The trophy consists of a pressed crystal on which is mounted a replica of the first lens made by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723), who invented the microscope and became the first ever microbiologist. Inside the crystal is a model of a DNA-molecule as a symbol of biochemistry, light beams on a hop plant as a symbol of microbiology and an ear of barley symbolising the physiology of seed germination. The object was designed by W. Heesen and produced by Royal Leerdam Crystal.

The Dr H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics has been awarded every two years since 1964 and is the most valuable Dutch prize for scientific research. Many leading scientists, including a number of future Nobel laureates (Christian de Duve, Sir Aaron Klug, Thomas R. Cech, Sir Paul M. Nurse, James E. Rothman, Roger Y. Tsien, Andrew Z. Fire and Jack W. Szostak) have been awarded the prize by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of their pioneering work.
The prize consists of 200,000 US Dollars and a crystal trophy; it is funded by the Alfred Heineken Fondsen Foundation.

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