29 May 2020

Professor Jiri Lukas receives the Jahre prize 2020


Jiri Lukas from Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research receives the Anders Jahre Medical Prize 2020 for his many years of outstanding research and work on cell cycle regulation and genome integrity in cancer.

Jiri Lukas

For more than two decades, Professor Jiri Lukas has been recognized as an international leader in the genome integrity field. His work spans unusually broad areas and is marked by highly original and innovative ways to link previously unconnected fields of biomedicine.

For his work on cell cycle regulation and genome integrity in cancer, he now receives the Anders Jahre Medical Prize 2020. The prestigious prize is awarded by the University of Oslo and honors research of outstanding quality in basic and clinical medicine. Jiri Lukas will be sharing the prize of NOK 1.000.000 with a close long-term colleague, Jiri Bartek from Karolinska Institute and Danish Cancer Society Research Center.

“I am honored, and that same time humbled, by receiving the Anders Jahre Medical Prize. Honored, because it is a true privilege to join the list of previous holders of this award, who without exception are the leaders in their fields of biomedicine, and some of whom I regard as role models for my own research. Humbled, because I keenly realize that all my achievements cannot be separated from so many amazing talents, with whom I have had the privilege to work in my laboratory. And equally happy I am to share this award with Jiri Bartek. Our collaboration over several decades is the lasting legacy to how beneficial scientific synergy can be for unraveling major mysteries of cell division with direct implications for understanding the etiology and treatment of cancer.“

Since 2012, Jiri Lukas has been Executive Director of Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

Through his career, he has made numerous revolutionary discoveries that have not only enhanced our knowledge of fundamental mechanisms involved in genome maintenance, but also provided vital insights into how defects in posttranslational protein modifications contribute to development of cancer. The Jahre prize is a very well deserved recognition of a pioneer within his field, says Dean at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Ulla Wewer.

“We are very proud to have such a remarkable scientist as Professor Jiri Lukas at our faculty. Jiri Lukas has authored countless of groundbreaking papers and pioneered techniques that are now being used worldwide. Moreover, he has inspired countless other researchers to make their own important discoveries. The Jahre prize is a great acknowledgement of a great scientist,” she says.

Jiri Lukas’s career
Following his PhD and early work in the Czech Republic, Jiri Lukas moved first to Oxford and then EMBL to gain postdoctoral experience that had a formative impact on his career and research interests. In 1993, Jiri Lukas moved to Denmark and was appointed as a senior researcher at the Cancer Society in Copenhagen, where together with his colleagues, Michael Strauss and co-recipient of the Jahre prize, Jiri Bartek, he built a highly successful Cell Cycle and Cancer unit.

In 2005, this unit was integrated into Center for Genotoxic Stress Research, which received a prestigious grant from the Danish National Research Foundation, and of which Jiri Lukas became a director.

In 2012, Jiri Lukas was appointed Professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and Executive Director of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, University of Copenhagen.