IMX Seminar Series - Materials Talking to Cells


Event details

Date 04.03.2024
Hour 13:1514:15
Speaker Prof. Tanja Weil, Director Max Planck Institute, Mainz Germany
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English

Wouldn't it be great if we could design soft materials that actively integrate into cells or tissues and stimulate cellular responses? Can we imagine materials that instruct cells to grow, proliferate or induce apoptosis? What would such materials look like and would we be able to learn the language of cells and translate it into communicating materials? In my talk, I will first discuss how to design structurally precise polymeric nanostructures using the DNA origami technique. I will then present the identification of bioactive peptide nanostructures that stimulate the growth of neuronal cells without growth factors or the concentration of viruses at the cell membrane, which is of interest for applications in regenerative medicine and gene therapy. Controlled formation of peptide nanostructures in the cytoplasm by chemical cascade reactions opens new avenues as metabolic inhibitors for cancer therapy.

Bio: Prof. Dr. Tanja Weil joined the Max Planck Society in 2017 as one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, heading the division “Synthesis of Macromolecules”. She studied chemistry (1993–1998) at the TU Braunschweig (Germany) and the University of Bordeaux I (France) and completed her PhD at the MPI for Polymer Research under the supervision of K. Müllen. In 2003, she received the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society. From 2002 to 2008 she managed different leading positions at Merz Pharmaceuticals GmbH (Frankfurt) from Section Head Medicinal Chemistry to Director of Chemical Research and Development. In 2008 she accepted an Associate Professor position at the National University of Singapore. Tanja Weil joined Ulm University as Director of the Institute of Organic Chemistry III / Macromolecular Chemistry in 2010. She has received numerous competitive funding at both national and international level including a Synergy Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). She serves in many advisory boards and steering committees: she is a member of the senate of the German Research Foundation, a member of the senate of the Leibniz Association and of the Leibniz evaluation panel. Tanja is an associate editor for JACS and a member of the editorial advisory board of ACS Nano. Her scientific interests focus on innovative synthesis concepts to achieve functional macromolecules and hybrid materials to solve current challenges in biomedicine and material science.


Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


  • Prof. Tiffany Abitbol & Prof. Gregor Jotzu


  • Prof. Tiffany Abitbol & Prof. Gregor Jotzu

Tags imxseminars

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