The Heidelberg Academy of Sciences has elected the Konstanz chemist Andreas Marx an ordinary member. The academy conceives of itself both as a learned society and as a modern non-university research facility. It was founded to bring together outstanding scientists from various disciplines for discussion and to carry out basic research. It hosts scientific conferences and public lecture series and supports junior researchers. Its approximately 280 members from the university towns of Freiburg, Heidelberg, Hohenheim, Karlsruhe, Konstanz, Mannheim, Stuttgart, Tübingen and Ulm meet regularly. Andreas Marx is the eleventh University of Konstanz professor to be elected to the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
On 6 June 2017, Professor Marx from the ChemLife research initiative, which explores the interaction between biological and chemical knowledge, also received the František Šorm Memorial Medal awarded by the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS). The medal, which is awarded to outstanding international scientists once every three years, is in memory of Professor František Šorm, founder and first director of CAS’s Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry. It recognises individuals’ outstanding contributions to science as well as their collaboration with the Institute. “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Andreas Marx for this double honour. I’m delighted that his exceptional research is being recognised yet again. His work for the pioneering ChemLife research initiative, which straddles the fields of chemistry and biology, is of vital importance to our university’s overall success – as is his work as spokesperson for the Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology”, says Professor Ulrich Rüdiger, Rector of the University of Konstanz.
Andreas Marx’s research within the ChemLife research initiative is on processes of DNA replication and repair. DNA polymerases, which are responsible for DNA duplication during cell division, play an important role in this. Marx and his research team have developed a procedure for modifying polymerases. This allows them to create tailor-made and multi-functional enzymes for use in broadly applicable and simplified procedures for the early diagnosis of medical conditions, amongst other things.
Born in Lübeck in 1968, Andreas Marx studied chemistry at the universities of Freiburg, Sussex (UK) and Bochum. He gained is doctorate from the University of Basel in 1997 and, following post-doctoral studies in Nagoya (Japan), completed his Habilitation (post-doctoral qualification) in organic chemistry and biochemistry in Bonn in 2003. Andreas Marx has been professor of organic and cellular chemistry at the University of Konstanz since 2004. He has been speaker of the Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology, which is being supported in the framework of the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments, since its foundation in 2007.
- Professor Andreas Marx was elected ordinary member by the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
- On 6 June 2017, Professor Andreas Marx received the František Šorm Memorial Medal.
- The František Šorm Memorial Medal is awarded once every three years by the Czech Academy of Sciences.
- The University of Konstanz’s ChemLife research initiative: The research initiative aims to understand how biological systems adapt themselves to changing conditions on the molecular network level and to use this knowledge to create new materials with customised properties.