The Feringa group

Group leader

Prof.dr. Ben L. Feringa
(Jacobus van't Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences)
Prof. Ben L. Feringa obtained his PhD. at the University of Groningen, where he was appointed full professor in 1988, after working as research scientist for Shell. Under his guidance the Feringa group has developed extensive expertise in the fields of organic chemistry, nanotechnology, asymmetric catalysis. His discovery of the molecular motor ranks highly among the many discoveries made over the years. In 2016 Prof. Feringa was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, together with Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Sir James Fraser Stoddart.

Scientific staff

Prof.dr. Wiktor Szymanski
(http://www.szymanski-lab.nl/)
Wiktor Szymański received his PhD degree from The Warsaw University of Technology, Poland, in 2008. He spent two years working on the use of biotransformations in organic chemistry with Prof. Ben L. Feringa and Prof. Dick B. Janssen at the University of Groningen. Since 2010 he has been working on the construction of photoactive protein- peptide- and DNA-bioconjugates and photophamracology in the Feringa Labs. As of 2014, he shares his time between Feringa group and the Department of Radiology, University Medical Center Groningen, where he is appointed.

Dr. Romain Costil
Romain studied Organic, Bio-organic and Therapeutic Chemistry at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse (France), where he was awarded a Diplome d’ingénieur in 2014. During his studies, he worked in Axon MedChem in Groningen, synthesising drug candidates for commercial use. He then joined the group of Prof. Jonathan Clayden in Bristol (United Kingdom) for a MSc project in foldamer chemistry, followed by a Ph.D. in the same group, investigating the synthesis and properties of a novel class of atropisomers. After a postdoc in the Feringa lab working on photoswitchable metallosupramolecular complexes and redox molecular motors, Romain is now a research manager in the group.

Dr. Anouk Lubbe
Anouk Lubbe studied chemistry at the University of Groningen. She started investigating molecular motors in 2010, and subsequently completed her BSc and MSc research on that topic, as well as an internship with prof. Jean-Marie Lehn at the University of Strasbourg. In 2017 she completed her PhD under the guidance of prof. Ben Feringa and dr. Wiktor Szymanski. After collaborating with prof. Feringa on a popular science book she left Groningen to travel. As of February 2019 she has returned to the Feringa lab, as a research manager.

Dr. Ir. Nicole Imholz
Nicole finished her BSc and MSc in Bioscience Engineering at the KU Leuven in Belgium in 2015, having spent one semester at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon. Her master thesis on lectins of probiotic bacteria was awarded best Bioscience Engineering thesis of the year. Hereafter she started a PhD in the lab of Dr. Greg Bokinsky at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at the TU Delft, studying nucleotide and protein metabolism of E. coli. After finishing in 2020, she joined the Feringa lab as ARC CBBC Research Coordinator.

Technical support

Ing. Monique Smith
After passing the exam for HLO (High Laboratory Education) in 1997, I started working at Akzo Nobel Central Research in Arnhem at the department for resin research for 3 years. Then I went to a company which manufactures ink for the packaging industry at Flint Ink in Winschoten for 1,5 years. Subsequently I worked at Philips Consumer Lifestyle at the Advanced Technology Center for 8 years before starting here at the RUG at the Stratingh Institute in 2010 where I manage the chromatography department.

Ing. Hans van der Velde
Hans van der Velde received his diploma for the HLO (High Laboratory Education) in 1995. After this he started working at several companies in the city of Groningen (Polymer Service Centre Groningen and Selact). Since 2006 he is responsible for the Analytical Department.

Ing. Renze Sneep
Renze Sneep studied Analytical and Organic Chemistry at the Hanzehogeschool Groningen, where he completed his BSc. In his graduation year, he was working as an intern at the Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry department of the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry. Since December 2017 he is working for the Stratingh Institute, managing the Chromatography department together with Monique.

John de Boer
John de Boer studied chemistry at the Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences in Leeuwarden. In the course of his studies, he worked at BASF on NIR spectroscopy, at Syncom BV on intramolecular [2+2] photocycloaddition in continuous-flow and at the University of Groningen in the Drug Design group of Prof. Alexander Dömling on imidazo[1,2-a]pyrazin-8-amines. Since May 2019, he is working for the Stratingh Institute, managing lab equipment and assisting in research projects

Postdocs

Dr. Wojciech Danowski
Wojtek studied chemistry at the Warsaw Universityof Technology, Poland. He obtained his MSc. in the group of prof. Janusz Lewinski working on new methodologies of functionalization of ZnO quantum dots. He is currently conducting a research focused on photoresponsive surfaces.

Dr. Ruth Dorel
Ruth Dorel was born in Zaragoza (Spain) in 1989. She completed her BSc in Chemistry at the University of Zaragoza in 2012 and next moved to Tarragona (Spain) where she carried out her MSc and PhD studies working in the group of Prof. Antonio M. Echavarren at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ). The focus of her doctoral research was the synthesis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and natural products combined with the development of new metal-catalyzed synthetic methodology. During her graduate studies she also carried out research stays in the groups of Prof. John Montgomery (University of Michigan, 2014) and Prof. John F. Hartwig (UC Berkeley, 2016). After earning her PhD in 2017, Ruth joined the group of Prof. Ben Feringa to work on the design and synthesis of new molecular motors as a Ramón Areces postdoctoral fellow.

Dr. Shaoyu Chen
Shaoyu Chen was born in Shantou, China. She obtained her BSc in Textile Chemistry at Jiangnan University in 2013. Afterwards, she continued her master and doctor study in Jiangnan University under the supervision of Prof. Chaoxia Wang in the field of smart photo-responsive materials. In October 2017, she joined Prof. Feringa’s group as a Ph.D student. Her main research interests are synthesis and application of photo-responsive materials. Shaoyu will return to the group in February 2020 as Postdoc.

Dr. Greg Boursalian
Greg Boursalian, a native of Newbury Park, California, began his studies at Moorpark College before transferring to UC Berkeley in 2006, where he performed his undergraduate research in the group of K. Peter C. Vollhardt. He graduated in 2009 with highest honors, and in 2010 he embarked on his graduate studies at Harvard University as a National Science Foundation fellow. Greg performed his thesis research in the group of Tobias Ritter, working on the development of new approaches to C-H functionalization. He relocated with the Ritter group in 2015 to the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim and der Ruhr, Germany, and received his PhD from Harvard one year later in 2016. After remaining for a time in the Ritter lab as a postdoc, spending a semester teaching chemistry to undergraduates back home in California, and working on a book project with Professor Ritter, he joined the Feringa group in 2018 to work on the development of light-driven molecular motors.

Dr. Jeffrey Buter
Jeffrey Buter obtained his BSc in analytical chemistry at the Hanze University for applied sciences in Groningen (2008). Following his BSc he pursued his MSc in molecular chemistry at the University of Groningen, which he obtained in 2011. He then continued his academic career at the University of Groningen by performing a PhD in the group of Prof. Adriaan J. Minnaard, working on the stereoselective total synthesis of biologically active molecules, from which he graduated cum laude (2016). After his PhD studies he moved to the United States of America for postdoctoral research in the group of D. Branch Moody (MD) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School (2016-2018). Here he worked on unravelling the survival mechanism of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the discovery of a new virulence factor from Salmonella typhi. As of September 2018, Jeffrey returned to the University of Groningen to join the research group of Prof. Ben Feringa where he will work on new cross-coupling methodology with organolithium reagents.

Dr. Nadja Simeth
Nadja studied chemistry at the University of Regensburg, Germany, where she obtained her M.Sc. in 2014. She conduced her master project under the joint supervision of Burkhard König and Morten Grøtli with a research stay at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Then, she returned to Regensburg to pursue her doctorate studies with Burkhard König. After a short research stay with Maurizio Fagnoni at the University of Pavia in 2017, she defended her thesis in summer 2018. Currently, she is working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Feringa Labs focusing on light-mediated DNA modulation supported by a Feodor-Lynen Fellowship of the Humboldt Association.

Dr. Niklas Thiel
Niklas O. Thiel was born in Berlin, Germany. He did his BSc (2012) at the TU Berlin in the group of Rueck-Braun working on the synthesis of photoswitches. After that he did his MSc (2014) and PhD (2018) in the group of Teichert working on the development of stereoselective hydrogenation reactions. In late 2018 he joined the Feringa group for a postdoctoral research stay where he will be working on the combination of dynamic covalent chemistry and light-driven rotary motors.

Dr. Michael Kathan
Michael studied Chemistry at Freie Universität Berlin and ETH Zurich, where he was involved in research projects on C–F activation and strained aromatic systems in the groups of Prof. Dieter Lentz and Prof. François Diederich. In 2015 he joined the group of Prof. Stefan Hecht as a PhD student, focusing on the control of chemical reactivity and adaptive materials with light. After receiving his PhD (summa cum laude) in 2019, he moved to Groningen to work on molecular motors in the group of Prof. Ben Feringa

Dr. Simon Krause
Simon Krause obtained his BSc. In 2012 at Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. After a 10-month research internship in the group of Martin Schröder at Nottingham University he returned to Dresden and obtained his MSc in 2015 working on flexible metal-organic frameworks. He remained in the group of Stefan Kaskel for his doctorate studies working on a novel phenomenon termed negative gas adsorption. After defending his thesis in early 2019, he joined the Feringa lab as a postdoctoral researcher on a fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation where he will be working on molecular motors and switches at interfaces.

Dr. Stefano Crespi
Stefano received his Ph.D. in 2017 at the University of Pavia (Italy) working on novel applications of photoinduced aryl cations. He won a two-year fellowship as a Post-Doc in the same University under the supervision of Prof. M. Fagnoni, with whom he studied the properties of novel heteroaryl azo photoswitches. He joined for five months the workgroup of Burkhard König at the University of Regensburg, focusing on the synthesis of new scaffolds based on heteroaryl azo dyes and the theoretical investigation of photocatalytic transformations. In 2019 he moved to Groningen to work on molecular motors in the group of Ben Feringa as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow.

Dr. Qi Zhang
Qi obtained his BSc (2015) in applied chemistry at East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST). Then he spent four years to complete his PhD research (2019) in the group of Prof. He Tian, working on the host-guest chemistry and supramolecular polymers. In late 2019 he joined the Feringa group as visiting researcher where he will work on the design and construction of supramolecular polymeric materials with dynamic intelligence. Qi defended his thesis in China in 2020 and is now a Postdoc in the Feringa Group.

Dr. Max Koy
Max studied chemistry at the University of Stuttgart and performed his undergraduate research in the group of Prof. Michael R. Buchmeiser working in the field of olefin and alkyne metathesis. In 2014, he carried out an internship at the California Institute of Technology in the group of Prof. Robert H. Grubbs. Beginning of 2017, Max joined the group of Prof. Frank Glorius in Münster to pursue a PhD working on palladium catalysis and N-heterocyclic carbenes as modifiers for surfaces. He joined the Feringa group in September 2020 to work on sustainable catalysis.

Dr. George Alachouzos
George was born in Singapore, and spent his childhood on the small island of Kalymnos, in Greece. He obtained his BS in Life Science and Technology from TU Delft and Universiteit Leiden in the Netherlands. He went on to obtain his MS in Chemistry summa cum laude from Universiteit Leiden. George then pursued PhD studies in the US at the University of Rochester in the group of Professor Alison J. Frontier, enabled by a Fulbright PhD Fellowship. In the Frontier group, George has initiated methodology studies surrounding the halo-Nazarov cyclization and applied the method towards the total synthesis of natural products. George also established the recent computational chemistry efforts for the group. George is currently an EMBO postdoctoral fellow in the Feringa and Szymanski labs where he is using computational design and organic synthesis towards the discovery of novel red-shifted photocages for use in medicine and biology

Dr. Damián Padín Santos
Damián Padín Santos (1991) was born in Cambados (Spain). He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Santiago de Compostela. In 2019, he got his PhD in Organic Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Carlos Saá and Prof. Jesús A. Varela working on the development of new chemical transformations based on the catalytic generation of ruthenium vinyl carbenes and their application in total synthesis. During his PhD studies, he was awarded with a Barrié Foundation fellowship to perform a short stay in the group of Prof. Amir H. Hoveyda (Boston College, USA). In April 2020, he joined the group of Prof. Ben Feringa as an oLife postdoctoral researcher to work on autocatalysis with chiral amplification.

Dr. Ryojun Toyoda
Ryojun studied chemistry at the University of Tokyo and started his research life in Prof. Hiroshi Nishihara’s group. After completing his BSc in 2015, he continued his investigation in the same group, mainly focusing on fabrication of functional nanowires and nanosheets based on coordination chemistry. He obtained his MSc in 2017 and PhD in 2020. During his PhD period, he had a short-stay at the University of Cambridge for a collaborative research. In 2020 he joined the Feringa group as a postdoc researcher to work on smart materials.

Dr. Lukas Patalag
Lukas studied chemistry at the University of Göttingen in Germany and finished his diploma thesis with a work on fluorescent glycosphingolipids in 2012. He then continued with a Ph.D. thesis in the same group of Prof. D. B. Werz and, after relocation to the TU Braunschweig (Germany), graduated with a work on the synthesis and photophysics of organic fluoroborate-based emitters. After having joined the group of Prof. S. W. Hell at the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry in 2018, contributing in the field of fluorogenic photoswitches in superresolution microscopy, he acquainted himself with femtosecond and transient absorption spectroscopy techniques during a second postdoctoral stay in the labs of Prof. C. Lambert in Würzburg. In 2019 he was awarded a Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship and embarked on the study of excitonically coupled dye frameworks in oligomeric entities, first at the EPFL in Lausanne (Prof. K. Severin) and since 2020 in the group of Prof. B. Feringa in Groningen.

Dr. Robert Brilmayer
Robert Brilmayer studied chemistry at the Goethe University Frankfurt and obtained his M.Sc. in 2016. He performed his master project in the R&D department of Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH with a focus on cross-coupling reactions. He then joined the smartmembranes research group of Prof. Andrieu-Brunsen at the Technical University of Darmstadt. During his phD he focused on surface functionalization with pH responsive polymers and dyes to investigate the influence of nano confinement on the pH value. Robert will join the Feringa group in September 2020 to work on responsive surfaces.

PhD students

Brian Corbet
Brian Corbet was born in Hoogeveen (The Netherlands) in 1993. He finished his BSc (2014) and MSc (2017) at the University of Groningen, with research projects in Groningen under supervision by Prof. Ben Feringa into Pd catalysed cross-coupling reactions of lithium reagents and Cu catalysed asymmetric allylic substitution reactions. In 2016 he worked in the group of Prof. Jonathan Clayden at the University of Bristol on lithiated urea rearrangements. Since 2017 he is working to obtain his PhD in the group of Prof. Ben Feringa with research towards the development of new molecular motors.

Jana Volarić
Jana Volarić was born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1992. After regular participations in Croatian national chemistry competitions she started studying chemistry in Zagreb. During the BSc at the University of Zagreb she worked on solid-state reactions of p-nitrosobenzene compounds (prof. Hrvoj Vančik, University of Zagreb). After finishing the BSc she did an Erasmus internship in Groningen and joined the group of prof. Ben Feringa. The topic of the internship was synthesis and testing the catalytic ability of a bisthiourea organocatalyst. After the internship she returned to Groningen to start her MSc at the University of Groningen and joined the motor group to work on her master research project. In June '17 Jana started as a PhD student in the Feringa Group.

Marco Wonink
Marco was born in Zwolle, the Netherlands, and obtained his BSc. in Chemistry and in Chemical Engineering at the University of Groningen. He then received his MSc. in Chemistry working under the supervision of Dr. Otten on the catalytic activation and reduction of CO2 at the University of Groningen. His MSc. in Chemical Engineering was also obtained at the University of Groningen with a stay at MIT in the group of Prof. Román-Leshkov working on the catalytic upgrading of biomass. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Feringa working on organic electrosynthesis.

Piermichele Kobauri
Piermichele Kobauri was born in Turin, Italy in 1991. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree in Chemistry from the University of Turin. His Master research project in the group of Prof. Marco Lolli focused on in silico drug design methodologies, namely pharmacophore modeling and docking. He went back to the lab as a research intern in the same group, designing and synthesizing compounds to target Leishmaniasis. Subsequently, he did an Erasmus+ internship in the group of Prof. Bente Frølund at the University of Copenhagen, working on the synthesis of GABA analogues. In March 2017 he started his Ph.D. under the guidance of Prof. Ben Feringa at the University of Groningen. He is currently working on a photopharmacology and structure-based approach to smart antibiotics.

Anirban Mondal
Anirban Mondal was born in Kolkata (India). He received his B.Sc. degree in Chemistry from Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Centenary College, Kolkata and Master of Science from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (Mumbai) in the group of Prof. Debabrata Maiti and Prof. Rodney A. Fernandes . His master research focused on the ‘Directing group assisted meta and para-C−H Functionalization of arenes by a different template-based assembly’ and ‘Total Synthesis of antitumor drug Asteriscunolide’. Currently, he is working as a Ph.D. student in the group of Prof. Dr. Ben Feringa in the research field of molecular switches and motors.​

Hugo Helbert
I was born in Nantes, France in 1994. I studied organic chemistry in France and obtained my Engineering degree in 2016 from the E.N.S.C. of Clermont-Ferrand with a specialization in medicinal chemistry. While my studies I did research projects at the University of Durham, UK and at the University of Copenhagen, DK on catalysis and medicinal chemistry. I did my master research at Bayer pharmaceuticals in Wuppertal, Germany. I joined the group of Prof. Feringa in 2016 for a PhD in collaboration with the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) on synthesis of new PET tracers.

Tobias van den Enk
Tobias was born in 1992 in Zaanstad, The Netherlands. He obtained his BSc under supervision of prof. Jan van Maarseveen on peptide-cyclization reactions in a self-assembled confined space, and his MSc under supervision of Prof. Henk Hiemstra, on the topic of [2+2] photocycloadditions, both at the University of Amsterdam. In 2017 he started his PhD research in the group of prof. Feringa, working on photoactuation of chiral nanomaterials

Fan Xu
Fan Xu was born in Jiangxi, China. After obtained her Bachelor degree at Zhengzhou University in 2014, she started the Master study at the same university working on Ring-opening metathesis polymerization and its application in biomaterials. In 2017, she joined Prof. Ben L. Feringa's group as a Ph.D student. Her main research interest is photoresponsive supramolecular materials based on molecular motors.

Cosima Stähler
Cosima was born in Berlin. After volunteering for a year after school in Germany and South Africa, she started studying Chemistry at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, where she was working in the group of Rainer Herges on diazocine switches. Additionally she completed an internship in the group of Francesca Kerton in St. John’s in Canada, working on the use of renewable materials and at Kyoto University, working in the group of Atsuhiro Osuka on porphyrins as a platform for stable radicals. To pursue a PhD, she joined the group of Ben Feringa in March 2018 to work on the application of molecular motors in smart materials.

Sven van Vliet
Sven van Vliet was born in Groningen in 1993. He was raised in Hoogezand-Sappemeer, a village near Groningen. In 2014, he received his BSc degree working on the synthesis of water soluble molecular motors. Hereafter, he stayed in the Feringa group to work on his masterproject about imine-based molecular motors. Subsequently he performed a short internship under the supervision of prof. Pablo Ballester at the ICIQ in Tarragona, working on self-assembled nanoreactors. Hereafter, he returned to Groningen and the Feringa group to pursue a PhD. Currently, he is working on nanoscale energy converters.

George Hermens
George Hermens was born in Groningen in 1994. He was raised in Groningen and after high school he started studying Chemistry at the RuG in 2012. In 2015, he joined the bio-subgroup of Prof. Feringa and he received his BSc degree working on the synthesis and characterization of photoswitchable autoinducers. In his Master Chemistry, he returned to Prof. Feringa and joined the Smart Materials subgroup, working on photoswitchable chiral gels. Subsequently he performed a research project at Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam under the supervision of Dr. Peter Klusener, working on the quantification of unknown peroxide mixtures using luminol. In June 2018 he received his MSc degree and rejoined the Feringa group to pursue his PhD, working on biobased coatings and polymers.

Daisy Pooler
Daisy was born in Birmingham, UK in 1996. She obtained her MChem degree under supervision of Prof. David Leigh at the University of Manchester, UK working towards synthesis of a fueled molecular walker. During her degree, Daisy spent one year working with Domino Printing Sciences (Cambridge, UK) on development of a food-grade blue ink for eggshell coding. In 2018, Daisy began her PhD research in the group of Prof. Ben Feringa at the University of Groningen in the field of molecular motors.

Jinyu Sheng
Jinyu was born in Zhejiang (China). He received his BSc degree in Chemistry from Ocean University of China in 2014. He then started his Master studies in organic synthesis methodology at Tsinghua University under the guidance of Prof. Chao Chen. After his graduation in 2017, he continued working as a research assistant for one year. In October 2018, he joined the Prof. Ben L. Feringa's group to work on designing of light-switchable catalyst and anion binding receptors.

Albert Schulte
Albert was born in Peize, the Netherlands in 1994. He obtained his BSc degree at the University of Groningen in 2016, working on enzyme engineering. During his masters he performed an internship in the group of prof. Anna Hirsch at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research in Saarbrücken. He obtained his MSc degree in 2018 working in the field of photopharmacology. In March 2019 he began his PhD research in the group of Prof. Feringa working on the photocontrol of various biological processes.

Vanda Daskova
Vanda was born in Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic) in 1993. She received her undergraduate degree from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich (LMU). During her studies, she did research projects in the group of Prof. D. Trauner (LMU) and the group of Prof. K. Christe (USC) working on the total synthesis of Lycopladine A and on the synthesis of high-energy-density materials, respectively. She completed her Master thesis under the supervision of Prof. B. List at Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim a. d. Ruhr (Germany) working on the asymmetric Mukaiyama−Michael reaction. Subsequently, she did an internship at Bayer pharmaceuticals located in Wuppertal (Germany). In April 2019, Vanda joined the Feringa group for a PhD in the field of asymmetric catalysis. Her research focuses on self-amplifying systems and the origin of life.

Paco Visser
Paco Visser was born in Meppel (The Netherlands) in 1995. He obtained his BSc degree in Chemical Engineering in 2017, after which he worked on Pd-catalysed, Li-mediated cross-coupling reactions under supervision of prof. Ben Feringa to obtain his BSc degree in Chemistry during the same year. After an extracurricular research period in the asymmetric catalysis subgroup, he performed a research project at Nouryon Deventer under supervision of Dr. Bjorn ter Horst and Dr. Michel van der Berg as a part of his MSc degree. In March 2019, Paco returned to the Feringa group to work on total synthesis and the cross-coupling of organolithium reagents under supervision of Dr. Jeffrey Buter to finalize his MSc degree. In 2020 he started his PhD, focussing on the development of novel (auto)catalytic processes.

Youxin Fu
Youxin Fu was born in Anhui (China). He received his BSc degree in Applied Chemistry (Fine Chemical) from East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) in 2014. He then started his Master studies in Fine Synthetic Chemistry and Molecular Engineering at same university under the guidance of Prof. Xiaopeng He and Dr. Junji Zhang in the field of photoswitchable fluorescence probe. After his graduation in 2017, he continued working as a research assistant in ECUST and The University of Queensland for one year. In January 2019, he joined the Prof. Ben L. Feringa's group to work on photoclick reaction and smart probe.

Thomas Freese
Thomas was born in Sögel, Germany in 1991. From 2011-2014 he worked at the Remmers Group in Löningen, Germany and became a Chemical Technician, where he focused on different types of coatings (water based, organic based and polymers for wood/floor/furniture) and treatments for restoration and construction of buildings. After that he studied Chemistry at the Georg-August-University in Göttingen. During his BSc degree, he worked in the group of Prof. Dr. D. Stalke on the Synthesis of novel N-heterocyclic silylenes for catalytic applications. In 2017 he began his MSc degree at the University of Göttingen and came to the University of Groningen in 2018 to finish his MSc as an exchange student. He focused on a joint research project between the Feringa group and the Barta group. After that he conducted his Master research project in the Feringa group on sustainable materials. Thomas started his PhD in 2020 focusing on sustainable catalysis and materials.

Bianka Sieredzinska
Bianka was born in Pulawy, Poland. She studied Chemistry and Education at University of Warsaw, Poland. She was really interested in science popularization which lead her to take part in many university events and also pushed her to do an internship at school and teach some chemistry to young and bright students. Bianka obtained her MSc in 2019 and during her master studies she was working on in-lab validation of retrosynthesis software Chematica (now: Synthia) at the Institute of Organic Chemistry PAS in prof. Bartosz Grzybowski group. Bianka took part in syntheses of drugs, drug metabolites and a natural product that were predicted by above mentioned retrosynthetic tool (Chematica). Bianka started her PhD in the group in June 2019. She is a member of catalysis subgroup and is working on new reactions and cross-linking in water/photoactivation.

Daniel Döllerer
Daniel was born in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany in 1993. He obtained his BSc and MSc degree in chemistry at the Technische Universität München (TUM), focusing on organic, inorganic and medicinal chemistry. During his studies, he was able to perform a research internship at the École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, supervised by Prof. W. L. Queen and spend a semester abroad at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Finalizing his studies, he conducted his Master’s Thesis at the Chair of Medicinal and Bioinorganic Chemistry at Cardiff University, UK, supervised by Prof. A. Casini, working on fluorophore containing supramolecular coordination complexes for drug delivery purposes. In September 2019, Daniel joined the Feringa group in the field of smart materials.

