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Prof. MD PhD

Charles Weissmann

Year of election: 1980
Section: Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine
City: Jupiter, FL
Country: USA


Charles Weissmann is a pioneer of biotechnology. He discovered the procedure for manufacturing interferons through cloning for the production of life-saving medication. Interferon became the most important therapeutic for hepatitis C. His also worked on the genetics of retroviruses and on the basis of diseases caused by prions such as BSE and Creutzfeldt-Jakob.

Image: Jung Foundation for Science and Research


  • since 1999 Senior Research Scientist and Visiting Professor, MRC Prion Unit, St.Mary's Hospital
  • since 1999 Professor emeritus, University of Zürich
  • 1970-1999 Professor ordinarius in Molecular Biology
  • 1967-1999 Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Zürich
  • 1967-1970 Professor extraordinarius in Molecular Biology
  • 1965-1967 Associate Professor in Biochemistry, New York University School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry
  • 1964-1965 Assistant Professor in Biochemistry, New York University School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry
  • 1963-1964 Instructor in Biochemistry, New York University School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry
  • 1961-1963 Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry
  • 1961 Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry
  • 1960-1961 Assistant to Professor P. Karrer, Zürich University
  • 1956 M.D.
  • 1950-1961 Studies at Zürich University

Honours and Memberships


  • 2014 Ernst Jung Gold Medal for Medicine, Hamburg
  • 2001 Dr.h.c. Ecole Federal Polytechnique, Lausanne
  • 2000 Dr.h.c. University of St. Andrews
  • 2000 Dr.h.c. University of Zürich
  • 1998 Dr.h.c. ETH Zürich
  • 1998 Foreign Member, Orden pour le mérite für Wissenschaften und Künste, Bonn
  • 1997 Klaus-Joachim-Zülch-Preis, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
  • 1996 Charles-Léopold Mayer Prize of the French Academy of Science
  • 1995 Robert-Koch Medal
  • 1994 Dr.h.c. University of Gent
  • 1992 Dr.h.c. University of Verona
  • 1989 Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
  • 1988 Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine, Hamburg
  • 1983 Foreign Member of the Royal Society
  • 1982 Dr. H.P. Heineken Prize, Amsterdam
  • 1970 Marcel Benoist Prize, Bern
  • 1966 Ruzicka Prize in Chemistry, Switzerland




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