Prof. Dr. Andreas Herrmann strengthens the ITMC team


As of today, the Institute of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry has a new member: Prof. Dr. Andreas Herrmann, who previously worked at the University of Groningen, takes over the Chair for Macromolecular Materials and Systems. At the same time, he joins the scientific board of the DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials. Andreas Herrmann’s research is focused on nanomaterials with novel, complex functionalities for applications in biomedicine and diagnostics as well as in high performance systems with outstanding mechanical properties. His relocation to Aachen is the result of a joint appointment by the Leibniz institute and the RWTH.

  Portrait Andreas Herrmann Copyright: © Philipp Scheffler

Andreas Herrmann’s research is positioned at the interface of organic chemistry, polymer chemistry and molecular biology. This concerns, for example, hybrid materials consisting of polymer building blocks and DNA, which e.g. serve as vehicles for drug delivery. Here the DNA does not code for genetic information, but is used as a programmable structural scaffold. Depending on the sequence of the DNA strands, various molecule architectures can be evolved and combined with each other. Andreas Herrmann also uses supercharged polypeptides, amino acid chains with very high net charges. Via electrostatic effects the polypeptides can form superstructures and serve as building blocks for complex materials.

Prof. Dr. Herrmann is now one of three DWI Leibniz professors within the ITMC (besides Prof. Dr. Andrij Pich and Prof. Dr. Martin Möller) and will significantly strengthen the research focus on polymer sciences and molecular materials. This is also the case for the RWTH profile areas ‘Molecular Science & Engineering‘ as well as ‘Medical Science & Technology‘. “Prof. Herrmann will strongly contribute to the local collaboration between the natural sciences, research on medical products and the DWI,” says Prof. Dr. Martin Möller.

Andreas Herrmann received his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz in 2000, then worked as a postdoc at the ETH Zurich before joining the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research as a junior group leader. In 2007, he moved to the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials at the University of Groningen, where he became full professor in 2010 and was involved in the management of the institute. For his achievements in research, he was awarded a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant in 2016. Professor Herrmann recognizes an excellent future for his research in Aachen: “The close collaboration of the natural sciences and engineering in Aachen offers tremendous opportunities to improve our current material developments. We will combine our approaches with new technologies such as 3D printing or lithography to generate novel functionalities and we will translate our materials further into applications. Together with partners from the Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, we will tailor DNA nanostructures and supercharged polypeptides for various medical indications.”