GBM Awards Otto Warburg Medal to Prof. Randy Schekman

50th anniversary of the Otto Warburg Medal – half a century of recognising outstanding research 

Frankfurt, 3rd October, 2013 – On the Day of German Unity, the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) awarded the Otto Warburg Medal in its 50th year. The medal was awarded to Prof. Randy W. Schekman, an American researcher of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley. The medal is internationally recognised and is considered the highest German award in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology.

Professor Schekman received the award for his research on the regulation of protein transport processes in cells. He was able to demonstrate that disturbances in these processes are the cause of several genetic diseases and other genetic defects.

The GBM has been awarding the prestigious science prize, which is highly regarded internationally, for the past 50 years. Seven of the former winners have been awarded the Nobel Prize in the course of their career. 

At the award ceremony in Frankfurt Professor Schekman was very pleased to receive the Otto Warburg Medal, saying: "It is a great honour to receive such a prestigious award and at the same time an enormous incentive to continue with my research. There is still so much to be discovered and I hope that winning this award will motivate many young people to become researchers.” Professor Schekman has been a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1989 and also holds a professorship in biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco.

"The GBM is proud to award the Otto Warburg Medal in its 50th anniversary year to such a renowned researcher as Professor Schekman”, said Professor Roger S. Goody, President of the GBM. “This prize represents a long-standing tradition in recognising and encouraging academic excellence. We are very happy that we can celebrate the anniversary of the Otto Warburg Medal in Frankfurt amidst many companions, friends and hopefully future winners."

The Otto Warburg Medal is endowed with 25,000 euros of prize money, which is intended for further research activities. The academic publisher Elsevier and its flagship journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA), exclusively support the award.

Angelika Lex, Vice President of Academic Relations at Elsevier, emphasised: "Recognition of scientific achievements particularly serves to inspire the next generation of researchers, which is very important to us. Our cooperation with GBM enables us to accomplish this.”

Media contact:

Dr. Anke Lischeid
Managing Director, GBM
+49 69 660567-12

The Award Ceremony

Professor Randy W. Schekman was awarded the Otto Warburg Medal on Thursday, 03 October, at 3:00 pm during the Molecular Life Sciences Symposium ( After accepting the medal, he spoke about his research.

The Medal

The Otto Warburg Medal celebrates its 50th anniversary and has been awarded by the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Gesellschaft für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie, GBM) since 1963. It honours and encourages pioneering achievements in fundamental biochemical and molecular biological research. Discoveries in these scientific disciplines are a prerequisite for the development of, e. g., novel medicines. The Otto Warburg Medal is regarded as the highest award for biochemists and molecular biologists in Germany. Seven of the prize-winners have also received the Nobel prize. The Medal has been endowed with 25,000 euros of prize money since 2007, sponsored exclusively by Elsevier and its flagship title Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA). For further information on the medal visit

About GBM

The German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Gesellschaft für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie, GBM) is the largest organisation for life sciences in Germany. With its almost 5,500 members, it is committed to serving the interests of all those working and researching in the dynamic and promising disciplines of chemistry, medicine and biology – from professors to first-year students. Whether it is the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), journalists, the authorities, or professional associations in other disciplines: anyone needing to call on expertise in questions of biochemistry and molecular biological sciences turns first and foremost to the GBM. For further information visit

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier’s online solutions include ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, Reaxys, ClinicalKey and Mosby’s Suite, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, helping research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world leading provider of professional information solutions. The group employs more than 30,000 people, including more than 15,000 in North America. Reed Elsevier Group plc is owned equally by two parent companies, Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. Their shares are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RUK and ENL.

About Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, launched in 1947, remains the only international journal devoted to the joint fields of biochemistry and biophysics. Initially papers were published in English, French, and German. Today BBA comprises nine different journals, each with unique editors and scope and an average impact factor above 5. The members of the American Library Association recognized BBA’s outstanding value in 2009 by electing BBA to the 100 Most Influential Journals in Biology & Medicine over the last 100 years.