The award is given to scholars based on their “outstanding research accomplishments and exceptional promise for the future.” Individuals are nominated by German scholars and must have received their Ph.D. in the last 18 years.
In addition to a monetary prize, award winners are invited to spend a period of up to one year collaborating on a long-term research project. Meiler, who has an international reputation in the field of structural biology, will be collaborating with colleagues at Leipzig University on studies of G-protein coupled receptors, a class of sensor molecules that are often targeted by therapeutics and include the pain medication hydrocodone and lisinopril, which is used to treat high blood pressure.
Meiler has been one of the leaders of a grass-roots faculty effort to establish a collaboration with his alma mater, Leipzig University, which led the two universities to sign a memorandum of understanding encouraging academic exchanges between the two campuses.
The Humboldt Foundation grants about 20 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Awards annually. The award is valued at $49,500.