Group activities and news

Max wins Poster Prize

Posted on 29-7-2022

In the last week of July all early stage researchers of the MSCA ITN Artificial Molecular Machines (ArtMoMa) came together at the University of Oxford for a Summer School on equilibrium and out-of-equilibrium molecular systems.

During this Summer School, Max was awarded a Poster Prize. Congratulations!

As a nice gift he got a copy of "Out-of-Equilibrium (Supra)molecular Systems and Materials" including a chapter on Light-driven Rotary Molecular Motors written by Anouk, Cosima and Ben.


Newspaper article about George Hermens

Posted on 12-7-2021

Please follow the link to an article in which team member George Hermens tells about his research (in Dutch)

NWO Veni grant for former group member Dr. M.M. Lerch

Posted on 5-11-2020

Please follow the link to the NWO website to read more.
Congratulations Michael!

Collaborative grant for dr.Jeffrey Buter

Posted on 19-10-2020

In collaboration with Dr. Coen Kuijl (Academic Medical Center Amsterdam) and Dr. Nicole van der Wel (Academic Medical Center Amsterdam), Jeffrey Buter was granted the Amsterdam Infection and Immunity Institute (AI&II) collaboration grant. The grant is intended as a collaboration kick starter to gather preliminary data for future grant applications. The collaboration sets out to develop MyCo-TrAP (Mycobacterial Coating with Trehalose-Associated Proteins) to elucidate the molecular mechanism on how Mycobacterium tuberculosis escapes from the ‘stomachs’ of human immune cells to enable its survival.


Reinhoudt Lecture at the Mesa+ Institute, University of Twente by Prof.dr. Ben Feringa

Posted on 21-09-2020

MESA+ day 2020, celebrating 30 yrs MESA, 20 yrs '+', and 10 yrs NanoLab. Today, the first Reinhoudt lecture, by Ben Feringa.


Young Researcher Award for dr. Ruth Dorel

Posted on 29-4-2020

We were happy to hear that group member dr. Ruth Dorrel received the official announcement of the Young Researcher Award from the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry. Here is the link (alas only in Spanish)
Congratulations Ruth!

merit mention for dr. Stefano Crespi

Posted on 26-11-2019

Group member Stefano Crespi was awarded with a merit mention for the Levi Prize of the Italian Chemical Society.


3 PhD ceremonies on the 13th of December

Posted on 18-11-2019

On the morning of the 13th of December we will have 3 PhD ceremonies to attend in the Aula of the Academy Building.
Shaoyu Chen will defend at 9.00h. Yuchen Wei at 11.00h and Filippo Tosi at 12.45h.
A link to the topics and summaries will follow soon.


Feodor Lynen fellowship for dr. Michael Kathan

Posted on 11-11-2019

Michael received the prestigious Feodor Lynen postdoc fellowship for his research on light-driven molecular synthesis machines. Thanks to the generous support of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Michael will stay for two more years in the Feringa group. Congratulations!


Veni grant for dr. Jeffrey Buter

Posted on 17-07-2019

Thirteen researchers from the Univesity of Groningen and the UMCG have been awarded Veni grants withing the framework of NWO's Innovational Research Incentives Scheme.The grant of up to € 250,000 offers these young researchers the change to further develop their ideas over the next three years.
Congratulations to our group member dr. Jeffrey Buter!


Pil aan, pil uit...

Posted on 5-6-2019

Medicijnen zijn nu nog vaak in ons hele lichaam actief, terwijl het veel beter zou zijn als ze alleen zouden werken waar ze moeten werken. Daarom wordt al enige tijd gewerkt aan een moleculaire schakelaar, waarmee de stofjes van medicijnen te doseren zijn. Alleen de bestaande schakelaars waren nog niet goed genoeg. Ze werken alleen met schadelijk UV-licht, of de aan- en uit-knop reageerden allebei op dezelfde golflengte en werkten daardoor niet. Nu is het onderzoekers van het UMCG gelukt om een moleculaire lichtschakelaar te ontwikkelen die op zichtbaar licht reageert en waarvan de aan-schakelaar gevoelig is voor een andere golflente dan de uit-schakelaar.

volg de link voor een soundclip van BNR Wetenschap Vandaag

Motorized crystals

Posted on 13-5-2019

Unidirectional molecular motors can already perform tasks at the molecular scale, but in order to harness their properties at a larger scale, scientists are working to devise ways in which to make them work in a coordinated manner. Feringa and co-workers now show that they can embed molecular motors in the scaffold of a metal–organic framework (MOF) and that the rotation of the motor within the MOF crystals in unhindered.

Please follow the link to see the cover image of Volume 14 Issue 5, May 2019 of Nature Nanotechnology
It is a microscopy picture of MOF crystals that contain molecular motors in their structure.

Novel molecular multi-step photoswitches caught in the act

Posted on 9-5-2019

Scientists at the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry at the University of Groningen, together with collaborators from the University of Amsterdam, the University of Twente and the European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy in Italy, have been able to follow the entire sequence of structural transformations in a new class of molecular switches for the first time. By identifying ‘control knobs’ to direct their operation, better control of their performance is now possible. The results were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society on 8 May.

Please follow the link to read the full Science LinX article:

Dr. Michael Lerch wins KNCV-Backer prize

Posted on 10-4-2019

This week, it was announced that former group member Michael Lerch will receive the 2018 KNCV-Backer prize for his thesis "Donor-acceptor Stenhouse adducts". This prize is awarded annually for the best organic chemistry thesis defended in the Netherlands. Michael is at the moment working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Aizenberg group at Harvard University, but will visit the Netherlands in December to give a talk at CHAINS. Congratulations Michael!


How to make kids enthusiastic about science

Posted on 11-3-2019

Former group member Dr. Matea Vlatkovic shares Prof. Feringa's opinion that kids at a young age should be introduced to science. Have a look at this nice article in the Austrian newspaper "die Woche" to see how she does this. (article in German)


Dance Your PhD 2018 - Activating MRI contrast agents with light

Posted on 4-2-19

Official submission to the 11th annual Dance Your PhD contest by Friederike Reeßing and Piermichele Kobauri, PhD students from the University of Groningen
Have a look!

Rubicon voor Michael Lerch

Posted on 16-1-19

Dr. Michael Lerch en Sanne van Dijk, twee veelbelovende RUG-wetenschappers, gaan dankzij het programma Rubicon van de Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) twee jaar onderzoek doen aan buitenlandse topinstituten.

Intelligente materialen gaan vooruit:
De natuur inspireert onderzoekers om nieuwe intelligente materialen te creëren die op hun omgeving reageren. Het onderzoek van dr. Michael Lerch streeft ernaar borstels op een oppervlakte op nanoschaal te ontwerpen waarvan de bewegingen gecontroleerd kunnen worden door verschillende kleuren licht. Lerch gaat 24 maanden onderzoek verrichten aan Harvard University in de Verenigde Staten.

Medische beelden als gids voor betere kankerbehandeling:
Met de groeiende hoeveelheid medische beelden kan beter worden voorspeld welke patiënten minder goed op de kankerbehandeling reageren. Sanne van Dijk gaat innovatieve predictiemodellen ontwikkelen, om deze vervolgens te gebruiken om hoog-risico patiënten te selecteren voor een nieuwe intensieve tumor bestralingsbehandeling. Van Dijk zal 24 maanden werken als onderzoeker bij het MD Anderson Cancer Center in de Verenigde Staten.

Talent development:
De onderzoekers hebben een Rubicon Training gevolgd die wordt aangeboden door het Talent Development Programme van de RUG. Het Talent Development team van de RUG biedt drie keer per jaar een Rubicon schrijftraining aan, anticiperend op de NWO deadline.

Over Rubicon:
Met Rubicon geeft NWO startende wetenschappers de mogelijkheid internationale onderzoekservaring op te doen als opstap voor een wetenschappelijke carrière.


interview with Dr. Mickel Hansen

Posted on 11-1-2-18

Please follow the link to an article on NEMO Kennislink.
Dr. Mickel Hansen tells more about using light to switch on/off medication.
The article is in Dutch.

Bio subgroup in Spain

Posted on 1-11-2018

The Bio subgroup attended the 2nd International Symposium on Photopharmacology in Vic (Barcelona), Spain. The conference was amazing and the group also enjoyed the great hospitality.


A photo made by Dusan Kolarski is published in C&EN.

Posted on 17-10-2018

One of our group members, Dusan Kolarski is not only a good researcher he is also an excellent photographer. A foto made by Dusan got published in Chemical and Engineering News.

Please follow this link to see the photo.

Chemistry in Pictures: Let there be light.

Grant for dr. Beatrice Collins

Posted on 8-10-2018

The Royal Society has announced the appointment of 42 new University Research Fellows (URFs) for 2018. The researchers will take up their new posts at institutions across the UK and Ireland at the start of October.

The University Research Fellowship scheme aims to provide outstanding early career scientists, who have the potential to become leaders in their chosen fields, with the opportunity to build an independent research career. The scheme is extremely competitive and URFs are expected to be strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships. Many have gone on to enjoy significant national or international recognition for their work.

Please follow the link to see the list of names including our former group colleague dr. Beatrice Collins

ERC Grants awarded to four UG scientists

Posted on 27-7-2018

Four University of Groningen researchers have been awarded an ERC Starting Grant: Julia Even, Louise Meijering, Andrea Sangiacomo and Sander Wezenberg. The European Research Council (ERC) awards these personal grants of EUR 1.5 million to excellent researchers in order to stimulate groundbreaking research in Europe.
Congratulations to our group member dr.Sander Wezenberg!


Cum Laude

Posted on 1-6-2018

Our congratulations to our group member Michael Lerch for obtaining his doctorate degree cum laude!