Lotte Stindt
Lotte was born in the Netherlands and obtained her BSc degree in chemistry at the University of Groningen. During her undergraduate studies, she performed an honours project in the group of prof. Minnaard and did her BSc thesis in the Feringa group. She then moved to Switzerland for her master’s programme at ETH Zurich, where she conducted a research project in the group of prof. Chen and completed her MSc thesis under the supervision of prof. Mezzetti, working on Mn(I) catalysts for the asymmetric hydrogenation of ketones. In November 2019, Lotte returned to the Feringa group as a PhD student to work on the development of molecular motors and switches

Max Fellert
Maximilian Fellert was born in 1994 in Neuss, Germany. He obtained his BSc in Chemistry at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf with a bachelor thesis on the cyclopropanation of nucleobases in the group of Constantin Czekelius.Afterwards, he moved to the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich to obtain his MSc in Chemistry. During his studies in Munich, he performed an research internship in Groningen in the group of Ben Feringa on 2nd generation molecular motors driven by visible light. Another research internship led him to the group of Gilles Gasser at Chimie ParisTech/PSL University in Paris, where he focused on the synthesis of novel Ru(II)polypyridyl complexes as anti-cancer agents. To conclude his MSc studies, he performed his master thesis under the supervision of Bill Morandi at ETH Zurich working on a novel Pd-catalyzed arylacylation of norbornadienes.After completing his studies, he spent half a year as an intern in management consulting for Deutsche Bahn (German railroad company). In 2020, he moved back to Groningen and the Feringa lab as a PhD student and is currently working on molecular swimmers using motor driven flagella.

Ainoa Guinart Planellas
Ainoa was born in Olot (Catalunya, Spain) in 1996. She completed her BSc in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in 2018. As part of her BSc final project she performed a research stay under the supervision of Prof. Romain Quidant (Plasmon nanooptics group) at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO, Spain) working on a Lab-On-a-Chip approach for tumor markers with plasmonic nanoparticles. She also performed an internship with Prof. Brigitte Städler (Cell Mimicry group) at the iNano center (Aarhus, Denmark) working on multilayer polymer vesicles for intracellular drug delivery. To keep forming herself, in 2019, she studied a MRes in Multidisciplinary Research in Experimental Sciences at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. She performed a combined nanomedicine project at both Prof. Romain Quidant group at ICFO and Dr. Pilar Rivera (Integrative Biomedical materials and Nanomedicine Lab) at the Biomedical Research Park (Barcelona) to work on Plasmonic Photothermal Therapy in 3D cell cultures. In 2020 she completed a MSc in Genes Drug and Stem Cells at the Imperial College of London. In October 2020 she will join Prof. Feringa group as a PhD student in the field of Amphiphilic Molecular Motors for Cellular Recognition and Uptake

Marco Ovalle
Marco Ovalle was born in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1995. He obtained his BSc. in Nanotechnology Engineering at the Institute of Technology Tijuana. His undergraduate research was focused on natural product synthesis, and got his Master's degree in Chemical Sciences at the same institution working on molecular switches for asymmetric synthesis at the Aguirre-Somanathan group. In 2020 he joined Stoddart's group at Northwestern University as a predoctoral fellow. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Feringa, working on molecular switching-assisted catalysis.

Roza Weber
Roza was born in Groningen, the Netherlands in 1998. She obtained her BSc degree in Chemistry from the University of Groningen in 2018 after working on the synthesis of organic dyes and the study of their binding to lanthanide nanoparticles for her Bachelor thesis, under the supervision of Prof. Kees Hummelen. In 2018, she moved to Uppsala, Sweden, to begin her MSc studies. She obtained her MSc degree from Uppsala University in Sweden in 2020 after writing her Master thesis on the synthesis and photophysical characterization of luminescent lanthanide complexes under the supervision of Prof. Eszter Borbas. In the fall of 2020, Roza will start her PhD in the Feringa group as a part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN ArtMoMa programme to work on the project “Molecular motor-based nanoscale energy storage system”.

Adrien Combe
I was born in 1995 at Périgueux (France). I did my BSc Molecular Chemistry at University of Toulouse (France). After, I did my Master's degree is 3 years in 3 different places. The first year, I did the first year of MSc Chemistry for Health at University of Toulouse. The second year, I did the first year of MSc Molecular and Therapeutic Chemistry at University of Nantes (France). The third year, I came back at University of Toulouse to do the second year of MSc Green Chemistry. I also did three internships : the first one at University of Toulouse whose topic was the synthesis and characterization of hydrosoluble ligands for Cu(II) for therapeutic applications, the second one at University of Nantes whose topic was the synthesis and characterization of bioactive polysaccharride and the third one at University of Groningen in Harutyunyan's team whose topic was synthesis and characterization of novel chiral pincer-ligands for Mn(I) in order to perform enantioselective catalysis. I will do my PhD in Feringa's team. The subject is the synthesis of molecular motors based on artificial muscles. I will begin the 1st of October.

