The EMBO Gold Medal highlights the quality of European molecular biology performed by young research scientists and is awarded annually to a European scientist who is under 40 years old. The medal has been awarded to many illustrious recipients in the past. It brings the high-quality work of young European scientists to the attention of a worldwide audience. In this way the EMBO gold medal is an indicator of the standards that are achieved by European scientists. It also honours the awardee as a role model for scientists in Europe.