Prof. Dr. Joachim P. Spatz Receives Leibniz Prize
Posted December 09 2016
Prof. Dr. Joachim Spatz, scientist at Heidelberg University and the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, and member of CellNetworks, has received the 2017 Leibniz Prize from the German Research Foundation (DFG). He is honored for his exceptional work at the boundary of material sciences and cell biophysics. The prize is one of the most important research awards in Germany and is endowed with 2.5 million euros for future research activities.

Joachim P. Spatz (Photo: Wolfram Scheible)


Joachim P. Spatz is group leader for “Biophysical Chemistry” at the Institute for Physical Chemistry at Heidelberg University and the head of the department “New Materials and Biosystems” at the MPI in Stuttgart. In his research, he focuses on cell adhesion, i.e. of cells between each other and cells with their surfaces. According to the DFG, his “experimental approach sets examples” and enabled the scientist to win precise insights into the control mechanisms and physiological processes of cell adhesion. With the use of artificial, molecularly structured boundary surfaces, he could reduce possible interactions to a minimum. “Joachim Spatz’ scientific achievement was to analyze the communication mechanisms between cells in a completely new manner – thanks to innovative concepts of physics and material sciences. This approach also allowed him to elucidate the molecular mechanism of collective cell migration in wound healing”, adds the DFG.


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