Prof. Dr. Joachim P. Spatz

Max-Planck-Institute for Medical Research &
Biophysical Chemistry
Heidelberg University
69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Phone: +49 6221-54 4942, +49 711-689 3610, +49 6221-486 420


Materials science, physics of soft matter, biophysics, non-conventional nanolithography, biofunctionalization of solid and soft interfaces, cell biology


2020 Member of the Leopoldina
2017 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, DFG (German Research Foundation)
2016 Member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy
2012 ERC Advanced Grant
2009 Member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
2008 Weston Visiting Professorship at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
2003 Otto Klung Award for Physics.
2002 Alfried Krupp Research Award for Young University Faculty Members
2000 Gerhard Hess–Research Award of the German Science Foundation
1999 Reimund Stadler Award – Habilitation Award of the Fachgruppe Makromolekulare Chemie der Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker
1998 Young Researcher Award Ulmer Universitätsgesellschaft
1997 Research Stipend German Science Foundation
1997 Scientific PhD Award of Ulm University for outstanding PhD work
1996 Scientific Award of the Association of the Metal Industry Baden-Württemberg
1996 Scientific Schloessmann – Award of the Max Planck Society
2016–present Director, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg
2007–2011 Acting Director, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (formerly MPI for Metals Research) Stuttgart
2004–present  Full Professor for Biophysical Chemistry, Heidelberg University
2004–2015  Director, MPI for Intelligent Systems (formerly MPI for Metals Research)
2002–2010 Adjunct Senior Faculty Member, Jackson Laboratory, Maine, USA
2000-2004 Professor for Biophysical Chemistry, Heidelberg University
2000 Habilitation in Physics, University of Ulm
1997–1998 Postdoc, Institut Curie, Paris (Prof. Dr. J. Prost & A. Ott)
1994–1996 Ph.D. of Physics, Department of Organic Chemistry III – Macromolecular Chemistry/Ulm University, (Dr. rer. Nat. summa cum laude; Prof. Dr. M. Möller)
1989–1994 Undergraduate & Masters degree studies in Physics at Ulm University & Colorado State University (Dipl. Phys. with distinction)
2020–present Founding Director, Institute for Molecular Systems Engineering at Heidelberg University
2018–2020 Managing Director, MPI for Medical Research, Heidelberg
2017–present Speaker of the Max Planck School Matter to Life
2016–2018 Deputy Managing Director, MPI for Medical Research, Heidelberg
2013-2014 Managing Director, MPI for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart location
2012–2013 Chairman of the Joint Commission of the Stuttgart MPIs
2007–2011 Acting & Founding Director, MPI for Intelligent Systems

Guasch J, Diemer J, Riahinezhad H, Neubauer S, Kessler H, Spatz JP (2016). Synthesis of binary nanopatterns on hydrogels for initiating cellular responses. Chemistry of Materials 28:1806-1815

Guasch J, Conings B, Neubauer S, Rechenmacher F, Ende K, Rolli CG, Kappel C, Schaufler V, Micoulet A, Kessler H, Boyen H-G, Cavalcanti-Adam EA, Spatz JP (2015). Segregation versus colocalization: Orthogonally functionalized binary micropatterned substrates regulate the molecular distribution in focal adhesions. Advanced Materials 27:3737-3747

Frohnmayer JP, Brüggemann D, Eberhard C, Neubauer S, Mollenhauer C, Boehm H, Kessler H, Geiger B, Spatz JP (2015). Minimal synthetic cells to study integrin-mediated adhesion. Ang Chemie Int Ed. 54:12472-12478

Das T, Safferling K, Rausch S, Grabe N, Boehm H, Spatz JP (2015). A molecular mechanotransduction pathway regulates collective migration of epithelial cells. Nat Cell Biol. 17:76-87

Janiesch JW, Weiss M, Kannenberg G, Hannabuss J, Surrey T, Platzman I, Spatz JP (2015). Key factors for stable retention of fluorophores and labeled biomolecules in droplet-based microfluidics. Anal Chemistry 87:2063-2067

Deeg J, Axmann M, Matic J, Liapis A, Depoil D, Afrose J, Curado S, Dustin ML, Spatz JP (2013). T cell activation is determined by the number of presented antigens. Nano Letters 13:5619-5626

Matic J, Deeg J, Scheffold A, Goldstein I, Spatz JP (2013). Fine tuning and efficient T cell activation with stimulatory aCD3 nano-arrays. Nano Letters 13:5090-5097

Wegner SV, Spatz JP (2013). Cobalt(III) as a stable and inert mediator ion between NTA and His6-tagged proteins. Ang Chemie Int Ed. 52:7593

Platzman I, Janiesch J-W, Spatz JP (2013). Synthesis of nanostructured and biofunctionalized water-in-oil droplets as tools for homing T cells. J American Chem Society 135:3339-3342

Perschmann N, Hellmann JK, Frischknecht F, Spatz JP (2011). Induction of malaria parasite migration by synthetically tunable microenvironments. Nano Letters 11:4468-4474

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