Prous Institute - Overton and Meyer Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery

The "Prous Institute-Overton and Meyer Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery" was established to encourage innovation and investigation in technologies related to drug discovery. The Award is given biennially to acknowledge the discovery, evaluation or use of a new technology, and consists of a diploma, € 7.500 and an invitation to present a lecture at an EFMC-ISMC symposium.

Laureate 2022 announced!

The 2022 Prous Institute - Overton and Meyer Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery has been awarded to: 

  •  Prof. Alessio Ciulli (University of Dundee, United Kingdom) 

For his pioneering work in the field of proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTAC) technology for drug-induced targeted protein degradation. He has made substantial contributions to the development of new ligands of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) E3 ligase, specifically bivalent small-molecule dimerisers of the VHL E3 ubiquitin ligase (VHL-based PROTACs) and elucidated their mechanism of action. Notably, Alessio Ciulli’s research provided a rational basis for the design and optimisation of the next generation of targeted protein degradation systems.

Laureate 2020

Prof. Gisbert Schneider
ETH Zürich, Switzerland

For his pioneering work integrating machine learning into medicinal chemistry, drug discovery and chemical biology. His contributions spread across the whole drug discovery process, and introduced visionary concepts for concrete applications of computational methods. These are now broadly adopted in drug discovery and recognized as robust foundations for transformative advancements in the field.


Laureate 2018

Prof. Benjamin Cravatt
Scripps Research Institute, USA

For his major contribution to the development of chemical proteomics, and in particular the introduction and refinement of the activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) technology. This novel approach allows the study of enzyme function in complex systems: This, and the efforts of Prof. Cravatt to identify tools for chemical biology, led to the identification of novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of human diseases of the central nervous system.

Laureate 2016

Prof. Jan Steyaert
VIB & VU Brussels, Belgium

For his pioneering work in the field of nanobody-enabled structural biology. His nanobody technology led to X-ray crystallographic structures of GPCRs locked in an agonist-bound active conformational state and to the first view of a GPCR transmembrane signalling complex. These novel GPCR structures are now finding widespread use in the discovery of novel drugs.

Laureate 2014

Prof. György Ferenczy and Prof. György Keseru
Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

For their groundbreaking research to understand the enthalpic efficiency of ligand binding which has had a significant impact within the medicinal chemistry and biophysics communities and led to changes in practices both in lead optimization and fragment based research. By utilising detailed biophysical studies on a wide range of compounds the awardees have enhanced our fundamental understanding of ligand-target molecular interactions and enhanced the body of knowledge supporting the importance of better balancing of enthalpic and entropic contributions. This understanding has important consequences in the optimization of lead compounds and has made a vital contribution to the development of fragment based approaches. Both awardees have an outstanding track record of publications and patents culminating in a series of recent joint papers.

Laureate 2012

Dr. Harren Jhoti
Astex Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, UK

To encourage innovation and investigation in technological development related to drug discovery, the EFMC awards the Prous Institute – Overton and Meyer Prize to the author of discovery, evaluation or use of new technologies.
This award acknowledges Dr. Jhoti’s pioneering research which has led to the development and successful application of fragment-based lead finding strategies in drug discovery, an approach which is now widely and increasingly used throughout the pharmaceutical industry and in academia. The brilliant results achieved by Dr. Jhoti are documented in more than 60 publications. Dr. Jhoti is not only a highly creative scientist, but also an accomplished entrepreneur whose work has culminated in the foundation of Astex, a Biotech company which has developed 6 fragment-derived compounds into clinical trials so far.

Laureate 2010

Prof Klaus Müller, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Winner of the 2010 Prous Institute-Overton and Meyer Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery

For his pioneering work in the field of computer assisted molecular modeling and for his seminal contributions to the understanding of multipolar interactions and fluorine effects in protein-ligand interactions. Prof. Müller has been instrumental in implementing and further developing computational techniques for use in the drug discovery and development process both through his leading role in pharmaceutical industry and his teaching activities in academia.

Laureate 2008

Prof. Steven V. Ley, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Winner of the 2008 Prous Institute-Overton and Meyer Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery

This award acknowledges Professor Ley commitment to the development, discovery, evaluation and use of new technologies for drug discovery. These include early adoption of ultrasound and microwave techniques for chemical synthesis, the use of design of experiment software for reaction optimization, the multi-step use of immobilised reagents, scavengers and catch and release concepts, the generation of encapsulated catalysts for cleaner reaction processing, the use of immobilised enzymes in synthesis, and the impressive advances in the area of flow chemistry and micro reactor technology. The brilliant results achieved by Prof. Ley, documented by over 630 publications in the area of new synthetic methods and their application to biologically active molecules, give him a great visibility in the field of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery.

Laureate 2006

Prof. Dario Neri Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich, Switzerland
Winner of the 2006 Prous Science Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery

Professor Neri receives this award for his pioneering work establishing synthetic antibody libraries obtained employing phage display technology. Although this technology is still in its early stages, it holds significant potential for the discovery of new LMW binders to variety of protein targets.

Laureate 2004

The Prous Science Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery 2004 for Prof. C. Oliver Kappe

The award was granted to Prof. C. Oliver Kappe, Karl-Franzens University, Graz, on the basis of his outstanding scientific curriculum vitae. In particular, his work on microwave-assisted combinatorial chemistry was considered highly innovative and fruitful.
The Award was presented during the Opening Session of the XVIIIth International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry, on Sunday, August 15, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Award Sponsor

This Award has been established with the support of the Prous Institute for Biomedical Research.