Pakistan-born Biologist Asifa Akhtar won the coveted Leibniz Award.
The German Leibniz Prize will be awarded in a simulated ceremony on March 15 next year as recognition of contribution and excellent scientific results. The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize awards its recipients up to €2,5 million per award.
Founded in 1948, the Max Planck Society became one of Germany’s most influential institutions, when 18 researchers emerged from the ranks of the scientist’s society and bagged the Nobel Prize.
The 49-year-old physicist is Germany’s prestigious Max Planck Society’s first foreign female vice president, biology and medicine.
Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Akhtar was very outspoken about the value of academia: “Academic science is a beautiful example of integration because people from around the world exchange knowledge beyond borders, cultures or prejudices,”
Enthusiastic to focus on social issues Asifa said: “Gender equality has to be constantly focused on. Science has excellent women, and we should make every effort and use our tools to win them for the Max Planck Society.”
In 1997, Akhtar graduated from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, UK. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Heidelberg’s European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and Munich’s Adolf-Butenandt-Institute from 1998 to 2001.