News

23.12.2022 – Holiday Break

holiday The End (of the Year) Is Nigh - and we say goodbye for a short Holiday Break! Happy Holidays! See you again in 2023 with new adventures and science from our lab!




14.12.2022 – Goodbye Party for Brian

goodbye-brian Time to say goodbye to Dr. Brian Pieter Corbet, one of our first group members and first postdoc of the lab, who signed up to help starting up the lab, do a bit of science, and supervise one, maybe two students. Eventually, Brian supervised and co-supervised a whole bunch of (under-)graduate students, set up literally every instrument, authored a paper after only a few months, was involved in serval other projects, and, and, and…Brian, thank you so much for being with us and all your help, you will be dearly missed! All the best for your future, we are looking forward to your visits!
As Brian was (maybe still is?) the group’s master of ceremonies, he used the evening’s opportunity to promote Nils to our specialist for fire and flames. Congratulations!


09.12.2022 – End of the Year Get-Together/Christmas Party

christmas As December turned out to be a hectic period, we had an early Christmas-Themed Get-Together to celebrate the end of the year with all (honorary) group members, our students, and our dear friends from the Diederichsen Group. Everyone contributed to a wonderful buffet and a great decoration and Nils prepared Feuerzangenbowle to complete the selection of drinks. We showed off Christmas outfits and played Secret Santa and White Elephant – traditions to be continued next year!

07.12.2022 – Our Review on Artificial Peptides is Accepted!

peptide-review Our Review “Artificial peptides to induce membrane denaturation and disruption and modulate membrane composition and fusion” is online! It was compiled by Ilze, Elena, and Nils Hesselbarth as part of the tribute collection for their late mentor Ulf Diederichsen. Congratulations to all authors!

26.11.2022 – Outreach - Nadja speaks at Saturday Morning Science

saturday morning science The Organizers of “Saturday Morning Science” , a cooperation of the JungChemikerForum (JCF), the young Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft (jDPG), and the local groups of Biology und Geological Sciences, invited Nadja to give a lecture on Dyes for Medicine and Imaging for pupils and students interested in STEM fields. Thank you so much for this opportunity to engage with such a young and interested audience.

24.11.2022 – PowerPoint Karaoke & Thanksgiving

thanksgiving The lab came together to have dinner on the occasion of American Thanksgiving, which was combined with German Glühwein. Afterwards, we practiced our presentation skilled by playing PowerPoint Karaoke organized by Elisa. Several group members contributed customized presentation featuring great topics such as Travelling with DB and Pinguins.




11.11.2022 – Department Seminar in Uppsala

Nadja in Uppsala Nadja was invited to visit the Angströmlaboratoriet at the University of Uppsala and present the group’s research at the department seminar – the very first external seminar talk! She spent an exciting day in meeting the local researchers and learn about their endeavors in photo- and main group chemistry. Many thanks to Sascha Ott for the invite and the whole department for their hospitality.

09.11.2022 – NMR Installation

newsspinsolve Christmas came early this year: today our new Spinsolve 60 Benchtop NMR was installed remotely. The machine is now up and running and will help us to quickly analyse compounds and reactions mixtures based on the 19F or 1 H spectra.




08.11.2022 – Post-Retreat Event

Post_retreat The lab came together to take care of unfinished business from the group’s retreat and finally designed our t-shirts and exchanging photos and memories. In the same process, we awarded the prize for the “Simeth Group Retreat Task List Fulfilment” that was given to Elena this year. Congrats – may this be the start of a long tradition!



Later in November 2022 – Ayse and Muaz start their internships

ayse_muaz Ayse and Muaz join us for their Abteilungspraktika! Ayse will work with Elena anchoring artificial peptide hybrids onto vesicular membranes and Muaz with support Elisa in making nucleotide analogues to study the fastest known enzymes. Welcome to both!

03.11.2022 – Meet the Editor - with Stefano Protti

Talk_Protti Today Prof. Dr. Stefano Protti from the University of Pavia, Italy, visited us virtually and gave a talk on his previous work as referee and (guest) editor for the Specialist Periodical Reports on Photochemistry and for different scientific journals. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us!





