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Professor Dr. Katja Becker

President of the DFG as of 2020

Professor Dr. Katja Becker

Professor Dr. Katja Becker


Born 7 March 1965, married, one daughter

Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Justus Liebig University Giessen

Career History

Since 2000Full (C4/W3) Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Giessen
2005-20066-month research visit to Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, Proteomic Mass Spectrometry Lab, Prof. John Yates III
1999-2000Junior Group Leader at the Research Center for Infectious Diseases, University of Würzburg
1999Associate professor (C2) at Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center
1998Medical specialisation in Biochemistry
1996Habilitation in Biochemistry, Heidelberg University
19946-month research visit to Institute of Pathology, Prof. N. H. Hunt, University of Sydney, Australia
1993Licence to practise medicine
1993-1999Research associate at Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center
1992-1993Medical assistant at Heidelberg University Children's Hospital. 3 months of clinical and research work in Nigeria
1990-1991Practical year at University Hospital Basel (internal medicine), Heidelberg University Hospital (surgery) and John Radcliffe Hospital Oxford (paediatrics)
1988-1989Postdoctoral researcher at Institute of Pathology, University of Sydney; clinical work with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Katherine, NT, Australia
1986-1988Dissertation with Prof. Heiner Schirmer at Institute of Biochemistry II, Heidelberg University; title: "Glutathione reductase and its apoenzyme: contributions to the chemotherapy of malaria and the diagnosis of FAD deficiencies" (summa cum laude)
1984-1991Studies in human medicine, Heidelberg University

Offices and Roles in the Research System

Since 2020President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
(DFG, German Research Foundation)
2014-2019Vice President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
(DFG, German Research Foundation)
2009-2012Vice President for Research and Early Career Support, University of Giessen
2007-2014Spokesperson for the Bioresources and Biotechnology Section, Giessen Graduate Center for the Life Sciences
2004-2005Spokesperson for the interdisciplinary Research Centre for BioSystems, Land Use and Nutrition (IFZ), University of Giessen
2018-2019Spokesperson for LOEWE centre DRUID (Novel Drug Targets against Poverty-related and Neglected Tropical Infectious Diseases), part of an initiative by the state of Hesse to promote scientific and economic excellence
2014-2019Spokesperson for DFG Priority Programme 1710 "Dynamics of Thiol-based Redox Switches in Cellular Physiology"

Review and Advisory Activities

2017-2018Member of the German government round table on Internationalisation of Education, Science and Research
2016-2017Involvement in the drafting of the statement on Improving Global Health by the Leopoldina for the G20 summit 2017
2015-2017German representative on the Scientific Committee of the EU COST programme
Since 2016Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Research Center for Infectious Diseases, University of Würzburg
2015Member of the delegation accompanying Bundesrat President Volker Bouffier on a visit to South Africa and Mozambique
2014-2015Involvement in the drafting of the statement on Neglected Tropical Diseases by the Leopoldina for the G7 summit 2015
Since 2013Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Kerckhoff Heart Research Institute, Bad Nauheim
2013Member of the delegation accompanying Minister President Volker Bouffier to South America
2007-2010Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Center for International Development and Environmental Research
Since 2010Mentor for female early career researchers through ProProfessur and SciMento

Honours and Awards

2010Rudolf Leuckart Medal of the German Society for Parasitology
Since 2009Member of the Leopoldina, Germany's National Academy of Sciences
2003/2004Carus Medal of the Deutsche Akademie für Naturforscher Leopoldina/Carus Prize of the city of Schweinfurt
2000-2005Member of the Junge Akademie of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina
2003Funding for the congress "Redox Metabolism in Malaria: From Genes to Drugs", Bellagio, Italy, from the Rockefeller Foundation
1994Boehringer Mannheim research fellowship
1989Ludolf Krehl Prize (dissertation prize) of the Southwest German Society for Internal Medicine
1984Award in the state of Baden-Württemberg schools competition in Ancient Languages; followed by funding from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes

Memberships of Learned Societies

  • German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

  • German Society for Parasitology

  • German Society for Tropical Medicine and Global Health

  • German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

  • International Society for Free Radical Research