The Reinhart Heinrich Award

The 2023 call is now closed.

ESMTB announces the 2023 Reinhart-Heinrich Doctoral Thesis Award for the student with the best doctoral thesis in the area of Mathematical and Theoretical Biology.

Only theses that have been accepted in 2023 can be considered. The acceptance date is the date at which the thesis is considered by the institution as fulfilling all the requirements for the granting of the doctoral degree, even if such degree will be formally attributed at a later date. It is the successful thesis defense date if no changes are demanded or, when changes in the thesis are required, the date when such changes are accepted by the institution.

Potential applicants may be nominated by any ESMTB member. Please submit to

Tom Britton (
  1. Name, address, phone number, affiliation and email address of nominator.
  2. Name, address, phone number, affiliation and email address of nominee.
  3. A detailed statement describing why the nominee should be considered for the award.
  4. The acceptance date of the thesis.
  5. An extended summary of the thesis (ca. 2-5 pages).
  6. CV of the nominee.

Closing date for applications is: 25th April 2024 (deadline extended!)

Shortlisted applicants will be asked to send their full thesis.

The Award includes:

  • Invitation to give a plenary talk at the next ECMTB (European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology), or alternatively, a limited travel grant from ESMTB for a scientific visit of the winner’s own choice;
  • Publication of a summary of the PhD thesis as lead article in the next annual report of the society, namely the European Communications in Mathematical and Theoretical Biology;
  • Free membership of ESMTB for one year;

Professor Reinhart Heinrich (1946 – 2006) started his research career in theoretical physics and then moved into biochemistry, becoming a full professor and head of theoretical biophysics at the Humboldt University, Berlin in 1990. He is considered a father of the field that is now named Systems  Biology, since he investigated various topics such as modelling metabolic networks and metabolic control theory, modelling of signal transduction networks, nonlinear dynamics as applied to biological systems, protein translocation, lipid translocation, vesicular transport, and even DNA repair. Reinhart Heinrich was always searching for the principles that underlie observations, looking for different perspectives and connecting theoretical abstraction with biological evidence. In this way, he inspired numerous students, gave them insight and direction for future research in modern mathematical and theoretical biology, and organized a large number of memorable conferences. Gratefully acknowledging his stimulating support of our interdisciplinary field and, in particular, his way of guiding students and young scientists, the Board of ESMTB decided to offer a Doctoral Thesis Award annually to commemorate Reinhart Heinrich and his legacy in mathematical and theoretical biology.

The Prize Awarding Committee includes:

Tom Britton (chair of the committee, Stockholm University)
Helen Byrne (University of Oxford)
Mirjam Kretzschmar (UMC Utrecht)
Josep Sardanyes (Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, Barcelona)
Jana Wolf (MDC Berlin)




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