I received my undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Hamburg (Germany). My doctoral thesis was concerned with the development of infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy for monolayers at the air/water interface. I came to the United States in 1994 as a postdoctoral student to join the research group of Professor Richard Mendelsohn at Rutgers University. During that time I conducted biomedical research directed at the biophysical characterization of lung surfactant proteins, bone tissue, and lipid/protein interactions.
In 1997 I returned to Germany and became a habilitation candidate at the Max Planck Group for liquid crystal research at the University of Halle. During this time, I initiated my independent research career, which is aimed at the biophysical characterization of lipid-mediated protein functions as well as the development of vibrational spectroscopic imaging for the characterization of human tissue. Before joining WPI in 2011, I spent 11 years at Kent State University as assistant and later associate professor and graduate program coordinator. My research is funded through grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. I strongly believe in the integration of research and teaching, and throughout my career I have secured several grants aimed at providing undergraduate students with enhanced educational and research experiences.
WPI offers an exceptional environment for inquiry and project-based learning, which is in my opinion the best and most inspiring way of teaching science. Science is taught at WPI in a societal context, which was for me an important aspect in deciding to join WPI.