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Innovator in biomaterial research, Joachim Kohn, visits the Institute

We were delighted to welcome Professor Joachim Kohn from Rutgers State University, New Jersey, USA, who lectured to the Helmholtz Graduate School for Macromolecular Bioscience at the Institute of Biomaterial Science on Wednesday 6th November 2019.

Photo: Prof. Joachim Kohn

Prof. Joachim Kohn. Source: HZG/Fraeya Whiffin

Prof. Kohn´s career has spanned a PhD in Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, a post-doc at MIT, and 28 years working as a scientist, research director and entrepreneur at Rutgers University. He has been selected for the American Chemical Society’s 2020 National Award for Applied Polymer Science.

A highlight of Prof. Kohn’s fascinating talk was how, in the 90s, he developed then commercialised one of the first biodegradable stents.

Bild: Prof. Joachim Kohn hielt seinen Vortrag

Prof. Joachim Kohn hielt seinen Vortrag. Quelle: HZG/Fraeya Whiffin

To do this, he synthesized selected candidate polymers, which were then rapidly screened for their relevant properties. He then used this data to create computer models capable of successfully predicting the appropriate polymer composition within only 6 months.

As one of the world’s leading biomaterial scientists, Prof. Kohn describes his ultimate goal as “to increase the number of viable biomaterials candidates and to accelerate their development into medical devices that alleviate the pain and suffering of patients throughout the world”.

Bild von Prof. Burkhard Schultz, Prof. Andreas Lendlein, Prof. Dr Joachim Kohn und Prof. Nan Ma.

Prof. Burkhard Schultz, Prof. Andreas Lendlein, Prof. Dr Joachim Kohn und Prof. Nan Ma.Quelle: HZG/Fraeya Whiffin

This was a goal that the doctoral students in Teltow resonated with. In their discussion round with him, they learnt about his experiences with translating scientific research into the clinics and the use of computer modelling in polymer research.

To Prof. Kohn’s website