Markus Weingarth wins ICMRBS Founders’ Medal

Award recognizes pioneering studies on the working mechanisms of antibiotics

For his ground-breaking research into the killing mechanisms of antibiotics, Markus Weingarth has received the Founders' Medal. The medal was awarded by the International Council on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems (ICMRBS). Weingarth received medal at the 2022 ICMRBS conference in Boston.

Markus Weingarth
Dr. Markus Weingarth receiving the Founders' Medal from ICMRBS committee chair Mei Hong.

Using a technique called nuclear magnetic resonance, or NMR, associate professor Markus Weingarth aims to unfold how antibiotics work in bacterial cells. By developing new solid-state NMR techniques, Weingarth and his team are able to study the killing mechanisms of antibiotics at the resolution of individual atoms. This could lead to the development of a new generation of antibiotics, able to combat drug-resistant bacteria.

After accomplishing notable achievements in developing and using NMR technology to understand antibiotics, Weingarth has now received the ICMRBS Founders' Medal. The medal is awarded biennially by the International Council of Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems (ICMRBS) to talented and upcoming scientists. The prize is regarded as highly prestigious in the field of NMR spectroscopy. Previous laureates include talented researchers who accomplished landmark scientific breakthroughs in developing NMR techniques. Many of them have become leaders in their respective research directions.

Important biomedical questions

In a statement, the ICMRBS Founders' Medal committee praises Weingarth's work. "With this Medal we recognize Markus’ ground-breaking studies of the structures and mechanism of action of membrane-active antibiotics." The committee further acclaims his work for demonstrating "how modern solid-state NMR methods can be directed to answer some of the most important biomedical questions today."

ERC Consolidator

Earlier in 2022, Weingarth was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant. His work has led to remarkable scientific publications, including a recent paper in the journal Nature. In the Nature paper, Weingarth and his team demonstrate how the antibiotic teixobactin uses a dual molecular strategy to kill bacteria.