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Heinz Maier Leibnitz Prizes for two Freiburg researchers

Jennifer Andexer and Benjamin Kohlmann receive the most important award for young scientists in Germany

Freiburg, Mar 27, 2018

Heinz Maier Leibnitz Prizes for two Freiburg researchers

Photo: Sandra Meyndt

Junior professor Dr. Jennifer Andexer from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and private lecturer Dr. Benjamin Kohlmann from the English Department at the University of Freiburg receive the Heinz Maier Leibnitz Prize 2018, which the selection committee from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research recently selected. Considered the most important award for junior scientists in Germany, the prize is endowed with 20,000 euros each and was awarded ten times this year. 140 researchers from all disciplines were nominated.

Photo: Sandra Meyndt

“I am thrilled that the DFG has chosen to honor Jennifer Andexer’s and Benjamin Kohlmann’s excellent research work with the Heinz Maier Leibnitz Prize,” emphasizes Rector Prof. Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer. “The fact that this renowned prize has been awarded to not one, but two Freiburg scholars is further evidence that our University offers young colleagues a stimulating environment for their research and academic career path.”

Jennifer Andexer has been junior professor for pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry at the University of Freiburg since 2011. Her field of research is enzymes: proteins that catalyze chemical reactions in organisms. They are found in many everyday products – be it as an additive in detergents or in lactose-free dairy products. In biotechnology, enzymes are used as environmentally friendly catalysts to produce various substances. In addition, Andexer deals with so-called cofactors, which are necessary for certain enzymes to act as catalysts. In 2016 she received a starting grant from the European Research Council (ERC) worth 1.5 million euros for her research.

Photo: Thomas Kunz


Benjamin Kohlmann has been a lecturer at the English Department of the University of Freiburg since 2011, where he completed his habilitation last year. He conducts literary science in cultural studies by incorporating historical contexts and making connections with his second discipline, philosophy. Relying on this approach, he examined the political situation of British literature of the 1930s in his dissertation and, in his habilitation, which he completed in 2017, explored the discourse about the welfare state from the late 19th century to the present day. His work seeks to address social issues and, at the moment, deals with the negotiation of precariousness in contemporary novels and films.

 Foto: private


DFG press release

Article in the University of Freiburg online magazine on Jennifer Andexer's ERC-funded research project