Awards & Honours

Anne Ephrussi wears the medal of the Order of Légion d’Honneur, the highest distinction in France. PHOTO: EMBL Photolab/Marietta Schupp
Anne Ephrussi wears the medal of the Order of Légion d’Honneur, the highest distinction in France. PHOTO: EMBL Photolab/Marietta Schupp

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The highest distinction in France, the Order of Légion d’Honneur, has been awarded to Anne Ephrussi, Senior Scientist and Head of the Developmental Biology Unit. She also heads the EMBL International Center for Advanced Training (EICAT), which comprises the EMBL PhD and Postdoctoral Programmes, as well as the Laboratory’s advanced scientific training activities, including the Courses and Conferences programme. The French Légion d’Honneur is an order of chivalry established by Napoleon Bonaparte to recognise eminent accomplishments of service to France; for two centuries, the Order has been presented annually on behalf of the French Head of State to deserving individuals in all fields of activity.

Such recognition from my home country to which I feel very committed is a tremendous honour both professionally and personally

Ephrussi is conferred with the rank of Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour), for outstanding merit acquired in 23 years’ service to the nation. Ephrussi received the medal of the Order from Professor Georges Cohen at a ceremony at the Institut Pasteur, in November 2015. “Such recognition from my home country to which I feel very committed is a tremendous honour both professionally and personally,” she says. “The intimate ceremony with a few close family members, colleagues and friends, and the fact that the medal was pinned on me by Georges, an old friend and mentor, made this a very happy and special event.”


Jan Ellenberg, Head of the Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit and coordinator of the preparatory phases of the Euro-BioImaging project, will be recognised as an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy by Åbo Akademi University in Turku, Finland. The title is awarded for scientific merit within cell biology, and commitment to the biosciences and Åbo Akademi University; specifically, his role in advancing the University’s cellular research and Turku BioImaging, which is part of the Euro-BioImaging project. The honorary doctorate will be formally conferred at a ceremony in May 2016.


This year’s Chica and Heinz Schaller Research Award has been presented to EMBL group leader Edward Lemke and Hai- Kun Liu from German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ). The award, named after its donors, endows each recipient with 100,000 euros in research funding, in recognition of outstanding, innovative work in the field of biomedical research.

From left to right: Iain Mattaj, Edward Lemke, Hai-Kun Liu, and Hannah Monyer at the ceremony of the Chica and Heinz Schaller Research Award. PHOTO: CHS Stiftung

From left to right: Iain Mattaj, Edward Lemke, Hai-Kun Liu, and Hannah Monyer at the ceremony of the Chica and Heinz Schaller Research Award. PHOTO: CHS Stiftung