Deutsch Intern
Institute of Organic Chemistry

Medal of Merit for Claudia Höbartner


Great honor for Claudia Höbartner. She was awarded the Bavarian Medal of Merit in Munich by Minister President Markus Söder.

Claudia Höbartner erhält von Ministerpräsident Markus Söder den Bayerischen Verdienstorden. (Bild: Joerg Koch/ Bayerische Staatskanzlei)
Claudia Höbartner receives the Bavarian Medal of Merit from Minister President Markus Söder. (Image: Joerg Koch/ Bavarian State Chancellery)

It is awarded for outstanding services to the Federal State of Bavaria and the Bavarian nation: the Bavarian Medal of Merit. On Wednesday, July 5, 2023, 88 people received it in the Antiquarian of the Munich Residence.

The award winners include celebrities from the worlds of art and culture, politics, sports, business and science. One of them is Claudia Höbartner, Chair of Organic Chemistry I at the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg (JMU).

Another important award

Claudia Höbartner had already been awarded the prestigious Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG) in December 2022. An honor that was also mentioned in Wednesday's laudation:

"She has presented groundbreaking results on the nucleic acids DNA and RNA. Her research also provides the basis for infectious diseases control. Professor Höbartner has already been awarded the prestigious Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize this year."

The Bavarian Medal of Merit "cannot be bought or inherited, it has to be earned," said Markus Söder at the award ceremony. From now on, the honorees will enjoy a lifelong free entrance to state owned castles, museums, and exhibitions, as well as free shipping trips on Ammersee, Königssee, Starnberger See and Tegernsee lakes.

About the research of Claudia Höbartner

Claudia Höbartner's research focuses on the catalytic functions of the nucleic acids DNA and RNA. These biomolecules can not only store, transport and regulate genetic information. They are also capable of mediating the course of biochemical reactions, just like enzymes. Such RNA enzymes, also called ribozymes, can be developed by artificial evolution in the laboratory.

Claudia Höbartner has made groundbreaking discoveries in this field. She and her team developed the first ribozyme that makes a very specific modification at a defined site in another RNA molecule to change its structure. Recently, they also succeeded in decoding the spatial structure of that ribozyme and the unexpected mechanism of this new reaction. The new ribozymes from the Höbartner group promise a variety of applications in nucleic acid chemistry and cellular RNA biology.  

By Pressestelle Staatskanzlei