November 2022 – Felix starts his internship and Milan rejoins the group

Boot In early November, we welcome Felix, who will support Nils in his “spicy” project on photoresponsive channel modulators during his Abeitlungspraktikum, and we welcome back Milan, who will do his Master’s thesis with us. Milan will work on the photochemical release of metabolites with novel target-specific tools. Have a good start!


30.10.2022 – The first research paper is accepted!

first_paper It is out! Exactly one months after submission, the first research article of the lab was accepted for publications in Eur. J. Org. Chem. as part of the special issue “#NextGenOrgChem”!! Many congratulations to Brian, Malte, and Elena and a special thanks to our collaborator Stefano Crespi (University of Uppsala) for his support. Check out how we combined dihydroazulene photoswitches and peptides and what we learned from that here. Let it be the first of many 😊

24-27.10.2022 – Conference Time: Ilze, Elisa, and Elena give talks!

italy_conference A part of the team joined the “2nd Virtual Symposium for Young Organic Chemists” . The abstracts of Ilze, Elisa, and Elena were selected as oral contributions and the three gave talks on Thursday presenting their individual PhD topics. Great job and exceptionally well done!





October 2022 -Pia, Marga, Leon, and Hossein join!

Boot October came with a fresh wind and many new faces: Hossein, who is a Humboldt fellow with MBExC colleague Wolfram Zimmermann, will do the synthetic part of his work as a guest in our lab. Pia and Marga are joining us for their Master’s lab rotation. Pia will be working with Elena on the synthesis and characterization of unnatural amino acids and Marga will support Brian in his work on chromatogonally orthogonal chemistry. Leon will start his Bachelor’s work under the guidance of Dongchen and Nils developing novel smart labelling agents for proteins.


15-19.10.2022 – Group Retreat in Wremen!

retreat On Saturday noon, we started our train trip North to arrive at a small holiday apartment in Wremen, right next to the North Sea. The following three days were packed with scientific lectures, presentation training, and team building events, such as a bike tour along the coast, visiting the Zoo in Bremerhaven under heavy rain, and a hike to a local watch tower. Special thanks to Dr. Katrin Rustler, who joined us virtually as external speaker explaining us what she is doing at Iris Biotech (https://www.iris-biotech.de/) and to everyone for their contributions to science, the cooking evenings and the general organization making this event a great success!


12-14.10.2022 – ENLIGHT Workshop & Get-together with the Crespis and the Brownies

enlight_group Together with fellow junior faculty Anna Krawczuk and Dan Obenchain, Nadja organized a workshop on “Observable Solvent Effects” supported by a grant of the ENLIGHT network in Göttingen. We welcomed representatives from the lab of Emilio Cocinero (Universidad del País Vasco, Spain), Wesley Browne (University of Groningen, the Netherlands), and Stefano Crespi (Uppsala University, Sweden) and Brian and Elena joined from our group. After the workshop, the whole lab used the opportunity to mingle with the Crespis and the Brownies, showing them our local bouldering gym and going out for dinner!

30.09.2022 – Submission and Birthday Party – the Lab turns 1!

1st_birthday The last day of September was a special day for several reasons: just making the deadlines, we submitted our first review and research paper in the afternoon. Then, we smoothly transitioned into celebrating this milestone achievement together with the first birthday of our lab. Thanks for everyone from both our and the Diederichsen group and some friends and adopted members joining! Enjoy your long, well-deserved weekend and keep your fingers crossed!




29.09.2022 – Nadja speaks at the U4Society Leadership Training event in Göttingen

U4_logo Nadja was invited to speak about her experiences on transition periods at the U4Society Leadership Training event in Göttingen together with local colleague Kata Moser and Tina Kretschmer and, Benjamin Leruth, members of Young Academy Groningen. Specifically, Nadja focused on her starting period as an assistant professor and reported on her new tasks and the challenges facing bureaucracy – surprising some of the Finish delegates that we still use stamps and ink at German universities 😊

27.09.2022 – 2nd München-Leiden Symposium (Virtual)

münchen_leiden The group attended the 2nd München-Leiden Symposium (Virtual) and spent a part of the day on listening to exciting talks featuring the latest developments in Chemical Biology.




20.09.2022 – Amrita joins as new postdoc

Amrita_joins Today, Amrita Chaudhuri joins us as a postdoctoral fellow supported by a start-up grant of the CRC1190. She comes to us after a PhD at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and a short postdoctoral stay in Frankfurt. Welcome and much success with you research!


19.-22.09.2022 – 28th Lecture Conference on Photochemistry in Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf Brian went to Düsseldorf to represent the lab at the 28th Lecture Conference on Photochemistry. He presented our work on DHA-based peptidic switches as a poster and was additionally selected for an oral flash presentation!




15.09.2022 – Goodbye to Hanna, Laurin, and Malte

Boot Time to say goodbye to three of our long-term students: Malte was the first member of the Simeth group and finished his studies. Laurin was with us since the early days for a project that transitioned into his Bachelor’s thesis and later as HiWi. Also, Hanna stayed with us for almost one year for her internship and her Bachelor’s project that she did together with the Janshof lab. Both with switch university for their masters. Best of luck to the three of you! Keep us updated on your endeavors and stay in touch!

13.09.2022 – Malte submits his Master’s Thesis

Malte_thesis The 13th of September was a special day for the lab – our very first lab member Malte, who joined us in December 2022 when there was not even a round bottom flask, submitted his Master’s Thesis together with his birthday! Thank you for your dedication and hard work, we are very proud of you being the first Master’s graduate of the lab!



11.-14.09.2022 – MACH5 in Plön

plön_group Nadja went to the castle of Plön to join the very first MACH5 (Molecular Machinery: Modelling, Making, Measuring) conference in the beautiful North of Germany jointly organized by Rainer Herges and Alberti Credi to bring the next generation of molecular machinists together. Thanks so much for the invitation to join this phenomenal meeting, we are looking forward to seeing you again in 2024 in Italy – on another castle 😊


05.-07.09.2022 – ORCHEM in Münster

orchem_conference A part of the lab travelled to Münster to join this years ORCHEM – in person!! Elena, Elisa, Ilza, and Nils presented posters and Nils’ poster was selected for an oral flash presentation additionally! The four enjoyed their very first conference trip, the fantastic science and the city of Münster and already planning the next one…




01.09.2022 - Tun-Hui starts his internship

Boot Tun-Hui starts his Abteilungspraktikum and becomes the first internal intern that we welcome in the lab. He will be working with Dongchen and new labeling approaches for peptides and proteins. Welcome Tun-Hui!


27.08-05.09.2022 – Nadja guides a workshop on Photochemistry in Wroclaw

Summer_Academy Nadja together with her long-term collaborator Stefano Crespi (University of Uppsala) travelled to Wroclaw (Breslau) in Poland for a Summer Academy of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes and led there a workshop on Photochemistry in the broadest sense. The 10 days were full of exciting discussions, bright moments, and enlightened students. Thanks all for your great contributions!

03.08.2022 – Jannis submits his Bachelor’s Thesis

jannis Jannis submits his thesis and becomes Bachelor Nr 3 of the laboratory! He spent the last three months with Nils synthesizing highly functionalized dyes and studying their photolysis reactivity in different solvents. Congratulations on your nice thesis – we hope to see you soon again!

11.08.2022 – Outreach time! Elena and Brian meet the XLAB

XLAB2022 On Thursday we had young visitors around – a group of four international high school students, that is taking part in the XLAB International Science Camp 2022 visited us to see how we use luminescence in our research. Elena and Brian spent the morning with the group and explained the basics of UV-Vis absorption and emission spectroscopy. Then, they helped the students to synthesize their own fluorophores. The group followed the reaction by UV-Vis and analyzed the quality of emission properties using fluorescence spectroscopy. The final experiment they performed together was a quenching study, which eventually allowed them to see and understand FRET effects. An exciting morning and a great experience!

09.08.2022 – BENCh Lecture

bench Nadja give a lecture for BENCh to talk about “Studying the (photo)isomerization pathways of organic photoswitches in a cross-disciplinary approach”, introducing the merger of theory and experiment she used during her PhD and postdoc work and her plans on how to exploit similar tools in the current and future research of the group. Thanks a lot to Dan Obenchain for the invitation and acting as a chair person – and obviously for initiating a BENCh-Beer-Brezen event!


08.08.2022 – Group Outing!

group_outing This time our group outing was a bit more local – but not less explorative! We split up into three teams and had a treasure hunt through Göttingen downtown solving (more or less) tricky riddles and tackling several picture challenges. Afterwards, we came together to enjoy a summer BBQ and cold beers together.


August 2022 – Welcome to Stefano

dinner_ste Junior group leader Dr. Stefano Crespi, University of Uppsala, Sweden, will stay a few weeks at the Department on Chemistry to strengthen existing collaborations and kick-start new ones. To introduce him properly to Göttingen, Nadja and a few (junior) group leaders took him for Italian dinner. Great having you here!


29.07.2022 - End of the Semester Paella & BBQ

Semesterabschluss_SS22 To celebrate the end of the lecture period this summer, the team came together with friends from the Diederichsen Group, the Walker Group, the Bismuto Lab, the Alcarazo Group, and the Obenchain Lab. Manuel prepared Spanish Paella, which we combined with a BBQ and some beers. Great way to finalize the semester!

20.07.2022 - Italian Aperitivo

apero_1 The group – missing some members due to the holiday season – came together with friends to enjoy an Italian aperitivo with carefully selected imported goods mixed with (more or less) local specialties. A very divertingly event on a quite warm July evening that needs to be repeated soon!

04.07.2022 - FCI funds our research

FCI The week started with great news! Our lab received a Material Costs Allowance from the Fonds der Chemischen Instustrie (FCI). Thank you so much for your support!

30.06.2022 - Jannis receives a teaching prize!

jannis_herling Our very own Jannis Herling received a prize for his outstanding teaching achievements in Inorganic Chemistry tutoring the first year's lab course! The ceremony took place at the 14th Göttinger ChemieForum of the University organized by the JCF. Congratulations, Jannis, on this very well-deserved award!


26.06.2022 - Soccer Tournament

Fußball2022 Hanna, Jannis, Elisa, and Nadja went to do some sports last Sunday - despite burning sun and hot temperatures - and competed in the department’s soccer tournament organized by the Fachschaft Chemie. While Hanna and Nadja ended on place 3, Elisa’s team made it to the finals and finished on place 2! Now we have one year to recover and practice to join with an own team in the coming summer!


22. & 23.06.2022 - Summer Festival & Group Meeting BBQ

bbq_june The group enjoyed the nice weather in June joining the department’s Summer festival 2022 organized by the Fachschaft Chemie on Wednesday and moved the group meeting to the institute’s terrace practicing flash presentation of the individual projects. We had a great time and completely forgot to take proper pictures…

20.06.2022 - Schlag den Prof!

Schlag_den_prof Team Simeth consisting of Nils, Frida, Nils Hesselbarth ( Diederichsen Group), and Nadja competed at the joint event of the young sections of DPG and JCF Göttingen Schlag den Prof. The team made the second place in a tight match against team Ropers from the physics showing hidden talents in building electronic circuits and geography! Thanks for the great organization and group members and friends for your support!

19-22.06.2022 - ISCHA6 in Göttingen

ISCHA6 Dongchen and Nadja joined the International Symposium on C-H activation (ISCHA) with scholarships from the Wöhler Research Institute for Sustainable Chemistry (Thank you!). The meeting took place in Göttingen this year and was organized by conference chair Lutz Ackermann featuring the most recent developments in C-H functionalization by the most diverse methodologies.

13.06.2022 - MBExC Meeting

mbexc_june2022 Brian, Dongchen, and Nadja joined an internal symposium of the MBExC to meet colleagues and discuss next steps will collaborators.
Also, Nadja was elected as a deputy member of the research cluster's board. Looking forward to the new tasks to come!


