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Two Alexander von Humboldt Professorships for Freie Universität Berlin

№ 307/2008 from Oct 15, 2008

Alexander von Humboldt Professorships have been awarded for the first time, and Freie Universität has been very successful in attracting two of them. Of the nine researchers granted these professorships, two have been selected to conduct their research at Freie Universität Berlin, as announced by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. They are the theoretical solid state physicist, Piet Wibertus Brouwer, and the cell biologist, Thomas Tuschl. The professorships are valued at up to five million euros and are intended to give the recipients an opportunity to conduct research at a German university for five years. The scientists are due to begin their research in Germany next year.

Piet Wibertus Brouwer, theoretical solid state physicist, 36, is currently at Cornell University, Ithaca, USA. He is due to conduct research at the Institute of Theoretical Physics, Freie Universität Berlin. He is one of the most productive and important researchers in his discipline. Brouwer conducts cutting-edge research in solid state theory and quantum transport at the interface between the quantum world and the classical world. Under his direction, a new center for theoretical physics called the Dahlem Center for Complex Quantum Systems, is to be established at Freie Universität Berlin.

Thomas Tuschl, cell biologist, 42, is currently at Rockefeller University, New York. He is one of the world's leading researchers in biochemistry. His pioneering work on RNA interference has made it possible to switch off specific genes causing illness and to develop completely new therapies for the treatment of disease. Tuschl is expected to not only further  develop this field of research at Freie Universität Berlin, but also to contribute to increasing the attraction of the Berlin region as an international center for biotech companies.

The Alexander von Humboldt Professorships are intended to provide German universities with an opportunity to offer top international researchers competitive general conditions and long-term prospects for working in Germany.

For additional information, please contact:

Goran Krstin, Press Spokesperson for the President of Freie Universität Berlin, Telephone: +49 (0)30 / 838-73106, Email: goran.krstin@fu-berlin.de