Press Release No. 26 | July 1, 2020

Two New Vice Presidents for the DFG

Axel A. Brakhage succeeds Katja Becker; Hans Hasse replaces Frank Allgöwer / Julika Griem and Roland A. Fischer re-elected

Axel A. Brakhage succeeds Katja Becker; Hans Hasse replaces Frank Allgöwer / Julika Griem and Roland A. Fischer re-elected

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has two new vice presidents. At its session during the DFG's Annual Meeting on Wednesday 1 July 2020, the General Assembly of the DFG elected molecular biologist Professor Dr. Axel A. Brakhage and engineer Professor Dr.-Ing. Hans Hasse to the Executive Committee of the DFG, Germany's largest research funding organisation and central self-governing body for the research community. Brakhage succeeds Professor Dr. Katja Becker, who became President of the DFG at the beginning of 2020, while Hasse takes over from engineer Professor Dr.-Ing. Frank Allgöwer.

In addition to the two new members of the Executive Committee, English literature scholar Julika Griem and chemist Roland A. Fischer have been elected as vice presidents for a further term in office. Like all sessions of the DFG's 2020 Annual Meeting, the General Assembly was held by video conference due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Axel A. Brakhage holds the Chair of Microbiology and Molecular Biology at the University of Jena and is Scientific Director of the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (Leibniz-HKI). His main research interests include the infection biology of human-pathogenic fungi, microbial communication, the search for microbial active compounds and the development of antibiotics. He is associated with the DFG as spokesperson of a graduate school funded through the Excellence Initiative, a Collaborative Research Centre (CRC)/Transregio and, since 2019, the Cluster of Excellence "Balance of the Microverse". He also served on a review board for eight years, including four years as its spokesperson. Brakhage is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, of which he was appointed Senator in 2020, and a fellow of both the European and the American Academy of Microbiology.

Hans Hasse leads the Laboratory of Engineering Thermodynamics at TU Kaiserslautern. Between 2016 and 2020, he was a member of the DFG Senate and from 2008 to 2016, he was a member of the review board for Process Engineering, Technical Chemistry, serving as its spokesperson from 2012 to 2016. Since 2011, Hasse has also been the spokesperson for the CRC "Microscale Morphology of Component Surfaces". He has also served as spokesperson for numerous other coordinated DFG funding programmes, addressing topics such as the modelling and simulation of process engineering processes. Hasse has won multiple awards, including the PRACE ISC Award in 2013 for a world record in system size for molecular dynamics simulations, the Ernest Solvay Prize in 2014 and the Academy Prize of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate in 2015. Since 2019, he has been a member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz.

Re-elected vice president Julika Griem has been director of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) Essen since 2018, after being professor of English literature at Goethe University Frankfurt and TU Darmstadt. During her first term in office, which began in 2016, Griem was primarily involved in matters affecting the humanities and social sciences at the DFG. She has a special interest in science communication, serving as chair of the jury for the Communicator Award, which is presented annually by Stifterverband and the DFG. She has also been involved in German-Japanese and German-Israeli project cooperation.

Roland A. Fischer, who has also been re-elected as vice president, has held the Chair of Inorganic and Metal-Organic Chemistry at TUM since 2016. Prior to this, he was a professor at Heidelberg University and Ruhr-Universität Bochum. During his first term in office beginning in 2016, he was particularly involved in the ongoing development and implementation of the DFG's Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality and represented the DFG on the Joint Committee with its Chinese partner organisation NSFC and on the Governing Board of Science Europe.

Together with DFG President Katja Becker, new vice presidents Axel A. Brakhage and Hans Hasse, and re-elected vice presidents Julika Griem and Roland A. Fischer, the DFG's Executive Committee also consists of mathematician Professor Dr. Marlis Hochbruck, computer scientist Professor Dr. Kerstin Schill, medical scientist Professor Dr. Britta Siegmund and legal scholar Professor Dr. Wolfgang Schön as vice presidents. The President of Stifterverband, Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Barner, has an advisory role on the Executive Committee by virtue of his office.

"I am delighted to be able to work with this Executive Committee to advance the DFG's strategic and conceptual orientation and energetically promote the further strengthening of research, particularly basic research, at German universities and the interests of the researchers we support," said President Katja Becker after the elections and re-elections in the General Assembly.

Becker also bid farewell to departing vice president Frank Allgöwer and thanked him for his dedicated and wide-ranging work on the Executive Committee over the past eight years. She noted that Allgöwer had particularly emphasised interdisciplinary perspectives and had led the Joint Committee on the Handling of Security-Relevant Research of the DFG and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina as well as the expert committee for the development of the national research data infrastructure (NFDI). The winner of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize also chaired the jury for the Communicator Award and was a member of the expert commission on the digital turn in the sciences and humanities, and is also participating in the DFG's recently established interdisciplinary commission for pandemic research. Allgöwer approached and accomplished all these tasks and many more besides "with great passion and energy, incisive intellectual alertness, inexhaustible creativity and unbounded motivation", said the DFG President.

Further Information

Media contact:

  • DFG Press and Public Relations,
    Tel. +49 228 885-2109,

More information about the members of the DFG Executive Committee is available at: