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Prof. Dr.

Nenad Ban

Year of election: 2008
Section: Biochemistry and Biophysics
City: Zurich
Country: Switzerland
CV Nenad Ban - Deutsch (PDF)


Nenad Ban was born in Zagreb, Croatia, and educated at the University of Zagreb where he obtained a B.S. degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in the US at the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California at Riverside (1990 – 1994) where his research focused on structural immunology and virology. His interest in large macromolecular assemblies led him for his postdoctoral work in 1995 to the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University where he spearheaded the X-ray crystallographic structure determination of the large ribosomal subunit, a 1.5 MDa ribonucleoprotein complex, and determined its atomic structure in 2000 as part of the group in the laboratory of Thomas Steitz. These results revealed that the active site of the ribosome is formed out of RNA demonstrating that the ribosome is a ribozyme. The structure also opened up new possibilities for the development of new and improvement of existing antibiotics. In 2000, Nenad Ban was appointed assistant professor of structural molecular biology at the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) becoming full professor in 2007.

The main goal of the research in his laboratory is to study structure and function of large cellular assemblies using a combination of crystallographic, electron microscopic and biochemical experiments. This research has significantly impacted two fields, protein synthesis and fatty acid synthesis. In particular, the pioneering structural and mechanistic studies of various ribosomal complexes involved in co-translational protein processing, folding, and targeting provide critical insights into this aspect of ribosomal function. The work on giant multifunctional enzymes involved in fatty acid synthesis offer first mechanistic insights into substrate shuttling and delivery in such megasynthases, with direct implications on our understanding of polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthases.

Nenad Ban is the recipient of several prizes and awards including The Latsis and The Roessler Prize of the ETH Zurich, The Friedrich Miescher Prize and The AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize.


  • seit 2007 Professor am Institut für Molekularbiologie und Biophysik, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich
  • 2004 Privatdozent, ETH Zürich
  • 2000 Assistenzprofessor, Lehrbeauftragter für strukturelle Molekularbiologie, ETH Zürich
  • 1998 Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Yale University
  • 1994-1998 Postdoc am Institut für molekulare Biophysik und Biochemie der Yale University
  • 1990-1994 Promotion  an der University of California, Riverside, USA, am Institut für Biochemie
  • 1986-1990 Studium der Molekularbiologie und Biochemie an der Universität Zagreb, Kroatien

Auszeichnungen und Mitgliedschaften

  • 2017 Ernst Jung-Preis für Medizin
  • 2010 Heinrich-Wieland-Preis der Boehringer Ingelheim Stiftung
  • 2009 Max-Rössler-Preis der ETH Zürich
  • 2009 EMBL Distinguished Speaker-Vorlesung
  • 2008 Mitglied der European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
  • 2007 Nathan O. Kaplan-Vorlesung, University of California, San Diego
  • 2006 LeFevre-Gedenkvorlesung in Biophysik, CNRS Straßburg, Frankreich
  • 2006 Roemer-Vorlesung, Ludwig Maximilians Universität München, Deutschland
  • 2005 Latsis-Preis der ETH Zürich
  • 2004 Friedrich Miescher-Preis der Schweizer Gesellschaft für Biochemie
  • 2002 Newcomb-Cleveland-Preis der American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 2002 Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigator Research Award
  • 1999 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award
  • 1995 Damon Runyon - Walter Winchell fellowship of the Cancer Research Fund
  • 1993 Pauling-Preis, lobende Erwähnung, Amerikanische Kristallographischr Gesellschaft
  • 1992 Teaching Assistant Award, University of California
  • 1989 Auszeichnung der Universität von Zagreb
  • Spiridon-Brusina-Medaille
  • Mitglied der Kroatischen Akademie der Künste und Wissenschaften




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Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 122
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 139
E-Mail archiv @leopoldina.org

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