Kerstin Göpfrich

Full Professor

Portrait Kerstin Göpfrich


Max Planck Institute for Medical Research
Jahnstr. 29, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Room 161A
Tel.: +49 6221 486-443
E-Mail: kerstin.goepfrich(at)

About me

I have always been curious about fundamental questions in science and long fascinated by the idea to engineer a cell from scratch. I am a professor at Heidelberg University at the Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH) and I am leading the Max Planck Reseach Group Biophysical Engineering of Life. Previously, as a Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in Stuttgart, I worked on bottom-up synthetic biology and microfluidics with Joachim Spatz. In April 2017, I completed my PhD in physics as a Gates Cambridge Fellow at the University of Cambridge, UK, where I built DNA origami nanopores in the group of Ulrich Keyser.

If I don’t do science, I like talking about it with students and the wider public, via webvideoconferencing on Ring-a-Scientist, twitter, youtube or media outlets like The Naked Scientists (BBC – Radio 5 live), ZDF neo or Spektrum der Wissenschaft.

Short Bio

2022 – present Full professor (W3), Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), Heidelberg University
2019 – present Independent Max Planck Research Group Leader
Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany
Member of the Excellence Cluster 3D Matter Made to Order
Fellow of the Max Planck School Matter to Life
2017 – 2019 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow
Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, Germany
2013 – 2017 Ph.D. in Physics
Gates Cambridge Fellow, Winton Fellow
Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
2012 – 2013 M.Phil. in Physics
Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
2009 – 2012 B.Sc. in Physics and Molecular Medicine
University of Erlangen, Germany