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The Heisig Prize

Professor Norbert Heisig is a German physician who was born in Breslau in 1933. He combined his medical studies with classical philology at the universities of Freiburg, Tübingen, and Hamburg. The Professor retired in 2000 and became involved, among other things, in supporting the academic community of the University of Wrocław. It was at his initiative that the Baroque vault in the Oratorium Marianum in the main building of the University was repainted. Now he is the founder of the highest financial award granted to a Polish scientist.

The intention of the founder of the Heisig Prize is to honour Polish scientists who conduct research at the highest level and who change the world through their discoveries.

– We wanted to select people who play an important role in the world of science – says Professor Przemysław Wiszewski, the Rector of the University of Wrocław – Among the nominees we have mainly representatives of exact sciences. They are chemists, biotechnologists, biologists, but also engineers or specialists in health sciences.

Today we are presenting the profiles of the nominees.


Prof. dr hab. Dariusz Chruściński (Nicolaus Copernicus University)

Physicist. Head of Department of Mathematical Physics. Author of over 170 publications. Associate of many leading scientific centres in the field of open quantum systems.

Prof. dr hab. Marcin Drąg (Wrocław University of Science and Technology)

Chemist. He developed a novel HyCoSuL technology, which found application in development of new drugs or rapid diagnostic tests. He and his team actively participated in the fight against COVID 19 – they were the first in the world to determine the catalytic preference of the SARS-CoV-2 enzyme, which is crucial for the invasion of the virus, and published the results of their research in a non-commercial, open access publication.

Prof. dr hab. Jacek Jassem (Medical University of Gdańsk)

Head of the Chair and Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy at the Medical University of Gdańsk. The candidate’s main areas of scientific activity include translational and clinical research in malignant tumors, especially in lung cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer, as well as biological aspects of brain metastases in breast cancer patients. One of the most frequently cited Polish physicians in the world.

Prof. dr hab. Marta Kolanowska (University of Lodz)

Biologist. Investigates biodiversity of the least studied regions of the world. She has discovered 370 species of orchids unknown to science. She has participated in over 20 tropical expeditions. In 2020, she was awarded the Otto Wichterle Award for her research and protection of valuable tropical ecosystems.

Prof. dr hab. Cyril Lechosław Latos-Grażyński (University of Wrocław)

Chemist. The main aspect of his research is the construction of porphyrins and metalloporphyrins with molecular and electron structures. Research of his team led to the discovery of a unique isomer of porphyrin, currently named carbaporphyrin.

Prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Lejcuś (Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences)

DSc in Agricultural Sciences in the discipline of environmental protection and management. He led a project that created a water sorbing geocomposite – a spatial structure that retains water in the soil. The geocomposite developed by the team of Professor Lejcuś has been patented in Poland and in fourteen EU countries.

Prof. dr hab. inż. Mieczysław Łapkowski (Silesian University of Technology)

Chemist. Pioneer of research on properties of conductive polymers and their optical characteristics. His works helped to popularise the common use of organic luminescent diodes. He developed a method of controlled delivery of anti-cancer drugs immobilized on the polymer matrix, which significantly reduces side effects.

Dr hab. Michał Michałowski (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań)

Astronomer. Observations of the gamma ray and the associated cocoon of heated matter – conducted by his team with (among others) the help of the Roman Baranowski telescope – allow us to understand the dynamics of the formation and death of galaxies, as well as to calculate their age. They also bring us closer to a more complete understanding of the evolution of the Universe.

Prof. dr hab. Maciej Paszyński (AGH University of Science and Technology)

Computer scientist. A precursor of isogeometric analysis. He discovered a low-cost way of performing serious computer simulations on an ordinary laptop. His methods have been used, among others, in computer simulations of cancer tumour growth, environmental impact of oil production, or propagation of COVID-19 pathogens during coughing.

Prof. dr hab. Katarzyna Pernal (Lodz University of Technology)

Her scientific interests are focused on quantum and computational chemistry. She is an author of innovative research in the field of electron structure theory, in which she develops new theoretical approaches and computational algorithms. She was awarded the Medal of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science for her outstanding contribution to the theory of density matrix functioning.

Prof. dr hab. Jan Potempa (Jagiellonian University)

Head of the Department of Microbiology at the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology at Jagiellonian University. His research interests focus on the bacteria responsible for periodontitis, and his achievements include a groundbreaking discovery of the role of periodontitis in the development of systemic diseases, including arthritis, lung diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Prof. dr hab. inż. Andrzej Jacek Tejchman-Konarzewski (Gdańsk University of Technology)

Head of the Department of Building Structures and Material Engineering at the Gdańsk University of Technology. His outstanding achievements include the results of advanced mesoscopic damage modelling in engineering materials based on the discrete element method and the finite element method – used primarily to describe damage in soil, concrete, reinforced concrete, and rock.

Published by: Dariusz Tomaszczyk

31 May 2021

last modification: 31 May 2021