“We answer the questions of the future”
Prof. Albert Heck is professor of Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry & Proteomics. He documents protein metabolism within humans and other organisms. Proteins determine a large proportion of human processes and functions. Proteins and their interaction in networks also play an important role in illnesses. Documenting these protein networks opens up new possibilities for more precise diagnostics and how treatments might tackle a disease as effectively as possible.
“We’ll soon be able to tailor medicines specifically to individual patients”
The human body contains around 20,000 genes, and an even greater variety of proteins. It was once thought that each protein had its own job, but we now know that proteins work together. When that teamwork goes wrong, diseases emerge. Heck researches how proteins work together, which will make it easier to predict the effect that particular treatments will have on specific proteins. In this way, his research improves the efficacy of medicine and helps people live healthier lives
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For his work Albert Heck received many international awards, among which the Descartes Huygens Award from the Republique Francaise (2007), the NGI Distinguished Visiting Scientist (2010-2011), the Life Science Award of the German Mass Spectrometry Society (2010), the HUPO Discovery Award in Proteomic Sciences (2013), the EuPA Pioneer in Proteomics Award (2014) and the American Chemical Society ‘Frank H. Field and Joe L. Franklin Award for Outstanding Achievements in Mass Spectrometry’ (2015). In 2014 he was elected member of both the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the European Molecular Biology Organization, EMBO.