Studies and PhD in Physics (Diploma on Neutron Activation Analysis and PhD on Spin Contrast Variation to study the Ribosome Structure). Habilitation in biochemistry Ribosome structure and RNA).
I studied Physics in Hamburg and did a PhD in the Department of “Macromolecular Structure Research” headed by Heinrich Stuhrmann. After the defense of my thesis I planned to stay just a little longer to finish writing a paper about my PhD. I wrote job applications to industry and did not want to continue in science. But when I finally (more or less at first try) got a job as medical writer in a large international company I turned it down because in the mean time I had the chance to become Head of Department in 1997. Heinrich had decided to move on to Grenoble and my former Director of the Institute Richard Wagner found me suitable to do the job. So I stayed.
Currently 73 peer reviewed and 71 in non-peer reviewed journals or books. Numerous conference contributions.
I am living with my partner and do not have children. 70% of my time goes into work, 25% of the rest into family and maximum 5% is left for me (however: family is also for me). I try to keep my life-work balance by committing myself to sports (dancing, running, sailing – only in summer), cooking and meeting my friends.
My mentor was and still is Stefan Herms, a former director of GKSS, who helped me to develop my leadership style. My greatest inspiration is interdisciplinary work which I learned first in the HERCULES course. Nowadays it is the main driver of my current work: the development of better implant materials.
The most challenging thing was certainly to take over the position as Head of Department after my PhD Supervisor Heinrich Stuhrmann left to Grenoble. I was a normal group member for several years and should become the “boss” of my colleagues. That was really a problem for some of the elder group members. It became much better when after some time I had the freedom to choose my own co-workers and students.
Prof. Dr. Regine Willumeit
GKSS Research Center Geesthacht
Tel: +49 (0)4152 871291
Fax: +49 (0)4152 871356
Mobile: +49 (0)170 4316430