Master students

Andries Jensma
Andries was born in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands in 1995. He finished his Bachelor in Chemistry at the University of Groningen in 2019. During his Bachelor he did research in the group of Prof. Sijbren Otto focusing on foldamers made by Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry. In July 2020, Andries started his Master research in the group of prof. Feringa, where he will focus on the production of biobased acrylates.

Jens Kobesen
Jens Kobesen obtained his BSc degree at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. During his BSc he performed an internship at the University of Groningen and worked under the supervision of Dr. Marthe Walvoort on human milk oligosaccharide mimics. Jens started pursuing his master’s degree at the University of Groningen in 2019 and joined the Feringa group in July 2020 to perform his master research project.

Eise Nijboer
Born in 1997 in Den Bosch, raised in Leeuwarden, Eise received his Chemistry BSc in 2018 at the University of Groningen. During his bachelor project in the Feringa group he worked on the synthesis of a new phosphine based motor. Continuing with a Master at the University of Groningen he returns to the Feringa lab in September 2020 to work on using alternative motor scaffolds for asymmetric catalysis.

Keimpe-Oeds van den Berg
Keimpe-Oeds studied chemistry at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, where he obtained his BSc in Chemistry (2018). He did his internship and Bachelor thesis in the group of Prof. Philip Elsinga at the department of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging in the UMCG, focussing on the synthesis and fluorine-18 labeling of a (PET) prostate cancer tracer. Afterwards, he did his pre-master in Chemistry at the University of Groningen (2019) after which he stayed to pursue his MSc degree. Starting August, 2020 he will be working in the Feringa and Szymanski labs on the synthesis of new photoswitches to control biological systems with light.

Elmar Diekstra
Elmar was born in 1996 in Groningen, the Netherlands. Here he obtained his BSc (2018) in Chemistry at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. During his BSc, he performed an internship and graduation project in the group of Prof. Philip Elsinga focussed on the synthesis, radiolabelling and in vitro studies of new radiotracers for arginase. He also worked in the group of Prof. Alexander Dömling on the synthesis of 1-Tetrazolylimidazo[1,5-a]pyridines. After this, he went to the University of Groningen to do a pre-master (2019) and stayed to pursue his MSc degree focussed on Chemical Biology. He will work on photoswitchable drugs in the Feringa and Szymanski labs starting August, 2020.

Denise Maret
Denise Maret was born in Hoorn in 1996. She finished her BSc in Chemistry at the Van Hall Larenstein in Leeuwarden. During her BSc she performed an intership in the Otten group on PNN-pincer ligands. Now continuing to do her master's at the University of Groningen, she joined the Feringa group in July 2020 to do her master research project here.

Annemarie Doze
Annemarie was born in Groningen in 1997. She obtained her BSc degree in Chemistry in 2019 at the University of Groningen. For her bachelor thesis, she performed a research project in the Feringa group on the synthesis of a probe for PET-imaging with biorthogonal ligation and photocleavage. In September 2020, Annemarie returns to the Feringa lab to work on her Master research, focussing on metabolically labelling Mycobacterium tuberculosis with photocleavable antibiotics.

Rutger Schim van der Loeff
Rutger spent the first 10 years of his life in the Gambia, after moving to the Netherlands in 2005. He has a bachelor degree in human movement science and molecular life sciences (@rug), before starting a master chemistry in 2019. In September 2020, Rutger joined the Feringa research group for a master research project, which regards the development 2nd gen. molecular motors without point chirality.

Visiting PhD and Master students

Yuanxin Deng
Yuanxin was born in Fujian, China. She received a double BSc degree in Applied Chemistry and Finance in East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) in 2015. She then carried out her MSc in the group of Prof. Jinlong Zhang studying photocatalytic nanomaterial. Yuanxin is currently a Ph.D. student at the ECUST under the guidance of Prof. Da-Hui Qu and Prof. Ben L. Feringa. In late 2019, she joined the Feringa Lab to work on the construction of supramolecular polymeric materials with stimuli-responsive ability.

Jiaxin Hou
Jiaxin was borned in Canton, China. She studied polymer chemistry in South China Normal University under the supervision of Prof. Guofu Zhou. After receiving her Master Degree, she continuted to be a PhD student in the same University under the supervision of Prof. Guofu Zhou, Prof. Jiawen Chen and Prof. Ben Feringa, working on the topic of molecular motor in Liquid Crystal.