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Scientific Advisory Board

The mission of the Scientific Advisory Board is to provide visionary guidance for the development of the research center and to critically assess its scientific performance. Thus, the board plays an important role in strategically focusing the research directions. The members of the Scientific Advisory Board meet every two years and are in regular contact with the management of B CUBE in order to provide advise on its thematic and structural development.

Joanna Aizenberg

Prof. Dr. Aizenberg is the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science at Harvard University in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Her research is aimed at understanding some of the basic principles of biological architectures and the economy with which biology solves complex problems in the design of multifunctional, responsive materials. She uses biological principles as guidance in developing new, bio-inspired synthetic routes and nanofabrication strategies that would lead to advanced materials and devices.

Colin Coates

Dr. Coates holds a first-class degree in chemistry, with a postgraduate degree and postdoctoral research training from Queen’s University Belfast in Ireland, focusing primarily on time-resolved laser spectroscopic analysis of photophysical mechanisms. Dr. Coates also has experience in leading an industrial research and development team that was involved in developing novel DNA microarray technologies. Dr. Coates maintains overall product management responsibility for Andor's research and OEM camera/spectrograph business, encompassing imaging, spectroscopy, time-resolved, and X-ray product/market segments.

Peter Fratzl (Chair)

Since 2003 Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Peter Fratzl heads the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam-Golm and holds honorary professorships at Humboldt University Berlin (Physics) and University of Potsdam (Biomaterials). His research interests include the structure function relation in biological and biomimetic materials, bone and mineral research with biomedical applications, and mechanical properties and modeling of composite materials.

Akihiro Kusumi

Prof. Dr. Akihiro Kusumi is a professor at Kyoto University, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences. His research combines the disciplines of single molecule nanobiology and biophysics, cell biology and neuroscience. Current interests include the mechanisms of signal transduction in the cell membrane, the dynamic structure and function of the plasma membrane including the membrane skeleton and rafts, the mechanisms for the formation and plasticity of synapses and for the development of neuronal polarity, and the development of single molecule technologies that can be applied to studies of living cells.

Daniel Müller

Prof. Dr. Daniel Müller holds the chair of Biophysics at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) at the ETH Zürich in Basel since 2010. He is interested in the development and application of nanotechnological tools to characterize key molecular interactions driving processes in life and to manipulate these interactions to control living matter ranging from proteins to tissues. These methods allow to program neuronal cells in vitro and in vivo, to image cells at nanometer resolution, to quantify and localize cellular interactions at molecular resolution and to observe how individual receptors of living cells communicate.

Johannes Ottl

Johannes Ottl received his Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried and has studied Chemistry at the Ludwig Maximilians Universität in Munich, Germany. He is heading the Screening Sciences Group at Novartis Basel (Switzerland) in the Center for Proteomic Chemistry. His research focus of the past years is biophysics to study the interactions of lead molecule candidates with their target proteins. In the last 3-5 years the research focus also includes the investigation of novel pharmaceutical drug discovery approaches to identify new chemical matter in pharmaceutical industry. This focus includes DNA-encoded chemical library screening and new approaches to identify novel chemical space with affinity selections using non-natural, macrocyclic peptide libraries that are displayed via ribosomal translation.

David Quéré

David Quéré is a Professor at Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, and Research Director at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), ESPCI ParisTech. The research interests of David Quéré cover systems with liquids in which interfaces (liquid/air, liquid/solid) play a predominant role. The research topics he tackles are various: superhydrophobicity, Leidenfrost effect, liquid film deposition, self-propulsion of liquids, impacts, biomimetics, etc.

Thomas Speck

Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck unites the Chair of Functional Morphology and Biomimetics with the directorship of the Botanical Garden at the University of Freiburg. He pursues a broad range of research interests that include functional anatomy and morphology of existant and fossil plants as well as plant biomechanics. His research had a strong focus on functional ecology of tropical lianas and on the reconstruction of early land and seed plants. Since about 15 years, however, his research increasingly aimes at transferring material concepts and specific constructions from plants into novel bioinspired engineering materails and products. Thomas Speck is spokesman oft the German Bionic competence Network (BioKoN) and the Biomimetics Network Baden-Württemberg.

Tanja Weil (Co-Chair)

The scientific background of Prof. Dr. Tanja Weil combines industrial and academic research – currently focusing on dendrimer chemistry and dendritic hybrids, protein-based copolymers, tailored bioconjugation reagents for site-directed protein chemistry, chemically modified polypeptides as biocoatings and gene delivery vectors, as well as synthesis of near infrared emitters. After leading positions at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (Mainz), Merz Pharmaceuticals GmbH and National University of Singapore she joined the Ulm University as Director of the Institute of Organic Chemistry III / Macromolecular Chemistry in 2010. Prof. Dr. Tanja Weil joined the Max Planck Society in 2017 as one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research heading the department “Synthesis of Macromolecules”.