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Ruth Ley honoured by EMBO for excellence in life science

Joining a group of the best researchers in Europe and around the world.


Tuebingen, Germany. 11 June 2019. Ruth Ley has been elected to membership of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), joining a group of top scientists and researchers worldwide. Being a pioneer and global leader in microbiome research, Ley is one of the most highly cited investigators in microbiology.

In her role as Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tuebingen, Ley has been founder of the Department of Microbiome Science. Her research interests center on the molecular interface between the gut microbiome and the human host.

Ley´s research promises to unlock the therapeutic potential of the human gut microbiome through molecular understanding of its members and their interactions. She brings a unique set of lenses to such problems, incorporating evolutionary biology and microbial ecology into studies of medical relevance. With the goal to find new, targeted agents that have positive effect on the microbiome, Ley also represents the Cluster of Excellence CMFI (Controlling Microbes to Fight Infections) as a spokesperson at the University of Tuebingen.

Ley brought first breakthrough methods and concepts of ecology and environmental biology to medicine at her time as a post-doctoral researcher in 2004. She bridged a large structural chasm between disciplines when she was among the first to describe the human gut microbiome through the lens of ecology. Today, the importance of the microbiome in human health is well accepted and microbiome research has become mainstream in the biomedical sciences.

By representing world-class in life science, Ruth Ley broadens the institute’s circle of EMBO members, including Alfred Gierer (1964), Friedrich Bonhoeffer (1967), Christiane Nuesslein-Volhard (1983, Secretary General of EMBO 2002-2009), Gerd Juergens (1999), Detlef Weigel (2003, Chair of the EMBO Council 2012-2015) and Ralf Sommer (2015).

EMBO is an organization of more than 1800 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences in Europe and beyond. EMBO Members are excellent scientists who conduct research at the forefront of all life science disciplines, ranging from computational models or analyses of single molecules and cellular mechanics to the study of higher-order systems in development, cognitive neuroscience and evolution.

Ley will be formally welcomed at the annual EMBO Members Meeting in Heidelberg between October 29 and 31, 2019. 

About Prof. Ruth Ley, Ph.D.

Information on Microbiome Science


Media contacts:

Dr. Daniel Fleiter (Head of Communications)
Phone: +49 (7071) 601-777
E-mail: daniel.fleiter.(at)tuebingen.mpg.de
E-mail: presse-eb(at)tuebingen.mpg.de


Ruth Ley

Ruth Ley