skip to main content

Thorsten Nürnberger elected EMBO member

04.07.2023 Press Release

Thorsten Nürnberger joins the EMBO community of more than 2,000 leading life scientists in Europe and beyond


Professor Thorsten Nürnberger from the Center for Plant Molecular Biology of the University of Tübingen and CMFI Principal Investigator, is one of 69 scientists who have been newly elected as Members and Associate Members of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), an organization of leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences in Europe and beyond.

This year's new members have been recognized for contributions spanning the spectrum of life science research, including work that has demystified the immune system, advanced understanding of our senses, and facilitated innovative approaches to vaccine development.

Fiona Watt, EMBO Director, said: “These remarkable scientists have unravelled molecular secrets of life, deepened our understanding of health and disease, and are paving the way for further discoveries and innovations. Their achievements reinforce the critical role that life science research plays in the lives of citizens across Europe and the world.”

The plant biochemist Thorsten Nürnberger works on the interrelation of plants and their pathogens such as bacteria and fungi, especially the oomycetes. He seeks a deeper molecular understanding of microbial pattern recognition in plant immunity. With his research team, he identifies and structurally and biochemically characterizes pathogen-associated molecular patterns and their cognate plant pattern recognition receptors. He plans to use plant recognition receptors for biotechnological engineering of resistance in crop plants.

Of the 60 members and nine associate members elected to the EMBO Membership this year, 35 are women (51%) and 34 men (49%). The newly elected members and associate members reside in more than 20 countries. The 60 new EMBO Members are based in 17 Member States of the EMBC, the intergovernmental organization that funds the main EMBO Programmes and activities. The new members and associate members join a community of more than 2,000 leading life science experts. Members provide guidance and support for EMBO activities, for example by evaluating funding applications and serving on the EMBO Council and Committees.

New members are nominated and elected by the existing EMBO Membership. EMBO will formally welcome the new members at the annual Members’ Meeting in Heidelberg, Germany, between 25-27 October 2023. An online directory listing of all EMBO Members and Associate Members, their affiliations, and subject areas is available here.

Selected statistics

  • 69 distinguished life scientists have been elected to the EMBO Membership, comprising of 60 EMBO Members and nine EMBO Associate Members.
  •     The newly elected members and associate members represent more than 20 countries.
  •     A majority of the new EMBO Members and Associate Members are women, with 35 women (51%) and 34 men (49%) elected in 2023.



About EMBO

The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) is an organization of more than 2,000 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences in Europe and beyond. The goals of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a research environment where scientists can achieve their best work.

EMBO helps young scientists to advance their research, promote their international visibility and ensure their mobility. Courses, workshops, conferences, and scientific journals disseminate the latest research and offer training in techniques to maintain high standards of excellence in research practice. EMBO helps to shape science and research policy by seeking input and feedback from our community and by following closely the trends in science in Europe.
More information on the EMBO website.

(EMBO press release/JE, Public Relations Department)