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.
Netherlands Scholar Award for Supramolecular Chemistry
Honorary Professor Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Honorary Professor Ulm University
Science Award of the City of Ulm
Synergy Grant of the European Research Council (ERC)
Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society, Germany
Selected Professional Activities
Associate Editor, Journal of the American Chemical Society, ACS
Board Member of the Mildred Scheel Foundation of the German Cancer Aid
Co-Director Max Planck-Bristol Centre for Minimal Biology
Scientific Advisory Board of the research field “Information” at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Member of the Senate of the German Research Foundation
Member of the Senate of the Leibniz Association and member of the evaluation panel
We designed dual responsive dynamic covalent peptide tags combining a pH responsive boronate ester with fast association and dissociation rates, and a redox-active disulfide with slow formation and dissociation rate. In this way, some limitations in linker design can be overcome for controlled release in the tumor microenvironment.
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.