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Dr. Christian Hackenberger Conducts Outstanding Research in Chemical Biology

The 34-Year-Old Is the First Scientist to Be Supported by the Perspectives Program “Plus 3” of the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

№ 344/2010 from Nov 11, 2010

Dr. Christian Hackenberger from Freie Universität Berlin is the first scientist selected for the Perspectives Program “Plus 3” of the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation. The 34-year-old heads an Emmy Noether Group at the Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The foundation’s program supports junior research group leaders for a period of up to three years with up to 900,000 euros.

Christian Hackenberger, a chemist, has set himself the goal of developing highly selective chemical reactions that also occur in biological environments such as living cells. These types of reactions can be used to visualize cellular processes, or they can manipulate biological molecules (proteins) to change their function. In the past years his research group has introduced several such reactions. “The generous support from the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation will enable us to continue our projects during the next years at full steam ahead,” said the junior research group leader. “Simultaneously, it is a positive step for us as chemists to be able to contribute to addressing fundamental biological questions through the development of new synthetic tools.”

Christian Hackenberger studied chemistry from 1996 bis 1998 at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg and in 1999 graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Master of Science degree. After completing his doctorate in 2003 at RWTH Aachen, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston until 2005. Since October 2005 he has been at the Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Freie Universität Berlin, at first with a Liebig fellowship from the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (FCI), and since 2006 as the head of an Emmy Noether Junior Research Group. In addition, he has been the scientific coordinator and spokesperson of the integrated Research Training Group (GKM) “Multivalence in Chemistry and Biology” in the Collaborative Research Center 765 of Freie Universität since 2008.

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation was founded in 1977. Through its funding programs and scientific awards, it supports excellent research in the fields of medicine, biology, chemistry, and pharmacy. For its Perspectives Program “Plus 3” the foundation selects outstanding junior group leaders conducting basic research. The program thus aims to support up-and-coming scientists in developing their own research profile and to put them in a position to be appointed a professor.

Further Information

  • Dr. Christian Hackenberger, Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry
    Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-52451, Email:
  • Dr. Kerstin Dell, Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation
    Tel.: +49 (0)6132 / 89 85-0, Email: