New interim management
The DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials has a new management as of January 2023: the Board of Trustees appointed Prof. Dr. Andreas Herrmann, Vice Scientific Director since 2018, as Interim Scientific Director. Sandra Schumann-Heitzer has been assigned the position of Interim Management Director. Together, the duo will lead the institute until the management positions are filled.
Andreas Herrmann is the DWI's research group leader for Macromolecular Materials and Systems and also holds a chair at RWTH Aachen University. The chemist has done pioneering work for two classes of materials in particular: For DNA polymer conjugates and highly charged polypeptides. His developments are used in various medical and technological fields. Among other things, he is investigating novel drug release systems that respond to external stimuli such as ultrasound, as well as diagnostic and nanobioelectronic devices.
Sandra Schumann-Heitzer took over as head of project administration at the DWI in 2017 after many years of professional and management experience in the private sector and the social sector. She orchestrated the further development of the Leibniz Institute's administrative staff. After her predecessor left, she took over the former's area of activity in the summer of 2022 and has since also been involved in the further development of the Institute's building: the Leibniz Joint Lab "first in Translation". From summer 2023, medical devices, diagnostics, therapeutic agents and advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) for clinical application on patients will be produced in the new infrastructure.
The position of scientific director at the DWI became vacant when Stefan Hecht accepted the call to Humboldt University in Berlin (Einstein Professorship) in October 2022 after three years as Scientific Director at the Leibniz Institute. Stefan Hecht worked as a part-time scientific director at the DWI until the end of December and will remain with the team as an associated scientist. The responsible bodies have already taken the appropriate steps to arrange the succession. Those involved are confident that the position of scientific director will be filled promptly and by an excellent successor.