Thursday, 07 November, 2013
Prof. Jan Lipfert joins CeNS as Ordinary Member
Jan Lipfert studied physics and economics in Heidelberg, Germany, unsure whether to apply quantitative reasoning to society or to the natural sciences. After completing his undergraduate in 2000, he spent a year in Uppsala, Sweden, where he obtained a Masters degree and became fascinated by applying quantitative methods to biological problems. As a Fulbright fellow, he pursued a year of graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, where obtained another Masters degree in 2002, taking advanced courses in biological, mathematical, and condensed matter physics. For his Ph.D., he decided to continue west to Stanford University. At Stanford, he worked with Sebastian Doniach and Daniel Herschlag (and many others), using a combination of computer simulations, bench top biochemistry and small-angle X-ray scattering to study the structure, dynamics, and interactions of (membrane) proteins and RNAs. After completing this PhD in 2007, Jan decided to return to Europe and join the lab of Nynke Dekker at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. As a postdoc and Veni fellow of the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) at Delft, he developed novel magnetic tweezers instruments for single-molecule studies of torque and twist and applied them to investigate the properties and dynamics of DNA, RNA, and nucleo-protein filaments.
Jan was appointed to a tenure-track W2 professorship in experimental biophysics at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in fall 2013. In Munich, he will continue to use a combination of X-ray scattering, magnetic tweezers and other single molecule techniques, and computer simulations to probe the structure, mechanics, and biological interactions of macromolecules, in particular of functional nucleic acids. In addition, he is broadly interested in biophysics and nanotechnology research questions and he is looking forward to collaborating with the impressive group of researchers that are part of the CeNS.