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International Top-Level Appointments for Berlin

Three internationally prominent scientists will conduct long-term research in Berlin as Einstein Strategic Professors

News from Nov 19, 2019

Thanks to funding from the Einstein Foundation as part of the new “Einstein Strategic Professorship” program, it will be possible to bring three internationally prominent researchers to Berlin – a research hub – on a long-term basis. Physicist Cecilia Clementi will move from Rice University to Freie Universität Berlin and neuroscientist Roberto Cabeza from Duke University to Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The neurobiologist Benjamin Judkewitz will stay on at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Physicist Cecilia Clementi is moving from Rice University in Houston, Texas, to Freie Universität Berlin. The expert in the field of computer simulation of biomolecules was previously professor of Chemistry and Physics, and Senior Scientist at the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics at Rice University. In addition, she was an Einstein Visiting Fellow at the Collaborative Research Centers “Scaffolding of Membranes: Molecular Mechanisms and Cellular Functions” and “Scaling Cascades in Complex Systems” at Freie Universität Berlin. Cecilia Clementi is the first scientist to be permanently recruited to work in Berlin following her promotion as an Einstein Visiting Fellow. The U.S.-Italian dual citizen will strengthen research in theoretical and computer-aided biophysics in Berlin and build a bridge between experimental biophysics and applied mathematics.

Neuroscientist Roberto Cabeza will come to Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Born in Argentina, Cabeza held a professorship in psychology and neuroscience and headed the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. In Berlin, the internationally recognized scientist will take up the newly established professorship for Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging and Memory, a joint initiative of the Institute of Psychology at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin. The professorship is intended to strengthen neuroscientific research in Berlin and expand international collaboration.

The neurobiologist Benjamin Judkewitz, head of the Bioimaging and Neurophotonics working group (the Judkewitz Lab) at the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence, will stay on at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Judkewitz qualified as a university lecturer at the California Institute of Technology in photonics and engineering sciences. Through the funding as an Einstein Strategic Professor, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin can now profit in the long run from the expertise of the multiple award-winning and internationally sought-after neurobiologist. The objective of Judkewitz Lab is to develop new optical technologies in the field of high-resolution microscopy in order to make them available for biomedical research in the future.

The Einstein Strategic Professorship funding line is designed to specifically support the appointment of top-level international researchers who are of strategic importance for Berlin as a research hub. The funding line is supported by the Damp Foundation to the amount of 30 million euros. With the additional so-called Matching Funds of the State of Berlin, the program for welcoming award-winning researchers has a total of around 45 million euros at its disposal.

Berlin universities can use Einstein Strategic Professorships to aim at strategic objectives, develop and advance innovative research areas, strengthen existing competencies, and thus attract more international top-level researchers. For this, the universities receive around 500,000 euros annually per professorship over a period of five years. The Einstein Foundation funds the appointments as well as the necessary equipment of the corresponding research institution. The State of Berlin has agreed to provide financing for at least ten Einstein Strategic Professorships on a long-term basis.