Hector Fellow since 2015
Prof. Dr. Peter Hegemann

Prof. Dr. Peter Hegemann

Exper­i­men­tal Biophysics, Humboldt Univer­sity of Berlin

Peter Hegemann is head of the working group for exper­i­men­tal biophysics and Hertie Senior Profes­sor of Neuro­science at the Humboldt Univer­sity of Berlin.

The world’s leading expert in photo­bi­ol­ogy is one of the found­ing fathers of optoge­net­ics, which combines the methods of optics and genet­ics to create a form of non-invasive stimu­la­tion of neurons. His research with photore­cep­tors of algae has led to the discov­ery of light-sensi­tive ion compo­si­tions in cells. The protein involved (“channelrhodopsin‑2”) enables a precise control of genet­i­cally modified cells through light pulses, which leads to a new possi­bil­ity to treat neuronal illnesses.

Peter Hegemann has been awarded, inter alia, with the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, Shaw-Prize, Rumford Prize, Gaird­ner Prize, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Founda­tion (DFG), Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize, Harvey Prize and the Otto Warburg Medal. He is a member of the National Academy of Science and Engineer­ing (acatech), the Berlin-Branden­burg Academy of Sciences and Human­i­ties (BBAW), the European Molec­u­lar Biology Organi­za­tion and the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopold­ina).

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Doctor­ate Currently not vacant

Peter Hegemann is currently unavail­able to super­vise doctoral projects.


Control­ling neurons with light

Portrait of optoge­net­ics pioneer Peter Hegemann

Peter Hegemann is a profes­sor at the Humboldt-Univer­sität zu Berlin and co-founder of optoge­net­ics. The renowned biophysi­cist conducts research on light-sensi­tive proteins in green algae that enable cells to be controlled by light pulses. His basic research opens up new appli­ca­tions in the treat­ment of neuronal diseases. Peter Hegemann has been a member of the Hector Fellow Academy since 2015.

Forschungsfeld Biologie

— Biology

Forschungsfeld Chemie

— Chemistry

Forschungsfeld Medizin

— Medicine

Biology, Chemistry & Medicine

Research fields