Nahaufnahme von einem Kompass

PhD subject areas


Biosystems Engineering

The field of “Biosystems Engineering” is concerned with research into ways of modifying biological systems in a targeted manner, and this at various levels - from the molecular to the organismic level. Corresponding projects are applied, for example, in biotechnology, pharmacy and materials research. Often, interdisciplinary approaches that combine experimental with computational methods are used for this purpose.


Prof. Dr. Ursula Kummer

Computational Science and Engineering

...is nowadays considered the third pillar of science, complementing
experiment and theory. More and more knowledge of complex natural
phenomena is obtained from large-scale, detailed simulations. They
involve techniques from modeling of such phenomena and numerical
methods, the design and implementation of algorithms to the actual
execution of programs on modern hardware. We employ these techniques in
applications from biology and medicine to chemistry and astrophysics and
advance methods by overcoming application specific challenges.


Prof. Dr. Robert Strzodka

Computer Engineering

...studies function, structure and usage of hardware for data
acquisition and processing. Employing detailed knowledge of elementary
components of computer chips and architecture as well es large,
heterogeneous computer systems, we are able to adapt algorithms to the
specifics of a hardware system in order to boost their computational
efficiency or reduce their energy footprint. We deploy application
specific hardware/software combinations and optimized system
configurations for specific computing challenges.


Prof. Dr. Peter Fischer

Matter to Life

The Master's program Matter to Life is offered with a focus on “Molecular Systems Chemistry and Engineering” at Heidelberg University and “Complex Systems and Biological Physics” at the University of Göttingen. Following this, a direct entry into the PhD program in Matter to Life is possible.
This highly interdisciplinary Master to PhD Direct Track PhD program of the Max Planck School Matter to Life consists of a network of excellent scientists from different universities and non-university research institutions from all over Germany.

Dr. Jan Heidelberger

Medical Engineering

The doctoral studies in “Medical Engineering” aim at forming students' mindset for facing the new technological challenges in a wide spectrum of applications and shape the new revolution in medicine. The competences that a doctoral candidate is requested to develop across her/his studies range from Medical Robotics for Rehabilitation and Human Augmentation, to Prosthetics and Exoskeletons for a variety of applications in both the medical and industrial sectors. Heidelberg University offers unique study plans and laboratories in Biomechantronics and Biorobotics, Computational Biomechanics and a strong integration with Computer Sciences, Material Sciences and Molecular Engineering. The close collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine provides the students with unprecedented opportunities to test the developed technology on site and establish strong links with enterprises operating in the medical sector at both national and international levels.


Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Masia

Molecular Systems Science and Engineering

Molecular Systems Science and Engineering is an interdisciplinary research field ranging from materials science to synthetic biology and medicine. Emphasis is placed on the development of novel carbon-based materials, molecular machines, 3D printing, as well as regenerative medicine, vaccine development, and cancer therapy. In addition, the research field contributes to application areas such as diagnostics, sensor technology, and renewable energies.


Prof. Dr. Christine Selhuber-Unkel

Molecular Biotechnology

Molecular Biotechnology comprises a wide range of research areas from basic research to application oriented topics on the function of biomolecules, like e.g. proteins and nucleic acids, as well as other molecules present in biological systems. Starting from analytical detection of biomolecules in biological samples to functional characterization of biomolecules, the field of Molecular Biotechnology is particular interest in the production of biomolecules and the use of cells for drug research, biomedical and pharmaceutical applications, and for the use in diagnostic methods and technical applications. For this, methods in Bioinformatics, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology (Synthetic Biology), and Biophysical Chemistry are used.


Prof. Dr. Stefan Wölfl

Pharmaceutical Sciences

The research in pharmaceutical sciences at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology is focused on the development, investigation, and application of drugs and bioactive compounds, as well as on the elucidation of molecular and cellular mechanisms of action. It integrates experimental approaches of chemistry, molecular and cellular biology, pharmacology, bioinformatics, pharmaceutics and clinical pharmacy. Main research areas of our institute include nucleic acids as tools and drug targets, development of new antiinfective drugs, research on neurodegenerative diseases as well as drug targeting and transport.

Prof. Dr. Gert Fricker