technische Universität Darmstadt, 23.01.2009

Dr. Christina Thiele was awarded the Adolf Messer Foundation’s science prize for her research work, which has contributed towards increasing the efficacy of drugs.

Dr. Georg Wille (University of Frankfurt, Department Biophysics)
Time-resolved examination of chemical and enzyme-catalysed carboxylation reactions.

Dr. Ulrich Brose  (Technical University of Darmstadt, Department of biology)
Research on stability and structure of binary nourishment networks

Dr. Stefanie Oess  (University of Frankfurt, Department of Medicine)
Characterizing molecular mechanisms of cell proliferation control by NOSIP, and their significance to craniofacial development

Dr. Martin Ebert (Institute for Applied Geosciences at Darmstadt University of Technology)
Microparticle researcher Martin Ebert receives the prize for his scientific works "What makes aerosols so health-damaging and climate-relevant?"

Dr.-Ing. Matthias Hollick (Darmstadt TU)
Matthias Hollick receives the prize for his scientific works in the area of “Reliable communication in self-organizing networks”.

Dr. Mirko Schmidt (Frankfurt University)
Mirko Schmidt receives the prize for his work: “Regulation and formation of blood vessels through the new angiogenesis factor EGFL7”.

Dr. Andreas Zerr (Darmstadt TU)
Andreas Zerr receives the Adolf Messer Prize for his scientific studies in the area of “Ultra high-pressure material synthesis”.

Dr. Oliver Werz (Frankfurt University)
Oliver Werz receives the prize for his work: “Structure, regulation and molecular pharmacology of C2 domains of proinflammatory key enzymes”.

Sonderpreis 2004:
Herbert De Gersem (Darmstadt TU)
Herbert De Gersem receives the "Special prize from the Adolf Messer Foundation for the sponsorship of research and education at Darmstadt Technical University” for his interdisciplinary research in the area of the simulation of electromagnetic fields. These processes are typically used for the simulation of electrical devices, e.g. electrical machines, transformers, and superconductive magnets. The influence of low-frequency electrical and magnetic fields on the human and animal body is also measured on the basis of such a simulation.

PD Dr.-Ing. Stefan M. Kast (Darmstadt TU)
Chemist and private lecturer Stefan M. Kast receives the 50,000 euros prize for his work in the area of “theoretical physical chemistry”, which gives the important momentum for the effective theoretical treatment of problems in chemistry in condensed phases.

In his professorial dissertation, he presents a large step towards theoretical understanding and towards computer-supported modeling of molecules in a liquid phase: Numerous new applications ranging from engineering sciences all the way to life sciences will be possible in the future thanks to the connection between microscopic models and experimentally accessible macroscopic sizes.

Dr. Klaus Langer und Dr. Martin. Michaelis (Frankfurt University) 
Klaus Langer and Martin Michaelis receive the prize for their work in the area of “Targeting blood vessels with protein nanoparticles”.

Dr. Andreas Dreizler und Dr. Marc-Thorsten Hütt (Darmstadt TU)
Andreas Dreizler receives the prize for his scientific research on technical combustion processes. Marc-Thorsten Hütt receives the prize for his scientific research in the area of interdisciplinary research between biology and theoretical physics to obtain biological information on complex systems.

Dr. Markus Pfenniger (Frankfurt University) 
Markus Pfenniger receives the prize for his work: “Proteomics of biodiversity: The identification of type-specific signal proteins in Trichia types”.

Dr. Helmut Ehrenberg (Darmstadt TU) 

The Adolf Messer Foundation awards a prize to Helmut Ehrenberg for his outstanding interdisciplinary research in the area of physics and material science.

PD Dr. Jens Gille (Frankfurt University) 
Jens Gille receives the prize for his work: “The significance of putative endothelial progenitor cells for the formation of new blood vessels in adults”.

Dr. Ingo B. Fischer (Darmstadt TU)
Ingo B. Fischer receives the prize for his research on the synchronization of chaotic semiconductors – a new concept for the communication of information.

Dr. Valentin Wittmann (Frankfurt University) 
Valentin Wittmann wins the prize for his work: “Combinative synthesis of neoglycopeptide libraries for the study of the multivalent interaction of carbohydrates and lecithin”.

Dr. Cornelia Denz (Darmstadt TU)
Physicist Cornelia Denz receives the 100,000-mark prize for her work in the area of non-linear optics and optical information processing.

With her research, Cornelia Denz laid the foundation for the development and analysis of spatiotemporal complex structures in optical networks, carried out the first experimental research on spatial solitons and their interaction, developed a new coding process for volume holographic storage and came up with new possibilities for parallel coherent image processing.

Along with the extraordinary significance of the individual results in these areas, the prize honors the wide range of scientific works of Cornelia Denz and the contributions to the development of the cross-section technology “Modern Optics” and its applications.

Dr. Stefan Frank (Frankfurt University) 
Stefan Frank receives the prize for his work: “The identification of the NO regulator gene in the healing of wounds”.