Award for Postdoc Ruth Dorel

Posted on 10-5-2018

Ruth was awarded the Josep Castells Award to the best PhD Thesis in 2017, awarded by the Catalan Section of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry
The title of her thesis was "Making the narrowest graphene nanoribbons"


Mini College Koningsdag

Feringa Group presents research to Royal Family on Kingsday 2018

Posted on 28-4-2017

Please follow the link to see how the Feringa Group tried to show the Dutch Royal Family what they do in the labs.

Nature Reviews Chemistry

Posted on 2017-12-01

Dynamic control of function by light-driven molecular motors

Thomas van Leeuwen, Anouk S. Lubbe, Peter Štacko, Sander J. Wezenberg & Ben L. Feringa,

The field of dynamic functional molecular systems has progressed enormously over the past few decades. By coupling the mechanical properties of molecular switches and motors to chemical and biological processes, exceptional control of function has been attained. Overcrowded alkene-based light-driven molecular motors are very attractive in this respect owing to their unique multistate photochemically and thermally induced switching processes and their helical chirality inversion in each switching step. However, extending our control over properties from the molecular scale to larger length scales is still a fundamental challenge. In this Perspective, we discuss recent developments that address this challenge, ranging from the application of these motors in catalysis and synthetic materials to the control of biological properties. We may now be positioned at the dawn of a new era in which artificial molecular motors are able to perform programmed tasks and dynamic functions akin to the biological machines that are found in daily life.

Please find the full article


starting young

Posted on 4-4-17

We all know the importance of education. It is also a good idea to get people interested in science at a young age. That is why Adam Szymanski had his first subgroup meeting today!

Other participants: Ben Feringa, Philip Elsinga and Wiktor Szymanski.


workweek 2016

Posted on 3-3-2016

The website of this year's workweek is ready!
Here you can find more information about the program, activities etc. Please note that the program is still being developed.

Kind regards,
Tilde, Tao and Diederik

New group member

Posted on 8-6-15

Born on the 6th of June: Natalia, daughter of Krzysz Krawczyk and Matea Vlatkovic. She is happy and healthy (3530 gr/55 cm) and according to her parents of course the most wonderful baby in the world. Best wishes to this family!


VIDI grant for Dr. Wiktor Szymanski

Posted on 08-06-2015

Medicinal drugs are often active outside the disease spot, causing side effects and toxicity in the environment. The research of Wiktor Szymanski "Controlling drugs with light" aims to finds methods to use light to focus the drug action only in the required space and time.

Famelab competition: vote online

Posted on 13-4-2015

On the following website you can see the semifinals Famelab presentation
of our group member Matea.
You can vote until the end of next week 16.
(on TV there will be a reportage on NTR on 22nd of April)

Matea Vlatkovic finalist in the Famelab competition

Posted on 19-3-2015

To quote Matea:
Famelab is the competition that is organised by British Council in more than 25 countries. During 3 minutes of oral presentation without use of power point, just using your body or some small probes you need to be able to explain your research to the general audience. There are several stages of the competition: The first one is regional - so in my case first I had to pass the Groningen heat, after which are semi-finals that were in Amsterdam during which we had a masterclass how to improve our presentation skills and practicing giving interviews.
There we had to present our presentation in front of the jury committee who have chosen 10 of us to go to the finals which will be held in Leiden 21/4. The winner goes to UK to the world competition during the science festival.

Mickel Hansen runner-up for the KNCV Golden Master Award

Posted on 05-04-2015

Have a look at the KNCV website:

EMBO and Rubicon fellowship awarded to Willem Velema

Posted on 13-1-2015

An EMBO Long-term fellowship and a NWO Rubicon fellowship have been awarded to Dr. Willem Velema to support his postdoctoral research in the laboratories of Prof. Eric Kool at Stanford University. His research will focus on the development of a sensor for a DNA-repair enzyme, which eventually might be used as a diagnostic tool to personalize cancer treatment.

New group member

Posted on 8th of December

We received good news! Robin, the son of group member Jiawen Chen and his wife Beibei Zhang has been born. Congratulations!



Posted on 2014-12-2

On 17 and 18 November, Feringa group joined the CHAINS 2014 conference at Veldhoven.


Dance your PhD

Posted on 31-10-2014

Read more background information about the Dance your PhD contest in a RuG Science Linx article

Here is the link

Poster CHAINS 2014

Poster CHAINS 2014

Posted on 2014-10-24

Dr. Valentín Hornillos Gómez-Recuero prepared his poster for CHAINS 2014.


Visit to Tokyo Science University

Posted on 2013

In 2013 Prof. Feringa visited Tokyo Science University.


Visit to Kingo Uchida group

Posted on 2013

In 2013 Prof. Feringa visited Prof. Kingo Uchida and his group at Ryukoku University in Japan.


Workweek Ghent 2013

Posted on June 2013

Motor art: