Chemists and biologists are increasingly confronted with interdisciplinary topics. In fact, the foremost questions of basic and applied research can only be tackled and resolved by close collaborations of professionals with different but overlapping scientific backgrounds.
The Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology has been approved and founded in fall 2007 within the framework of the German excellence initiative. Our mission is the creation of an academic environment that will foster top level interdisciplinary education and research, thereby dissolving the traditional boundaries between the different research disciplines.
A Potential Key
After the determination of the human genome sequence, the elucidation of the intricate network of molecular interactions that govern physiological processes at the cellular and systemic level has become a major focus of investigation both for basic and applied research. A potential key to understanding the mechanisms that determine and control biological processes is the comprehensive characterization of individual proteins and their interaction with small and macromolecular ligands.
To accomplish this fascinating and challenging task, the traditional separation of science into different disciplines lost its justification and the respective expertise of the different areas of research merged into synergistic interdisciplinary approaches. Indeed, there is an increasing demand in academia and industry for scientists who are trained at the interface of Chemistry and Biology.
Thus, the main objective of the interdisciplinary Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology is to establish and support research and training programs that will foster research beyond the limits of traditional disciplines and provide and develop novel mutually illuminating approaches for an increased understanding of biological processes and their interconnections at the molecular level. The research program is based on successful collaborations within and between the fields of Synthetic Chemistry, Cellular Biochemistry, Biophysics, Biomedicine, and Computational Life Science. The doctoral training program builds on the interdisciplinary Bachelor/Master study course Life Science at the University of Konstanz that was established in 2001.
"Interdisciplinarity starts with support"
© BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH - a contribution of BioLago
On 1st April 2008, the “Chemical Biology” graduate school at the University of Constance accepted its first 20 PhD candidates with an additional 20 entering the school in 2009. As new General Manager, the all-round talent Dr. Heike Brandstädter has taken the helm of the PhD Graduate School. Through her work at the crossroads of the humanities and natural sciences, her particular aim is to lessen the burden on young researchers and increase their chances of success on the job market.
Dr. Brandstädter, in establishing your position as General Manager, the Graduate School has taken a step towards professionalisation. What motivated this step?
Administration is an all-round, full-time job: it comprises detailed work such as accounting and organisation, as well as more strategic work such as public image and concept design. Our office is something like the engine room - it makes sure that research is not impeded by day-to-day issues. All the issues that we don't manage to deal with fall directly at the door of the researchers, meaning that the scientists have to take time to do administrative tasks when they could be doing more useful things.
Read the full interview of Dr. Heike Brandstädter at BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH