Prof. Dr. Tanja Weil

Prof. Dr. Tanja Weil joined the Max Planck Society in 2017 as one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, heading the division “Synthesis of Macromolecules”. She studied chemistry (1993–1998) at the TU Braunschweig (Germany) and the University of Bordeaux I (France) and completed her PhD at the MPI for Polymer Research under the supervision of K. Müllen. In 2003, she received the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society. From 2002 to 2008 she managed different leading positions at Merz Pharmaceuticals GmbH (Frankfurt) from Section Head Medicinal Chemistry to Director of Chemical Research and Development. In 2008 she accepted an Associate Professor position at the National University of Singapore. Tanja Weil joined Ulm University as Director of the Institute of Organic Chemistry III / Macromolecular Chemistry in 2010. She has received numerous competitive funding at both national and international level including a Synergy Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). She serves in many advisory boards and steering committees: she is a member of the senate of the German Research Foundation, a member of the senate of the Leibniz Association and of the Leibniz evaluation panel. Tanja is an associate editor for JACS and a member of the editorial advisory board of ACS Nano. Her scientific interests focus on innovative synthesis concepts to achieve functional macromolecules and hybrid materials to solve current challenges in biomedicine and material science. 


2020           Netherlands Scholar Award for Supramolecular Chemistry
2017           Honorary Professor Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
2016           Honorary Professor Ulm University
2014           Science Award of the City of Ulm
2012           Synergy Grant of the European Research Council (ERC)
2002           Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society, Germany

Selected Professional Activities

Since 2021           Associate Editor, Journal of the American Chemical Society, ACS
Since 2020           Board Member of the Mildred Scheel Foundation of the German Cancer Aid
Since 2019           Co-Director Max Planck-Bristol Centre for Minimal Biology
Since 2019           Scientific Advisory Board of the research field “Information” at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Since 2017           Member of the Senate of the German Research Foundation
Since 2016           Member of the Senate of the Leibniz Association and member of the evaluation panel

Publication Highlight

Comprehensive review on the progress of DNA–polymer conjugates, exploring the synthetic routes and state-of-the-art applications afforded through the combination of nucleic acids and synthetic polymers. more
Review on recent advancements in site-selective dual functionalization of proteins, their application and a future perspective of this exciting new field. more
A modular platform that incorporates intricate molecular recognition, immolative, and rearrangement chemistry to achieve synthetic assembly within living cells. more
We show that biomolecules, specifically proteins, provide an intrinsic macromolecular backbone for the construction of anisotropic brush polymers with monodisperse lengths via grafting-from strategy. more
Temporal and spatial control over polydopamine formation on the nanoscale can be achieved by installing an irradiation-sensitive polymerization system on DNA origami. more
We report a novel platform technology towards DNA–polymer nanostructures of various shapes by leveraging polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) for polymerization from single-stranded DNA (ssDNA). more
We report the synthesis of hybrid hydrogels by pH-controlled structural transition with exceptional rheological properties as cellular matrix. The strategy offers many attractive opportunities for 3D tissue engineering and other biomedical applications. more
We developed dynamic covalent interaction between boronic acids (BAs) and catechols (CAs) into pH-responsive synthetic nucleobase analogs. Sequence recognition at the macromolecular level was achieved by conjugating the cytochrome c protein to a complementary PEG chain in a site-directed fashion. more
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