Amparo Acker-Palmer

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Amparo Acker-Palmer
Born10th September 1968
Sueca, Valencia, Spain
Alma materUniversity of Valencia, Spain
OccupationCell biologist, neuroscientist
EmployerGoethe University Frankfurt Rhine-Main Neuroscience Network
Board member ofCRC 1080 "Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Neural Homeostasis"

GRADE (Goethe Graduate Academy Frankfurt)

Rhine Main Neuroscience Network

Max Planck Institute for Brain Research Frankfurt

Cluster of Excellence "Macromolecular Complexes" (CEF) (2009 - 2012)
Spouse(s)Till Acker
AwardsThe Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize (2010)

Amparo Acker-Palmer (born in 10 September 1968) is a cell biologist and a neuroscientist from Sueca, Valencia, Spain, best known for her research discovery in the similarities of the mechanism of nerve and blood vessel development.[1] She has worked alongside her husband, Till Acker, who is a neurobiologist, in researching tumor therapies.[2] In her career, she has won several awards, including the Paul Ehrlich & Ludwig Darmstaeder Prize for Young Researchers in 2010.[3] In 2012, Amparo Acker-Palmer was elected as member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.[4]

Education and career[edit]

Acker-Palmer obtained a degree in Biology and Biochemistry in the University of Valencia, Spain in 1991.[5] After graduating, she completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany in 1996 after obtaining a PhD in Biology in the University of Valencia in the same year.[5] In 2001, she moved to Martinsried to take the position as a junior group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology for six years.[6] At Goethe University she was then nominated as Professor of Cluster of Excellence "Macromolecular Complexes" in 2007.[7] Later in 2011, Acker-Palmer became the head of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology at Goethe University, while working on research in a specialised program known as the Focus Program Translational Neurosciences[8] (FTN), as a faculty member in the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz through her GFK Fellowship.[9] In 2014, she was then elected as a Max Planck Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, where she conducted research focused on the mechanics of nerve and blood vessel communication.[6]


Acker-Palmer's work focused on the mechanism of the development of nerve and blood vessel at the molecular level. Alongside her colleagues, she published her work in Nature in 2010, as "EphrinB2 regulates VEGFR2 function in developmental and tumour angiogenesis". She won the Paul Ehrlich & Ludwig Darmstaeder Prize for Young Researchers for discovering the similarities between nerve and blood vessel development.[3]

Ephrin is one of the axon's guiding molecules during the development of the central nervous system. Her research examines the role of one of Ephrin's receptor's transmembrane ligand, Ephrin-B2 in particular, in developmental angiogenesis.[10] However, the validity of the study's data was placed under scrutiny by Nature's readers due to its questionable figures.[11] To clarify the situation, a letter along with supplementary information had been issued by the authors explaining the errors made. According to the journal, although several images were not correctly labelled, the errors have no effect on the experiment's original conclusion. The authors have also conducted another experiment for further verification of results.[12]

Honours and awards[edit]

  • Received a PhD Fellowship from the Spanish Government (1992 - 1996)[9]
  • Received a PhD Extraordinary Award from the University of Valencia, Spain (1997)[5]
  • Elected as the EU Fellow in the "Training and Mobility of Researchers Programme" (1997 - 1999)[13]
  • Won 60,000 Euros from the Paul Ehrlich & Ludwig Darmstaeder Prize for Young Researchers for her research in discovering the similarities between nerve and blood vessel development (2010)[3]
  • Received the Gutenberg Research Fellowship Award (2012)[9]
  • Elected as a Max Planck Fellow at the MPI for Brain Research (2014)[6]
  • Received a 2.5 million Euros award from the European Research Council (ERC) (2015)[14]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ Beeger, Britta; Siedenbiedel, Christian (2013-08-24). "Amparo Acker-Palmer: Exzellente Fachfrau für Zellen". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  2. ^ "New target for tumor therapy - Nature letter: When drugs could permanently disrupt the pathological formation of blood vessels". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  3. ^ a b c "Frankfurt scientist Prof. Amparo Acker-Palmer awarded the 2010 Prize for Young Researchers" (PDF). Goethe Universitat Frankfurt Am Main.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c MCNB. "Biography of Prof. Dr. Amparo Acker-Palmer". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  6. ^ a b c "Goethe-Universität — Wie "sprechen" Nervenzellen und Blutgefäße miteinander?". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  7. ^ "Goethe-Universität — Weitere Würdigung für Frankfurter Wissenschaftlerin". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  8. ^ Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität. "Herzlich willkommen beim Forschungszentrum Translationale Neurowissenschaften (FTN)". (in German). Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  9. ^ a b c Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität. "Amparo Acker-Palmer zum GFK-Fellow ernannt". (in German). Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  10. ^ Sawamiphak, Suphansa; Seidel, Sascha; Essmann, Clara L.; Wilkinson, George A.; Pitulescu, Mara E.; Acker, Till; Acker-Palmer, Amparo (2010-05-27). "Ephrin-B2 regulates VEGFR2 function in developmental and tumour angiogenesis". Nature. 465 (7297): 487–491. doi:10.1038/nature08995. ISSN 0028-0836.
  11. ^ "You can do that? A massive correction in Nature, but no retraction". Retraction Watch. 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  12. ^ Sentürk, Aycan; Pfennig, Sylvia; Weiss, Alexander; Burk, Katja; Acker-Palmer, Amparo (2011-10-13). "Ephrin Bs are essential components of the Reelin pathway to regulate neuronal migration". Nature. 478 (7368): 274–274. doi:10.1038/nature10420. ISSN 0028-0836.
  13. ^ "Prof. Dr. Amparo Acker-Palmer - AcademiaNet". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  14. ^ "Prestigious awards for former Research Group Leaders". Retrieved 2017-04-19.