Dr Vijay Tiwari, a Indian scientist, was recently honoured with Wilhelm Sander Award in recognition of his outstanding research in the biomedicine field. He received this award at a ceremony in Munich with Prof. Dr Harald zur Hausen as a chief guest, who received the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine 2008 for his research on cancer of the cervix.
Dr Tiwari currently heads a team of international scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Germany where he and his team are researching the cellular processes underlying development and cancer. Ordinarily, cells in the body have a clear identity, e.g., a cell in the skin belongs in the skin and is different to a nerve cell in the brain. In metastatic cancers, tumorous cells have lost this tissue identity, and are able to move to other parts of the body, where they can form new tumours. The opposite process happens in development, where cells become gradually more specialized as an embryo develops. For example, neuronal cells only start to form a few days after fertilization of a human embryo. Dr Vijay Tiwari is investigating the mechanisms that drive a cell to change from a regular to a metastatic cell, or from a general embryonic cell to a more specialized neuronal type in development.
Dr Tiwari’s was born to an award-winning former officer of the Indian Intelligence Bureau. He received his early education in Faizabad and Sultanpur districts of Uttar Pradesh before taking up higher studies at BHU, Varanasi. He then moved to Stockholm in Sweden for his doctoral studies, and thereafter he worked as a scientist at premier scientific entities such as the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in USA and FMI in Switzerland. He recently moved to Germany where he is currently focusing on investigating molecular mechanisms underlying embryonic development and cancer. His experience at top institutions and with leading scientists gave him cutting-edge, multidisciplinary training to tackle the toughest challenges in biomedical research.
Other awards received by Dr Tiwari include the Marie Curie Award (European commission), EMBO award and Bruno Speck Award (Switzerland) for his contribution to science. Besides, he was also one of only 11 young scientists from across the European Union to be selected for the RISE1 award (European commission). Most recently, he also received Faculty of the Year 2014 award for his contribution and commitment to science.