June 2022 - Milan starts

milan beginnt In early June 2022 Milan Weitzel started his internship (Abteilungspraktikum) with us. He will work together with Brian, synthesize(d) a couple of dyes and will focus on comparing their characterization via in operando UV-Vis, HPLC-MS, and in operando NMR. Welcome to the Group!


Later in May 2022 - Coming & Going

Laurin, Ferdinand, Immanuel Laurin submitted his thesis and became the second Bachelor of the group! He worked with Elisa and synthesized substrate analogous for OMPD. He will be missed - but not for long as he will come back to work with us over the summer as a HiWi. In contrast, Ferdinand will leave us for longer as he finished his internship and went back to Munich to continue his PhD there. Good luck with this endeavor, we are looking forward to you visiting us again! And last but not least: Immanuel just joined our team for his Master's thesis - he will work on bringing many different dyes together to probe membrane interactions. Welcome!

18.05.2022 - Bier & Brezeln

Bier und Brezeln 2022 Nadja was invited by the Fachschaft Chemie to speak at the first Beer & Pretzels lecture of the semester to explain the research of the group to the students of the department. Using photochromism, she showed the spatiotemporat resolution of light (See Video).
Many thanks for the invitation and organisation of the event (incl. Tegernseer beer!), and a special thanks to Mr. Frauen, who did an excellent job as chairperson. It was great to see so many interested students in the lecture hall - we are looking forward to welcoming many of you in our labs to show you more of the magic of light!

14.05.2022 - Hiking Trip to the Brocken

Wanderung zum Broken On a sunny Saturday, the team travelled to Torfhaus in the Harz mountains and hiked from there to the Brocken. As we managed the climb pretty well, we decided to take a different route back and went via the Eckertalsperre to Bad Harzburg crossing the former border of East and West Germany. On the way, we saw a lot of other things to do, so we definitely will be back! For now, we are looking forward to a relaxing Sunday 😊
Special kudos go to Jannis, who acted as guide!


12.05.2022 - First BBQ of the season

BBQ_May It was finally time for "Angrillen" - we had the first BBQ of the season together with the Diederichsen Group, the Walker Group, the Bismuto Lab, and the Alcarazo Group. It was great to mingle between the different working groups and get to know each other in this informal setting :)



09. and 11.05.2022 - Elena organizes Pint of Science Göttingen

pintofscience Elena and her colleagues from the local Pint of Science Team bring the worldwide famous event to life in Göttingen. They put together a fantastic program and our group went out to join the event and support our friend and colleague from Physical Chemistry, Dan Obenchain . Unfortunately, it was over much too fast, and we can’t wait for next year!
If you are interested to join or to contribute, please contact the local organizers!

May 2022 - Two New Arrivals

Jannis and Ferdinand Spring brings fresh faces into the lab! We welcome Jannis Herling, who joins us for his Bachelor's project. He will work together with Nils on photolabile compounds. Our second new chemist is Ferinand Kiss, a PhD student from the de Vivie-Riedle Group at the LMU Munich. Ferdinand will stay with us for two weeks and work together with Brian.


19.04.2022 - PhD Defense in Groningen

Promotion_Jana_volaric Nadja traveled to Groningen to join the PhD ceremony of Jana Volaric as a member of the opposition. After more than three years of working together in the lab, sharing an office, and writing an enormous review article together, it was great to take part in this very special day – even wearing a toga (special thanks to Wiktor Szymanski!). All the best for your postdoc, Dr. Volaric!

11.04.2022 - Spring-Break Get-Together

Ostern 2022 We used the (a bit) calm(er) week(s) before Easter for larger project discussions and brainstromed ideas which directions we want to explore in our individual studies. To close the week and send a few group members on holidays, the team came together to enjoy some cakes and sweets.
We wish you a nice Easter/Spring break and welcome you back in a few days when the Semester starts!

28.03.-01.04.2022 - MBExC Retreat

retreat22 Nadja joined the MBExC's retreat 2022 in Ramsau, Austria. She introduced the research of the group to the other members of the Cluster and brainstormed possibilities for furture joint projects. Five days packed with science and discussions on all levels went by far too quickly. A big "Thank you" to the organizers around Heike, Susann, Janina, Fritz and Tobias for making this memorable event possible!

21-23.03.2022 - Chemiedozententagung '22

chemiedozententagung Together with colleagues from the department, Nadja traveled to Saarbrücken to attend the Chemiedozententagung 2022. A great opportunity to catch up with old friends and explore opportunities for new collaborations. Many thanks to the organizers for putting together this great meeting!

21.03.2022 - Frida submits her Thesis

Frida gibt ihre Bachelorarbeit ab As the first Bachelor's student of the group, Frida submitted her thesis today! Over the past months, she worked with Nils on the synthesis and characterization of novel photoactive biomolecules and studied them using our fiber-coupled UV-Vis spectrometer. Thank you for your hard work and valuable contributions and all the best for your ongoing studies!

03.03.2022 - First Group Event

group-outing1 The team came together for a first team event: We had a short workshop on project design and discussed different approaches and important aspects of designing and conducting a research project. Afterwards, we went bowling. While we actually played in two teams against each other, it became quickly clear that individual mentor-trainee competitions dominated the evening - with our undergraduates challanging their supervisors.

01.03.22 - Sabine and Dongchen join!

sabine schacht und dongchen du Sabine Schacht takes up her new position as secretary of the junior research groups of our institute and will consequently support our group from the administrative side. Dongchen just finished his Master's project with the Heinis Group and will join us for his PhD. Welcome to both! We're happy to have you with us!

February 23-28 - New equipment and new Light

hplc_Dunkelraum The last couple of days were busy and exciting for the lab - we finally got our new HPLC-MS system installed and also changed the light in our darkroom. We are looking forward to study our molecules with the new equipment and learn more about their properties.

February 2022 - Welcome to Brian

Brian_Corbet Brian Corbet starts as the first postdoc in our lab! He just graduated from the Feringa Lab and will work on wavelength-orthogonal functional systems. Just arrived, he directly initiated Denksport sessions that will take place twice a month for the whole group.

January 2022 - Let there Be Light!

Belichtete Reaktionen Exciting times - Frida, Nils, and Malte synthesized the first photoresponsive compounds of the lab! Next up, adjusting the scale and introducing some functional units :)


27.01.2022 - Highlight in Angewandte Chemie published

Highlight_angwandte Chemie Nadja's highlight "A Molecular Pump Facilitates Mechanical Adsorption Away from Equilibrium" on the recent Science paper of Astumian and Stoddart was published in Angewandte Chemie!



02, 03, and 09.12.2021 - Talks in December

PowerPoint Titel Seite Nadja joins the Network Meeting for Humboldt Committee Members to speak about her experiences as a Feodor-Lynen Fellow on 02.12 and introduces the research of the group to the members of the Hertha-Sponer-College during their retreat (03/12) and to the Chemistry department during the GDCh Christmas Colloquium 2021 (09/12).

December 2021 - First Group Members arrive!

Boot Exciting times! The first group members arrive: Nils and Malte join the group for their PhD and Master's projects, respectively, and Frida will do her Bachelor's thesis in our lab working with Nils. PhD students Elena, Elisa, and Ilze from the Diederichsen Group, supported by their Bachelor students, Hanna and Laurin, will do their projects in collaboration with our lab.

29-30.11.2021 - Photopharmacology III

PhotopharmaIII Nadja joined the 3rd International Conference on Photopharmacology, which took place as online edition. She presented a poster and gave an oral flash presentation.
Many thanks to Dirk Trauner and Drew Woolley for putting together an impressive line-up of speakers and bringing this fantastic meeting to our offices and homes!

08-10.11.2021 - Humboldt Network Meeting

humboldt logoNadja traveled to Köln to join the first Hybrid edition of the Network Meeting of the Humboldt Foundation and gave a talk there on research she did during her time as Feodor-Lynen Fellow in Groningen.
Lots of fun and great people both on site and online!

01.10.2021 - The Lab opens!

Bilderserie IOBC Labortür AusweiseAfter an finishing her postdoc with Ben Feringa, Nadja moves to Göttingen to start as an Assistant Professor at the IOBC and at the MBExC.