November 20, 2012
Ignaz L. Lieben-Prize 2012 for Michael Sixt
Cell biologist Michael Sixt awarded with oldest prize of Austrian Academy of Science • Prize to IST Austria professor for extraordinary achievements in the study of immune cell morphodynamics
On November 20, Michael Sixt, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria), received the Ignaz L. Lieben-Prize 2012 of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) for his research into the morphodynamics of immune cells. Endowed in 1863, the Ignaz L. Lieben-Prize is the oldest award of the ÖAW, with previous recipients including Marietta Blau and Lise Meitner, as well as the Nobel Prize laureates Viktor Hess and Otto Loewi. The prize was suspended after 1938, and re-instated in 2004 thanks to the support of Isabel and Dr. Alfred Bader. It is awarded to scientists for extraordinary achievements in the fields of molecular biology, chemistry or physics who work in one of the countries of the former Habsburg empire.
Michael Sixt aims to understand the molecular and mechanical principles of cell motility at both the cellular and tissue level. Currently, he uses leukocyte migration as a model for studying how the cell’s internal skeleton produces force to deform the cell, and how this force is transmitted to the surrounding tissue to propel the cell forward. This research should not only provide information regarding cell motility in immune cells, but may aid in the understanding of migration by other cell types, including malignant cancer cells. Michael Sixt studied medicine at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, where he performed his pre-doctoral studies at the Institute of Experimental Medicine and finished his MD in 2002. Before he joined IST Austria in 2010 Sixt was Endowed Professor of the Peter Hans Hofschneider Foundation for Experimental Biomedicine at the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried.