The Feringa group

Group leader

Prof.dr. Ben L. Feringa
(Jacobus van't Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences)
Prof. Ben L. Feringa obtained his PhD. at the University of Groningen, where he was appointed full professor in 1988, after working as research scientist for Shell. Under his guidance the Feringa group has developed extensive expertise in the fields of organic chemistry, nanotechnology, asymmetric catalysis. His discovery of the molecular motor ranks highly among the many discoveries made over the years. In 2016 Prof. Feringa was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, together with Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Sir James Fraser Stoddart.

Scientific staff

Prof.dr. Wiktor Szymanski
(http://www.szymanski-lab.nl/)
Wiktor Szymański received his PhD degree from The Warsaw University of Technology, Poland, in 2008. He spent two years working on the use of biotransformations in organic chemistry with Prof. Ben L. Feringa and Prof. Dick B. Janssen at the University of Groningen. Since 2010 he has been working on the construction of photoactive protein- peptide- and DNA-bioconjugates and photophamracology in the Feringa Labs. As of 2014, he shares his time between Feringa group and the Department of Radiology, University Medical Center Groningen, where he is appointed.

Dr. Anouk Lubbe
Anouk Lubbe studied chemistry at the University of Groningen. She started investigating molecular motors in 2010, and subsequently completed her BSc and MSc research on that topic, as well as an internship with prof. Jean-Marie Lehn at the University of Strasbourg. In 2017 she completed her PhD under the guidance of prof. Ben Feringa and dr. Wiktor Szymanski. After collaborating with prof. Feringa on a popular science book she left Groningen to travel. As of February 2019 she has returned to the Feringa lab, as a research manager.

Dr. Alexander Ryabchun
Alexander Ryabchun obtained his Ph.D. from Moscow State University (Russia) in 2012. Later in 2013, he joined Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research (Germany) Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellow. In 2016, he moved to the Netherlands to work with Prof. Nathalie Katsonis (University of Twente, since 2019 University of Groningen). His research is focused on smart adaptive materials powered by artificial molecular machines (molecular motors, switches, mechanically interlocked molecules) and includes broad aspects of polymer materials and liquid crystals. Since March 2022, he joined the group of Prof. Ben Feringa as a research manager.

Technical support

Ing. Hans van der Velde
Hans van der Velde received his diploma for the HLO (High Laboratory Education) in 1995. After this he started working at several companies in the city of Groningen (Polymer Service Centre Groningen and Selact). Since 2006 he is responsible for the Analytical Department.

Ing. Renze Sneep
Renze Sneep studied Analytical and Organic Chemistry at the Hanzehogeschool Groningen, where he completed his BSc. In his graduation year, he was working as an intern at the Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry department of the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry. Since December 2017 he is working for the Stratingh Institute, managing the Chromatography department together with Monique.

John de Boer
John de Boer studied chemistry at the Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences in Leeuwarden. In the course of his studies, he worked at BASF on NIR spectroscopy, at Syncom BV on intramolecular [2+2] photocycloaddition in continuous-flow and at the University of Groningen in the Drug Design group of Prof. Alexander Dömling on imidazo[1,2-a]pyrazin-8-amines. Since May 2019, he is working for the Stratingh Institute, managing lab equipment and assisting in research projects

Postdocs

Dr. Jinyu Sheng
Jinyu was born in Zhejiang (China). He received his BSc degree in Chemistry from Ocean University of China in 2014. He then started his Master studies in organic synthesis methodology at Tsinghua University under the guidance of Prof. Chao Chen. After his graduation in 2017, he continued working as a research assistant for one year. In October 2018, he joined the Prof. Ben L. Feringa's group to work on designing moelecular motors and photoswitchable porous materials.

Dr. Qi Zhang
Qi obtained his BSc (2015) and PhD degree (2020) at East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST, Shanghai, China). He completed his PhD thesis about dynamic supramolecular materials in the group of Prof. He Tian (ECUST), which was awarded as the winner of IUPAC-Solvay International Award for Young Chemists in 2020. A highlight of his research work is the discovery of an intrinsically dynamic covalent polymer derived from thioctic acid, a natural small molecule. In Nov. 2020, he joined the Feringa group as a visiting researcher and started his postdoc position since May, 2019. He will continue to pursue the intriguing chemistry of disulfide polymers in Feringa group under the funding of Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship.

Dr. Damián Padín Santos
Damián Padín Santos (1991) was born in Cambados (Spain). He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Santiago de Compostela. In 2019, he got his PhD in Organic Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Carlos Saá and Prof. Jesús A. Varela working on the development of new chemical transformations based on the catalytic generation of ruthenium vinyl carbenes and their application in total synthesis. During his PhD studies, he was awarded with a Barrié Foundation fellowship to perform a short stay in the group of Prof. Amir H. Hoveyda (Boston College, USA). In April 2020, he joined the group of Prof. Ben Feringa as an oLife postdoctoral researcher to work on autocatalysis with chiral amplification.

Dr. Yohan Gisbert
Yohan graduated from Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse, France). After internships in Prof. Nitschke’s group at Cambridge University working on supramolecular cages and in Prof. Veige’s group at the University of Florida synthesizing new supramolecular polymers, he joined the CEMES-CNRS (Toulouse) under the supervision of Dr. C. Kammerer and Prof. G. Rapenne for his masters and PhD thesis, investigating the synthesis of dissymmetrized and long-chain-functionalized rotary molecular machines (including molecular winch prototypes) and copper-catalyzed arylation reactions. In February 2022 he joined the Feringa group as a postdoctoral researcher to work on new molecular motors performing coupled motion.

Dr. Peter McNeice
Peter McNeice completed his masters degree at Queen's University Belfast, during which he conducted a research project under Dr Patricia Marr on low molecular weight ionic liquid gels. He stayed at QUB, joining the Queen's University Ionic Liquids Laboratories (QUILL) for a PhD on the development of base stable and basic ionic liquids for catalysis, supervised by Drs Andrew and Patricia Marr, and Prof. Kenneth Seddon. He then conducted a post-doc with Prof. Matthias Beller at LIKAT (Rostock, Germany) where he developed nanoparticle catalysts for alkyne semi-hydrogenation. Peter is currently a CBBC postdoctoral fellow in the group of Prof. Ben Feringa where he works on sustainable catalysis and carbohydrate conversion.

Dr. Robert Hein
Robert grew up in rural eastern Germany and carried out his undergraduate studies at Jacobs University Bremen Germany (2016), where he worked in the field of supramolecular chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Werner M. Nau. During his studies he also spent time in the group of Prof. Geoffrey Coates at Cornell University (USA) and the group of Prof. Oren A. Scherman at the University of Cambridge (UK). Afterwards he obtained his PhD at the University of Oxford in 2020 under the guidance of Prof. Paul D. Beer and Prof. Jason J. Davis working on electrochemical anion sensors. Remaining in the same groups as a postdoc, and from 2021 Fulford Junior Research Fellow at Somerville College, his work focused on the development of (interfacial) fluorescent sensing devices. He joined the Feringa group in September 2022 as a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow to work on redox-driven molecular switches and machines.

Dr. Yuanxin Deng
Yuanxin is a postdoc at the East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) and currently works in the lab of Prof. Ben L. Feringa at University of Groningen (RUG). Prior to her postdoctoral studies, she earned her double Ph.D. degree in chemistry at RUG and ECUST in 2022 under the supervision of Prof. Ben L. Feringa, where she developed dynamic poly(disulfide)s materials with multiple functions. Yuanxin obtained her BSc and MSc degree at ECUST. Her research interests encompass supramolecular engineering of dynamic poly(disulfide)s for sustainable chemistry.

