Biography of Konrad Sandhoff
Konrad Sandhoff was the son of a chemist with an additional degree in agriculture. He studied chemistry at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, graduating in 1964. In 1965 he joined the Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie in Munich as a scientific assistant under professor Horst Jatzkewitz. That year he obtained his doctorate with a dissertation entitled "The amaurotic idiocy of man as a derangement of glycosphigolipid metabolism".
At the Max Planck Institute, Sandhoff headed a working group in the department of neurochemistry. He was habilitated as a Privatdozent at Munich in 1972. Until 1979 he worked in research at the Max-Planck-Institute, interrupted by a period as visiting professor at the McCollum-Pratt Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA (1972-1974), and the Weizman Institute in Rehovel, Israel (1876).
In 1979 he became an unscheduled professor at the University of Munich, but later that year he accepted an invitation as professor of biochemistry in the Kekulé-Institut für Organische Chemie und Biochemie at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. There he was dean from 1992 to 1994 and 1994 to 1996 deputy dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of this university.
Sandhoff's research interests include investigating biochemical and enzymatic aspects of the gangliosidoses and other storage diseases.
Sandhoff has received several scientific awards, among them the Carl-Duisberg Medal from the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (1976), the Heinrich-Wieland-Preis (1979), and the Richard-Kuhn-Medal from the der Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (1992). In 1998, Sandhoff, then at the Kekulé-Institut für Organische Chemie und Biochemie der Universität Bonn, and Professor Wilhelm Stoffel (born 1928) at the Institut für Biochemie, Universität zu Köln, received the K.J. Zülch-Preis of Gertrud Reemtsma from the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. The award was given in recognition of their outstanding discoveries in the field of neuro chemistry, discoveries of exceptional importance for the elucidation of inheritable neurological metabolic diseases. In 1999 he received the Max-Planck-Forschungspreis.
From 1992 Sandhoff has been Honorary Member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and in 1996 he gave the "Ranwell Caputto Lecture of the Argentine Society for Neurochemistry" in Cordoba. He has been a member of the Leopoldina since 1999. On April 6, 2001, he received the Mendel Medal from the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina for his research on inheritable neurological metabolic diseases.