About Stefan Hell

About Stefan Hell

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014


Stefan W. Hell (born in 1962) received his doctorate in physics from the University of Heidelberg in 1990, followed by a research stay at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg. From 1993 to 1996, he worked as a senior researcher at the University of Turku, Finland, where he developed the principle of STED microscopy. In 1997, he moved to the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen (Germany), where he set up his research group dedicated to sub-diffraction-resolution microscopy. He was appointed as Max Planck Director there and was elected as scientific member of the Max Planck Society in 2002. Hell currently heads the Department of NanoBiophotonics at the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. At the same time, he is Director at the MPI for Medical Research in Heidelberg (Germany) where he heads the Department of Optical Nanoscopy. From 2003 to 2017, he was also head of the Optical Nanoscopy Division at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Heidelberg. Hell is Honorary Professor for Experimental Physics at the University of Göttingen and Honorary Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Heidelberg University.

Honors and Awards

Stefan Hell has received numerous national and international awards, including the Prize of the International Commission for Optics (2000), the Carl Zeiss Research Award (2002), the Innovation Award of the German Federal President (2006), the Julius Springer Award for Applied Physics (2007), the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (2008), the Lower Saxony State Award (2008), the Otto Hahn Prize for Physics (2009), the Ernst Hellmut Vits Prize (2010), the Familie-Hansen-Prize (2011), the Körber European Science Prize (2011), the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Prize (2010/11), the Science Prize of the Fritz Behrens Foundation (2012), the Paul Karrer Medal (2013), and the Carus Medal of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (2013). In 2014, he was awarded with the Kavli Prize for Nanosciences and with the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. In the same year, he was elected into the Hall of Fame der deutschen Forschung. Stefan Hell holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Turku (Finland), Vasile Goldis (Romania), the University Polytehnica of Bucharest (Romania), the KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm (Sweden), the King’s College London (United Kingdom), the University of Babeș-Bolyai Cluj-Napoca (Romania) as well as the ETH Zurich (Switzerland). He was elected as Lifetime Member of the Optical Society of America (USA) in 2014 and appointed Honorary Member by the European Physical Society, in the same year. Since 2015, he is also Honorary Member of the German Bunsen Society for Physical Chemistry. He received the Order of Merit of the State of Baden-Württemberg in 2015 and the Federal Cross of Merit in 2016.


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