Dr. Eric Sidler
Eric was born in Wettingen (Switzerland), and obtained his BSc and MSc at the ETH Zurich under the supervision of Prof. Dr. François Diederich working on helicene chromophores. After an internship in the process development unit at Novartis AG in Basel, he moved to the University of Basel to pursue his PhD. Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Marcel Mayor he was working on the bottom-up synthesis of carbon nanotubes and chiral carbon-based macrocycles. In March 2023 he joined the group of Prof. Dr. Ben Feringa as SNF Postdoctoral Fellow working on novel molecular motors and switches.

PhD students

Sven van Vliet
Sven van Vliet was born in Groningen in 1993. He was raised in Hoogezand-Sappemeer, a village near Groningen. In 2014, he received his BSc degree working on the synthesis of water soluble molecular motors. Hereafter, he stayed in the Feringa group to work on his masterproject about imine-based molecular motors. Subsequently he performed a short internship under the supervision of prof. Pablo Ballester at the ICIQ in Tarragona, working on self-assembled nanoreactors. Hereafter, he returned to Groningen and the Feringa group to pursue a PhD. Currently, he is working on nanoscale energy converters.

Daisy Pooler
Daisy was born in Birmingham, UK in 1996. She obtained her MChem degree under supervision of Prof. David Leigh at the University of Manchester, UK working towards synthesis of a fueled molecular walker. During her degree, Daisy spent one year working with Domino Printing Sciences (Cambridge, UK) on development of a food-grade blue ink for eggshell coding. In 2018, Daisy began her PhD research in the group of Prof. Ben Feringa at the University of Groningen in the field of molecular motors.

Albert Schulte
Albert was born in Peize, the Netherlands in 1994. He obtained his BSc degree at the University of Groningen in 2016, working on enzyme engineering. During his masters he performed an internship in the group of prof. Anna Hirsch at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research in Saarbrücken. He obtained his MSc degree in 2018 working in the field of photopharmacology. In March 2019 he began his PhD research in the group of Prof. Feringa working on the photocontrol of various biological processes.

Vanda Daskova
Vanda was born in Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic) in 1993. She received her undergraduate degree from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich (LMU). During her studies, she did research projects in the group of Prof. D. Trauner (LMU) and the group of Prof. K. Christe (USC) working on the total synthesis of Lycopladine A and on the synthesis of high-energy-density materials, respectively. She completed her Master thesis under the supervision of Prof. B. List at Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim a. d. Ruhr (Germany) working on the asymmetric Mukaiyama−Michael reaction. Subsequently, she did an internship at Bayer pharmaceuticals located in Wuppertal (Germany). In April 2019, Vanda joined the Feringa group for a PhD in the field of asymmetric catalysis. Her research focuses on self-amplifying systems and the origin of life.

Paco Visser
Paco Visser was born in Meppel (The Netherlands) in 1995. He obtained his BSc degree in Chemical Engineering in 2017, after which he worked on Pd-catalysed, Li-mediated cross-coupling reactions under supervision of prof. Ben Feringa to obtain his BSc degree in Chemistry during the same year. After an extracurricular research period in the asymmetric catalysis subgroup, he performed a research project at Nouryon Deventer under supervision of Dr. Bjorn ter Horst and Dr. Michel van der Berg as a part of his MSc degree. In March 2019, Paco returned to the Feringa group to work on total synthesis and the cross-coupling of organolithium reagents under supervision of Dr. Jeffrey Buter to finalize his MSc degree. In 2020 he started his PhD, focussing on the development of novel (auto)catalytic processes.

Youxin Fu
Youxin Fu was born in Anhui (China). He received his BSc degree in Applied Chemistry (Fine Chemical) from East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) in 2014. He then started his Master studies in Fine Synthetic Chemistry and Molecular Engineering at same university under the guidance of Prof. Xiaopeng He and Dr. Junji Zhang in the field of photoswitchable fluorescence probe. After his graduation in 2017, he continued working as a research assistant in ECUST and The University of Queensland for one year. In January 2019, he joined the Prof. Ben L. Feringa's group to work on photoclick reaction and smart probe.

Thomas Freese
Thomas was born in Sögel, Germany in 1991. From 2011-2014 he worked at the Remmers Group in Löningen, Germany and became a Chemical Technician, where he focused on different types of coatings (water based, organic based and polymers for wood/floor/furniture) and treatments for restoration and construction of buildings. After that he studied Chemistry at the Georg-August-University in Göttingen. During his BSc degree, he worked in the group of Prof. Dr. D. Stalke on the Synthesis of novel N-heterocyclic silylenes for catalytic applications. In 2017 he began his MSc degree at the University of Göttingen and came to the University of Groningen in 2018 to finish his MSc as an exchange student. He focused on a joint research project between the Feringa group and the Barta group. After that he conducted his Master research project in the Feringa group on sustainable materials. Thomas started his PhD in 2020 focusing on sustainable catalysis and materials.

Bianka Sieredzinska
Bianka was born in Pulawy, Poland. She studied Chemistry and Education at University of Warsaw, Poland. She was really interested in science popularization which lead her to take part in many university events and also pushed her to do an internship at school and teach some chemistry to young and bright students. Bianka obtained her MSc in 2019 and during her master studies she was working on in-lab validation of retrosynthesis software Chematica (now: Synthia) at the Institute of Organic Chemistry PAS in prof. Bartosz Grzybowski group. Bianka took part in syntheses of drugs, drug metabolites and a natural product that were predicted by above mentioned retrosynthetic tool (Chematica). Bianka started her PhD in the group in June 2019. She is a member of catalysis subgroup and is working on new reactions and cross-linking in water/photoactivation.

Daniel Döllerer
Daniel was born in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany in 1993. He obtained his BSc and MSc degree in chemistry at the Technische Universität München (TUM), focusing on organic, inorganic and medicinal chemistry. During his studies, he was able to perform a research internship at the École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, supervised by Prof. W. L. Queen and spend a semester abroad at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Finalizing his studies, he conducted his Master’s Thesis at the Chair of Medicinal and Bioinorganic Chemistry at Cardiff University, UK, supervised by Prof. A. Casini, working on fluorophore containing supramolecular coordination complexes for drug delivery purposes. In September 2019, Daniel joined the Feringa group in the field of smart materials.

Lotte Stindt
Lotte was born in the Netherlands and obtained her BSc degree in chemistry at the University of Groningen. During her undergraduate studies, she performed an honours project in the group of prof. Minnaard and did her BSc thesis in the Feringa group. She then moved to Switzerland for her master’s programme at ETH Zurich, where she conducted a research project in the group of prof. Chen and completed her MSc thesis under the supervision of prof. Mezzetti, working on Mn(I) catalysts for the asymmetric hydrogenation of ketones. In November 2019, Lotte returned to the Feringa group as a PhD student to work on the development of molecular motors and switches

Max Fellert
Maximilian Fellert was born in 1994 in Neuss, Germany. He obtained his BSc in Chemistry at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf with a bachelor thesis on the cyclopropanation of nucleobases in the group of Constantin Czekelius.Afterwards, he moved to the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich to obtain his MSc in Chemistry. During his studies in Munich, he performed an research internship in Groningen in the group of Ben Feringa on 2nd generation molecular motors driven by visible light. Another research internship led him to the group of Gilles Gasser at Chimie ParisTech/PSL University in Paris, where he focused on the synthesis of novel Ru(II)polypyridyl complexes as anti-cancer agents. To conclude his MSc studies, he performed his master thesis under the supervision of Bill Morandi at ETH Zurich working on a novel Pd-catalyzed arylacylation of norbornadienes.After completing his studies, he spent half a year as an intern in management consulting for Deutsche Bahn (German railroad company). In 2020, he moved back to Groningen and the Feringa lab as a PhD student and is currently working on molecular swimmers using motor driven flagella.

Ainoa Guinart Planellas
Ainoa was born in Olot (Catalunya, Spain) in 1996. She completed her BSc in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in 2018. As part of her BSc final project she performed a research stay under the supervision of Prof. Romain Quidant (Plasmon nanooptics group) at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO, Spain) working on a Lab-On-a-Chip approach for tumor markers with plasmonic nanoparticles. She also performed an internship with Prof. Brigitte Städler (Cell Mimicry group) at the iNano center (Aarhus, Denmark) working on multilayer polymer vesicles for intracellular drug delivery. To keep forming herself, in 2019, she studied a MRes in Multidisciplinary Research in Experimental Sciences at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. She performed a combined nanomedicine project at both Prof. Romain Quidant group at ICFO and Dr. Pilar Rivera (Integrative Biomedical materials and Nanomedicine Lab) at the Biomedical Research Park (Barcelona) to work on Plasmonic Photothermal Therapy in 3D cell cultures. In 2020 she completed a MSc in Genes Drug and Stem Cells at the Imperial College of London. In October 2020 she will join Prof. Feringa group as a PhD student in the field of Amphiphilic Molecular Motors for Cellular Recognition and Uptake

Marco Ovalle
Marco Ovalle was born in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1995. He obtained his BSc. in Nanotechnology Engineering at the Institute of Technology Tijuana. His undergraduate research was focused on natural product synthesis, and got his Master's degree in Chemical Sciences at the same institution working on molecular switches for asymmetric synthesis at the Aguirre-Somanathan group. In 2020 he joined Stoddart's group at Northwestern University as a predoctoral fellow. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Feringa, working on molecular switching-assisted catalysis.

Roza Weber
Roza was born in Groningen, the Netherlands in 1998. She obtained her BSc degree in Chemistry from the University of Groningen in 2018 after working on the synthesis of organic dyes and the study of their binding to lanthanide nanoparticles for her Bachelor thesis, under the supervision of Prof. Kees Hummelen. In 2018, she moved to Uppsala, Sweden, to begin her MSc studies. She obtained her MSc degree from Uppsala University in Sweden in 2020 after writing her Master thesis on the synthesis and photophysical characterization of luminescent lanthanide complexes under the supervision of Prof. Eszter Borbas. In the fall of 2020, Roza will start her PhD in the Feringa group as a part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN ArtMoMa programme to work on the project “Molecular motor-based nanoscale energy storage system”.

Adrien Combe
I was born in 1995 at Périgueux (France). I did my BSc Molecular Chemistry at University of Toulouse (France). After, I did my Master's degree is 3 years in 3 different places. The first year, I did the first year of MSc Chemistry for Health at University of Toulouse. The second year, I did the first year of MSc Molecular and Therapeutic Chemistry at University of Nantes (France). The third year, I came back at University of Toulouse to do the second year of MSc Green Chemistry. I also did three internships : the first one at University of Toulouse whose topic was the synthesis and characterization of hydrosoluble ligands for Cu(II) for therapeutic applications, the second one at University of Nantes whose topic was the synthesis and characterization of bioactive polysaccharride and the third one at University of Groningen in Harutyunyan's team whose topic was synthesis and characterization of novel chiral pincer-ligands for Mn(I) in order to perform enantioselective catalysis. I will do my PhD in Feringa's team. The subject is the synthesis of molecular motors based on artificial muscles. I will begin the 1st of October.

Yahan Shan
Yahan was born in Henan, China. She obtained her BSc in Applied Chemistry at Huanggang Normal University in 2015. After that she started her Master studies in organic optoelectronic materials at Southwest University under the guidance of Prof. Linna Zhu. Yahan is currently a PhD. student at the ECUST under the guidance of Prof. Da-Hui Qu and Prof. Ben L. Feringa. In April 2021, she joined the Feringa group to work on the topic of synthesis and application of smart materials.

Xiaobing Chen
Xiaobing was born in Jiangsu Province. He obtained his Bachelor Degree in the field of Materials Science and Engineering. After that, he continued his Master studies at Hangzhou Normal University under the direction of Professor Liwen Xu and Jian Cao in the field of Asymmetric Catalysis. In 2021, he joined Professor Ben L Feringa’s group for a PhD programme working on Catalytic Asymmetric C-H Functionalization.

Carlijn van Beek
Carlijn was born in Deventer, the Netherlands in 1997. She studied chemistry at the University of Groningen. During her BSc degree, she performed an extracurricular research internship focused on molecular motors in the group of Prof. Ben L. Feringa. She obtained her BSc degree in 2018 (summa cum laude), working on surface-immobilised molecular motors. In 2019, Carlijn returned to the Feringa group for her Master research project on combining asymmetric organolithium C-C bond formation and photocyclisation. She then undertook a four-month internship at the University Medical Center Groningen (UCMG). Under the supervision of Prof. Wiktor Szymanski, she worked on the development of new fluorescent tracers and ParaCEST contrast agents. In 2021 she moved to the University of Bristol, UK and joined the Collins group for a research project on autonomous chemically-fuelled linear molecular-level motion. Later that year, she worked on developing new COF linking strategies in the group of Prof. Omar M. Yaghi at UC Berkeley, USA. In 2022, Carlijn rejoined the Feringa group as a PhD student to work on molecular motors and their applications.

Ilayda Peduk
Ilayda (1996, the Netherlands) obtained two BSc degrees at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. For her BSc in Chemistry, she performed an internship and thesis project focussing on asymmetric catalysis in the group of Prof. Syuzanna R. Harutyunyan at the University of Groningen (2018). For her BSc in Sensor Technology (Electrical and Electronics Engineering), she went to Seoul (South-Korea) to perform her thesis project focussing on off-axis digital holography in the super-depth imaging group of Prof. Wonshik Choi at the Institute for Basic Science and Korea University (2020). In between, she followed a Pre-Master at the University of Groningen and after graduation she returned for a MSc in Chemistry, for which she did her research project focussing on photocleavable antibiotics in the group of Prof. Ben L. Feringa (2022). Afterwards, she rejoined the Feringa group for a PhD on photopharmacology and molecular motors.

Andries Jensma
Andries was born in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. He obtained his BSc in chemistry at the University of Groningen. During his bachelor he did research in the group of Prof. Dr. Sijbren Otto, working on foldamers. After completing his bachelor, he started his MSc in chemistry at the same university. During his master he started doing research in the group of Prof. Ben. L. Feringa working on the synthesis of polymer building blocks from biomass. A second research was conducted at Symeres B.V., synthesizing anthraquinone dyes. After completing his master in 2022, he started his PhD focusing on sustainable waterborne coatings.

Jinghao Wang
Jinghao was born in Hubei, China in 1997. He obtained his Bachelor and Master’s Degrees under the supervision of Professor Huibin Qiu and Chengshuo Shen at Shanghai JiaoTong University, focusing on the synthesis of helicenes and chiral nanographene chemistry. In 2022, he joined the Feringa group as a PhD student in the field of design, synthesis, assembly and functioning of switches and motors.

Alexandra Matei
Alexandra was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1997. She obtained her BA in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Bryn Mawr College (Pennsylvania, United States) in 2020. For her undergraduate research, Alexandra worked under the supervision of Prof. William P. Malachowski on the efficient generation of potentially therapeutic tricyclic ring systems with quaternary carbon stereocenters via a catalytic enantioselective Birch-Heck pathway. Alexandra started her MSc in Chemistry at the University of Groningen in 2020. She conducted her Master thesis project in the Feringa group working on the regioselective preparation of 1,5-enynes from in situ generated propargyllithium species. Then, she conducted a second research project at Symeres B.V. where she worked on the synthesis of unique scaffolds for developing screening libraries. After completing her MSc in 2022, Alexandra returned to the Feringa group to start her PhD focused on the anti-Markovnikov functionalization of olefins.

Cristina Nitu
Cristina was born in Romania and she obtained her BSc degree in the Netherlands in 2020, at the University of Maastricht. As an undergraduate, she did an honours research project focused on biobased building blocks for polymers at the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials. For her bachelor thesis internship, she worked on supramolecular metal-organic cages at the University of Cambridge in the group of prof. Jonathan Nitschke. She did her MSc Chemistry studies at the University of Groningen (2020--2022), with a master thesis on the self-assembly and (supra)molecular chirality of disulfides with prof. Ben Feringa. She also did a second master research project on substituent effects on excited state chlorobenzenes (computational study) under the supervision of dr. Stefano Crespi, at the University of Uppsala in Sweden. In November 2022 she returned to the Feringa lab to do a joint PhD in collaboration with the De Feyter group at KU Leuven in Belgium, focusing on the design and synthesis of motors and switches for chiral symmetry breaking on surfaces.

David Grantz
David was born in Heidelberg, Germany. He obtained his BSc and MSc degree in chemistry at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel. During his master studies, he spent a semester abroad in Italy at the Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro. For his master thesis, he worked under the supervision of Prof. Rainer Herges on generation of aryne-diazocines for incorporation in photocontrolled molecular pincers. In November 2022, he joined the Feringa group as a PhD student to work on the photocontrol of antibiotics within the bio-optical window.

Annemarie Doze
Annemarie obtained her BSc degree in Chemistry at the University of Groningen. She continued with her MSc at the same university, during which she performed her master research project in the Feringa group on metabolic labelling of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. For this, she won the Unilever Research Prize 2021. To complete her MSc studies, she performed a research project in the group of Prof. Laura Kiessling at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). In June 2022, she returned to Groningen to perform her PhD research on ultrafast photoclick reactions for PET-imaging as a joint project with the department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging at the UMCG.

Master students

Maciej Kępczynski
Maciej grew up in Warsaw, Poland, where he obtained his BSc degree in Chemistry (within MISMaP interfaculty program) at the University of Warsaw. During his bachelor's, he carried out a research internship under Dr. Filip Ulatowski, working on synthesizing structurally rigid aromatic hydrocarbon derivatives for dynamic combinatorial chemistry. He did his BSc thesis in Dr. Michał Barbasiewicz's group concerning the synthesis of phase-transfer catalysts for nucleophilic fluorination. In September 2022, Maciej joined Prof. Ben L. Feringa's group as an MSc student to work on the desymmetrization of malonic acid derivatives.

Jesk Jaeger
Jesk was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 1999. She obtained her BSc degree in chemistry at the University of Groningen after working on photochromic thin films using spiropyrans in the group of Prof. Dr. Wesley Browne. She joined the Feringa group for her MSc research project on an acid-mediated release system from biobased polymers and coatings.

Visiting PhD and Master students

Alexander Gerstner
Alexander was born 1999 in Kitzingen, Germany. From 2018 to 2021 he worked on his Bachelor of Science at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg. The Bachelor thesis was about “synthesis and characterization of cyclophanes consisting of bent perylenbisimides” in the field of organic/supramolecular chemistry (Prof. Frank Würthner). Since 2021 he is working on his Master of science in Würzburg. Alexander is now visiting for three months in the group of Prof. Ben Feringa working on “enantiopure stiff-stilbene-based motors and switches".

Silvia Cucinella
I grew up in Bernalda, a small town in the South of Italy. I obtained my BSc degree in 2021 in Industrial Chemistry at the University of Bologna. My bachelor thesis project was focused on asymmetric reactions catalysed by beads of alginate gels under the supervision of Prof. Luca Bernardi. I continued doing the Master at the same university. Now I’m joining the Feringa group for six months to work on my master project based on third generation molecular motors.

Kailey Sun Marcus
Kailey was born in Berlin, Germany in 1999. She obtained her BSc degree at the Freie Universität (FU) Berlin and did an academic year abroad at the University of California, Berkeley. Her bachelor thesis was completed at the Max-Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces (MPICI) on the topic of natural deep eutectic solvents under the supervision of Dr. Svitlana Filonenko. Kailey is currently pursuing her MSc degree at the FU Berlin and has completed an internship with Dr. John J. Molloy at the MPICI in synthetic methodology. She is now visiting the Feringa lab for a three month internship to work on tunable optical materials based on redox switches.