The prize amounts to EUR 2.5 million, of which EUR 500,000 are awarded personally to the recipient. The amount of EUR 2.0 million is granted for the award-winner’s future research.
The research prize has been established in honor of the outstanding lifetime achievements of Else Kröner, the founder of the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung. It is awarded every second year in alternating fields of biomedical science. The topic that has been chosen for 2023 in a public vote is Diseases of worldwide significance.
The international jury selects a researcher in basic medical sciences or clinical sciences who has made outstanding scientific contributions with regard to diseases that pose a major burden in low, middle, and high income countries. In addition, the candidate’s work in the coming years is expected to yield further groundbreaking discoveries or advances with respect to diagnosis or treatment that should be applicable globally. Nominations of younger and mid-career scientists are favored.
Jury members of the Else Kröner Fresenius Prize 2023
- Soumya Swaminathan, Jury Chair
Chairperson, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, India; Chief Scientist at the WHO until 2022
- Stefan Endres
Director, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, LMU Munich, Germany; Chairman of the Scientific Commission of EKFS
- Lars Maier
Director, Clinic for Cardiology, Pneumology and Internal Intensive Care Medicine, Regensburg, Germany; Member of the Scientific Commission of EKFS
- Valerie Mizrahi
Director, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Cape Town, South Africa
- Ole Petter Ottersen
President, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
- Peter Piot
Special Advisor to the President of the European Commission, Brussels, Belgium; Handa Professor of Global Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom
Previous topics and winners
Previous winners of the prize have been Ruslan Medzhitov (2013, Immunology), Karl Deisseroth (2017, Biological Basis of Psychiatric Disorders), and Alessandro Aiuti (2020, Genome Editing and Gene Therapy). You will find more information on the previous laureates here.
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 2,300 projects by means of a total of approximately EUR 520 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.