Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research 2025

Call for Nominations: RNA-based therapies

In honour of the outstanding lifetime achievements of Else Kröner, the founder of the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung, the foundation has established this major biennial research prize to be awarded in a specified field of biomedical science. The field chosen for 2025 is RNA-based therapies.

The prize amounts to EUR 2.5 million, of which EUR 500,000 shall be awarded personally to the recipient and EUR 2.0 million dedicated to the award-winner’s future research.

The candidates have to be researchers in basic medical sciences or clinical sciences who have made outstanding scientific contributions to the field of RNA-based therapies. In addition, the candidate’s work in the coming years is expected to yield further groundbreaking discoveries or advances. Nominations of younger and mid-career scientists are favored.

Candidate nomination: Candidates can be of any nationality and work in any country. They can be nominated by heads of research institutes or professional organizations. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

The deadline for nominations is August 28, 2024. A shortlist of nominees will be invited to submit a research proposal. The award ceremony will take place in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on May 15, 2025.
Nominations should be sent to ekfprize25@ekfs.de and include the following enclosures:

  1. Cover page with complete contact details for the nominator and the candidate. The cover page must also provide a short statement giving the reason why the candidate is nominated (max. 400 characters). 
  2. Nomination letter (max. two pages) describing the significant scientific discovery meriting the award and the candidate’s potential for continued outstanding productivity.
  3. Ten most important publications of the candidate. Please highlight those that are considered milestone papers with regard to the achievement the candidate is nominated for. 
  4. Brief, two to three-page CV of the candidate. 
  5. Declaration of consent to the storage of data (download on our Website).

Time frame and procedural flow

  1. Nomination deadline: August 28, 2024
  2. Selection of a candidate shortlist: September 2024
    After formal prescreening of nominations by EKFS, an international award committee will invite a shortlist of candidates to submit a proposal, with a focus on the future experimental work intended.
  3. Reviews of proposals: until December 2024
    Submission of proposals. External expert reviewers will be requested to assess the merits of the candidates’ contribution to their specific field of research and to evaluate the scientific potential of future work.
  4. Nomination of winner: January 2025
    The jury shall propose the ultimate winner based on the reviewers’ assessments. This recommendation must be confirmed by the Foundation Board (“Stiftungsrat”).
  5. Award ceremony: May 15, 2025
    A festive award ceremony will be held in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Previous topics and winners
Previous winners of the prize have been Ruslan Medzhitov (2013, Immunology, Yale), Karl Deisseroth (2017, Biological Basis of Psychiatric Disorders, Stanford), Alessandro Aiuti (2020, Genome Editing and Gene Therapy, Milano) and Akiko Iwasaki (2023, Diseases of Worldwide Significance, Yale).
For further details, please see https://www.ekfprize25.de

Dr. Alexander Lehmann
Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung
Rathausplatz 3-7
61348 Bad Homburg v.d. Höhe, Germany
Tel. +49 (6172) 8975-25

Else Kröner and the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung (EKFS)
Else Fernau was born on May 15, 1925 and grew up in the household of Dr. Fresenius, a pharmacist in Frankfurt, Germany. In the immediate aftermath of World War II Dr. Fresenius had just begun to reorganize his business activities when he suddenly passed away in February 1946. The community of heirs, which included Else Fernau, decided that she should be trained as a pharmacist. After completing her studies in 1951 she assumed management of the Fresenius corporate enterprise. She was advised in business matters by a consultant, Dr. Hans Kröner, who later became her husband and joined the company as its managing co-director in 1972. Together they laid the foundation for the success of the global healthcare company we know today. Else Kröner remained managing director of the company until its conversion into a joint-stock company in 1981, then subsequently served in a capacity as chairwoman of the supervisory board until she died in June 1988.
The commitment Else Kröner displayed in building up the company was matched by her devotion to charitable and humanitarian work. EKFS, the foundation she established in 1983, became her sole beneficiary upon her death and is the largest shareholder of Fresenius, as well as the largest foundation of its type in Germany. It is dedicated to promoting medical research and equally supports medical aid/humanitarian relief projects in developing countries.
To date Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung has supported some 2,600 projects by means of a total of more than EUR 660 million. Among the beneficiaries are numerous outstanding research projects in all fields of medical research. A special focus has been set on supporting the research careers of young scientists, in particular clinician scientists. Group research and individual fellowship programs offering training and advancement at all career stages have been readily established. 
Besides providing immediate care for patients in need, medical aid/humanitarian relief at EKFS also focuses on supporting projects involved with medical training and education.
In 2013, in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the death of Else Kröner, the foundation inaugurated an international research award, the Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research. Each call for prize nominations is dedicated to a different field of medical research that promises particular progress in the near future. The award shall be presented to an outstanding scientist to honor his or her achievements in research, and to significantly support their future work in a promising field of medical research. The award is meant to mark the worldwide importance of Else Kröner’s lifetime achievements. In 2025 the prize will be awarded on the day when it would have been Else Kröner’s 100th birthday.

Portrait Dr. Alexander Lehmann
Dr. Alexander Lehmann
Scientific Funding: Graduate and Research Schools and International Research Prize