The Educator

The challenge of advancing science

The most lasting biggest impact scientists make is likely not our own work but rather through the people we educate.

Education in the physical and life sciences is comprised from the text book knowledge that we transmit in the class room but also the practical skills that are taught. A huge part of becoming a scientist is the training conveyed during work on an original research problem as part of a doctoral thesis. Here, sound fundamental theoretical understanding, practical experimental skills are needed in addition to creativity, persistance and the ability to get over many difficulties and set-backs.  Educators have to convey the wonder and joy of discovery to the younger generation. 

To make a discovery or create a new substance never made before can give immense joy.

The challenge of educating young scientists is to make them aware of their talent and creativity by providing new perspectives. Even experienced researchers need to break through specialist-isolation and to learn - besides excellent scientific methodology - to engage in intense teamwork, reliable project management, proactive social interactions and to take responsibility. 


Just another scientific publication is simply not enough to make a difference. Instead, the discipline of "seeing" and then acting in a self-motivated and dialogue-oriented manner to challenge boundaries.

I teaching bioorganic chemistry as a Professor of Chemistry at the Free University of Berlin and the University Potsdam and  train doctoral and postdoctoral scientists in the Department of Biomolecular Systems at the Max-Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam.

The chance to work with bright young scientists is not just a challenge on a daily basis for both sides, but it keeps me honest and opens the chance for me to “learning by teaching” as not just the student but also the teacher profits.

Former coworkers now in academia:

Alexander Adibekian               Associate Prof.     Scripps Florida (USA)
Rodrigo Andrade                    Professor              Temple Univ. (USA)
Gonzalo Bernardes                 Lecturer                Cambridge Univ. (UK)
Siwarutt Boonyarattanakalin    Associate Prof.     Sirindhorn Inst. of Technology (Thailand)
Adam Calow                           Instructor              Bristol Univ. (UK)
Bastien Castagner                  Assist. Prof.           McGill Univ. (Canada)
Jeroen Codee                         Assist. Prof.          Leiden Univ. (Netherlands)
Mayeul Collot                          Principle Scientist CNRS Strasbourg (France)
Martina Delbianco                   Group Leader       MPI Potsdam (Germany)
Jose DePaz                            Assist. Prof.          Univ. of Seville (Spain)
Matthew Disney                      Professor             Scripps Florida (USA)
Kerry Gilmore                          Group Leader       MPI Potsdam (Germany)
Ryan Gilmour                          Professor             Univ. Münster (Germany)
Shinya Hanashima                  Associate Prof.     Osaka Univ. (Japan)
Laura Hartmann                      Professor              Universität Düsseldorf (Germany)
Sung You Hong                      Associate Prof.      UNIST (South Korea)
Mattan Hurevich                     Senior Lecturer      Hebrew Univ. (Israel)
Jeyakumar Kandasami            Assist. Prof.           IIT-BHU Varanasi (India)
Takuya Kanemitsu                  Assist. Prof.           Showa Univ. (Japan)
David Kennedy                       Research Officer   National Research Council (Canada)
Raghavendra Kikkeri               Associate Prof.      IISER Pune (India)
Daniel Kolarich                        Associate Prof.     Griffith Univ. (Australia)
Yong-Uk Kwon                        Associate Prof.      Ewha Womans University (Korea)
Chian-Hui Lai                          Assist. Prof.           Kaohsiung Medical University (Taiwan)
Paola Laurino                          Assist. Prof.           OIST (Japan)
Daniele Leonori                       Lecturer                Manchester Univ. (UK)
Bernd Lepenies                       Associate Prof.      Veterinary University Hannover (Germany)
Chien-Fu Liang                       Assist. Prof.           National Chung Hsing Univ. (Taiwan)
Xinyu Liu                                 Assist. Prof.           Univ. of Pittsburgh (USA)   
Petra Menova                         Assist. Prof.           UCT Prague (Czech Republic)
Nabyl Merbouh                       Teaching Prof.        Simon Fraser University (Canada)
Toshiki Nokami                       Associate Prof.       Tottori University
Tyler McQuade                        Professor               Virginia Commonwealth Univ. (USA)
Shunsuke Oishi                      Assist. Prof.           Nagoya Univ. (Japan)
Daniel Ratner                         Assist. Prof.           Univ. of Washington (USA)
Lidong Shao                          Assist. Prof.           Shanghai Univ. of Electric Power (China)
Nicole Snyder                        Associate Prof.       Davidson College (USA)
Pierre Stallforth                      Group Leader        Hans Knöll Inst. (Germany)
Bridget Stocker                      Associate Prof.      Univ. of Wellington (New Zealand)
Hidenori Tanaka                      Assist. Prof.          Kochi Univ. (Japan) 
Mattie Timmer                        Lecturer                Victoria Univ. of Wellington (New Zealand)
Yu-Hsian Tsai                         Lecturer                Cardiff Univ. (UK)
Ivan Vilotijevic                         Assist. Prof.           Univ. Jena (Germany)    
Cheng-Chung Wang              Associate Prof.      Academia Sinica Taipei (Taiwan)    
Ping Wang                             Associate Prof.      Shanghai Jiao Tong Univ. (China)
Daniel Werz                            Professor               TU Braunschweig (Germany)
Guozhi Xiao                            Professor               Kunming Inst. Botany, CAS (China)
Tokio Yabe                             Professor               Gifu Univ. (Japan)
You Yang                               Professor               East China Univ. of Science and Technology (China)
Jian Yin                                 Assoc. Dean          Jiangnan Univ. (China)