Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies
School of Soft Matter Research
79104 Freiburg im Breisgau
Stefan Schiller studied chemistry at the Justus Liebig University Gießen, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. He received his diploma in organic chemistry in 1998 from the Johannes Gutenberg University. After working on a research project in the main laboratory of the BASF AG, he joined the MPI for Polymer Science where he completed his Ph. D. on biomimetic supramolecular membrane architectures. During this time he performed research at the IBM Research Center Almaden, San Jose, Stanford University, the Biotechnology Engineering Department, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel and the Manuel Lujan Los Alamos Neutron Scattering Center, Los Alamos. Since 2004 he has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California working on incorporating genetically encoded unnatural amino acids into proteins. In 2008, he joined the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) at the Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany, where he holds a junior research fellow position in the School for Soft Matter Research. His research interests focus on combining macromolecular chemistry with synthetic biology, including genetic engineering of proteins, to access biohybrid materials and to expand the structural & functional toolbox of artificial and natural macromolecules.
Bionic Chemistry & synthetic BioNanotechnology
The focus of our research can be described as bionic chemistry. We take molecular concepts from natural systems and redesign its molecules and functions via a novel approach combing the power of synthetic organic and macromolecular chemistry with synthetic biology and bionanotechnology to ask and answer challenging questions in chemistry, material science, biology and medicine.
Our concepts are applied in analyzing and controlling intracellular networks, especially via genetically encoded protein switches and unnatural amino acids the latter allowing to define posttranlational modifications; the development and understanding of new catalytic systems in their dynamic range based on, or mimiking enzyme functions (e.g. for for green polymer chemistry, renewable materials and biofuel); biomimetic platforms for dynamic epitope presentation, the biosynthesis of defined structural and functional molecular protein-LEGO building blocks e.g. based on elastine like proteins (ELPs) in regenerative medicine as dynamic extracellular matrix systems serving as stem cell niche, as template in biomineralization and as example for a protein based rubber materials; and last but not least donut shaped proteins in nanobiotechnology for example as defined biolabeling platforms utilizing quantum dots, molecular electronics and biological solar cells.