GSI Biophysicists Dr. Christian Graeff and Dr. Burkhard Jakob receive professorships at TU Darmstadt


Two new professorships strengthen the profile of GSI/FAIR in research and teaching: Dr. Christian Graeff and Dr. Burkhard Jakob, both from GSI's Biophysics Department, will hold a teaching position as professors at the TU Darmstadt starting from the winter term.

Dr. Christian Graeff, who leads the Medical Physics group at GSI Biophysics, is a new professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (ETIT) at TU Darmstadt. His teaching is within the framework of the Master's program in Medical Technology, which provides knowledge and skills in engineering and human medicine. After studying medical engineering at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, Christian Graeff received his doctorate with a study on computer tomography-assisted diagnostics of osteoporosis. He worked as postdoc in the Medical Physics group of the Biophysics Department at GSI, before taking over as head of this group in 2012.

His research has focused on innovative applications of ion beams (for example, research on the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias with the use of carbon ions), the development of methods for irradiating moving targets with scanned ion beams and the development of new therapy control systems for raster scanning. For his scientific achievements, Christian Graeff was awarded the Günther von Pannewitz Prize of the German Society of Radiation Oncology (DEGRO) and the Behnken-Berger Prize for young scientists.

Dr. Burkhard Jakob, who heads Molecular Radiobiology and Imaging group within GSI Biophysics, is taking over an honorary professorship at the Department of Biology at TU Darmstadt; his teaching activities include, for example, conducting the master's module "Radiation Biophysics". After studying chemistry at the University of Würzburg, Burkhard Jakob obtained his PhD on oxidation-sensitive fluorescent dyes for the determination of ozone distribution in leaves. He joined GSI as a postdoc already in 1999, after that he worked in the Molecular Radiobiology group as a senior scientist before taking over as head of this group in 2019.

His research focuses on the biological effects and molecular and the microscopic visualization of cellular responses to ionizing radiation, as DNA damage and subsequent repair mechanisms especially following particle irradiation. For his scientific achievements, Burkhard Jakob received the prize of the German Society for Radiation Biology Research (GBS) for young scientists and the Hanns Langendorff Award for the first evidence of a localized DNA damage response in a cell nucleus after densely ionizing particle irradiation as well as the live cell microscopy measurements of dynamic repair processes at the GSI beamlines.

The Head of the Department, Marco Durante, who is already professor at TUDa-Physics said “I am very proud of the group leaders in the Biophysics Department. Their appointment at TUDa is a sign of the world-class science that our group is doing at GSI, and of the quality of the group leaders. GSI-Biophysics is world leader in research in heavy ion biological effects ad its applications in therapy and space”. (BP)