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.
Keimpe-Oeds (1995, The Netherlands) obtained his BSc degree in chemistry at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. He performed his BSc research in the group of Prof. Philip Elsinga and Prof. Ben L. Feringa at UMCG on the synthesis and labelling of a prostate cancer PET-tracer. Subsequently, he did his Pre-master in chemistry at the university of Groningen (2019) after which he stayed and obtained his MSc degree (2021). During his master he performed his research in the group of Prof. Ben L. Feringa on the synthesis of visible light-responsive azobenzene photoswitches to control biological systems. Then, he decided to work as a research scientist for Symeres (contract research organization, CRO). He did research for the pharmaceutical industry on the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients and side products for registration of pharmaceutical products at the FDA or the EMA. In 2023, he decided on
pursuing a PhD in the group of Prof. Ben L. Feringa on synthesizing new building blocks for water-borne coating to meet current sustainability demands.
Neil was born and raised in California, USA. He obtained his bachelor’s in chemistry at Pomona College working on palladium and nickel-catalyzed reactions and his master’s in organic chemistry at UCLA working on chemoproteomics. He subsequently spent a few years in the pharmaceutical industry studying small molecule KRAS inhibition and will start his PhD in September 2023 in the Feringa group studying autocatalysis and homochirality.
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.
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.
Chantal Dikken grew up in Emmen and studied tourism and hospitality in Zwolle, after which she was employed in hospitality in Florida and Gran Canaria for a few years. In 2007 she settled back in Emmen, working in a few different hotels in the front- and back office. In 2022 she moved to Groningen and in December of that year joined Ben’s team as his management office assistant, taking care of all secretarial duties.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
Thomas was born in Sögel, Germany. From 2011-2014 he worked at the Remmers Group in Löningen, Germany, and became a Chemical Technician, where developed different types of polymers and coatings (water-based, organic-based) and treatments for the 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. 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 developing a molecular motor from lignocellulose. After that he conducted his Master research project in the Feringa group on sustainable polymers and coatings in collaboration with AkzoNobel. Thomas started his PhD in 2020 focusing on sustainable catalysis, energy carriers, and Green Chemistry.
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 Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow to work on new molecular motors performing coupled motion.
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.
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 joined Prof. Feringa group as a PhD student in the field of Amphiphilic Molecular Motors for Cellular Recognition and Uptake.
Anka was born in Wickede (Ruhr), Germany in 2000. She obtained her BSc degree in biochemistry at the Ruhr University in Bochum, working on protein backbone assignments using multidimensional NMR spectroscopy. In 2021, she moved to Groningen to start her MSc Chemistry studies. She conducted her master thesis project in the Feringa Group working on Pd-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions, followed by a second research project at Gecco Biotech, where she worked on enzymatic hydroxylation reactions. In September 2023, she returned to the Feringa lab to start her PhD on chiral amplification and autocatalysis.
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.
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.
Guiying was born in Hunan Province, China in 1997. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Polymer Materials and Engineering in 2019. After that, she entered South China Normal University for her Master's degree in Physical Chemistry under supervision of Prof. Jiawen Chen, and started her PhD in 2021. Guiying is currently a joint PhD student of South China Normal University and University of Groningen under the supervision of Prof. Jiawen Chen and Prof. Ben L. Feringa. She joined the Feringa group in April 2023 to work on the research of responsive smart materials.
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.
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.
Jelmer (1999, the Netherlands) obtained his BSc degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering at the University of Groningen. During his bachelor he conducted his research project under the supervision of Ben Feringa, working on controlled odor and drug release of bio-based polymers. After completing his bachelors he stayed at the same university for his MSc in chemical engineering. During his master another research project was conducted in the group of Ben Feringa, developing a flowsetup for photocatalytic production of hydrogen peroxide. A second research project was conducted at Symeres B.V., working on the optimization of [2+2] photocycloadditions in flow. In 2023 he started his PhD focusing on biologically sourced adaptive coatings.
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.
Bob was born in Zwijndrecht, the Netherlands 2000. He obtained his BSc in Chemistry at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. During his bachelor he did research in the group of Professor Wilhelm Huck, focussing on organocatalysed phosphorylation reactions in a prebiotic context. He is currently doing his master in Chemistry at Gothenburg University, Sweden. He joined the Feringa group for a 3 month exchange project on molecular motors as photosensitizers.
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.
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.
Erik was born in 2000 in Burghausen, Bavaria, Germany. He received his B.Sc. from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). He is currently studying at TUM for his M.Sc. with a focus on organic and macromolecular chemistry. He wrote his bachelor thesis at the group of Prof. Thorsten Bach at the Chair of Organic Chemistry I on the topic "Studies towards the Total Synthesis of Prezizanetype Sesquiterpenes ". He completed an internship in the group of Dr. Golo Storch on the topic "Synthesis of reduced flavins and their application in photoredox catalysis". Erik joined the Feringa group in 2023 for a research internship.
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) as an 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 started her PhD in the Feringa group as a part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN ArtMoMa programme, working on the project “Molecular motor-based nanoscale energy storage system”.