Michael Reth studied Biology in Cologne, where he became a junior group leader after a postdoctoral time at Columbia University, New York, USA. In 1989 he was appointed group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology in Freiburg by Nobel laureate Georges Köhler. Since 1995 he is Full Professor in Molecular Immunology at the University of Freiburg and since 2007 Scientific Director/Speaker of the Centre for Biological Signalling Studies (BIOSS). The main topic of his research is the activation of B lymphocytes to produce antibodies after an infection or vaccination. He described the signaling subunits of the B cell antigen receptor and discovered important signaling principles of this receptor. He could thus explain the molecular basis for a successful vaccination as well as immunotherapy. His research was supported by an Advanced ERC Grant.
In 2018 he was the first member of the University of Freiburg to be elected at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Joining the ranks of the NAS is one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed on a scientist. Reth is the first University of Freiburg professor to receive this honor.
Further scientific awards:
- Jürgen Manchot Prize (2015)
- Paul Ehrlich-und Ludwig Darmstaedter-Preis (2014)
- Schering-Plough Prize (2009)
- Heinz-Maier-Leibnitz Preis (1988)