Department of Physics at Freie Universität Honors Professor Junge for Pioneering Contributions to the Field of Biophysics.
News from Feb 09, 2015
The Department of Physics at Freie Universität Berlin granted an honorary doctorate to Professor Wolfgang Junge in recognition of his outstanding achievements in biophysics [1, 2]. The award ceremony took place during a special colloquium of the SFB 1078 on February 9, 2015 .
A native of Berlin, Wolfgang Junge majored in physics, mathematics, and electrical engineering at the Technical University of Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin between 1959 and 1965. After graduating with a degree in engineering and earning a doctorate, Junge completed the habilitation process in physical chemistry in 1971 at the Technical University. Junge was a visiting researcher in various locations including the United States, Spain, and Argentina. In 1979 Junge was appointed a professor of biophysics at Universität Osnabrück [2, 4, 5].
Professor Junge became well-known for his outstanding contributions to the study of bioenergetic processes that are essential for life on Earth: photosynthesis in plants and the production of ATP, which transports chemical energy within all cells and is crucial for metabolism. Besides Junge's pioneering works on the role of protons in photosynthesis, he provided pivotal contributions to the elucidation of the rotary mechanism of ATP synthesis by the Fo/F1 ATP-Synthase of chloroplasts and mitochondria. Junge's work is an essential foundation for the research being done at the SFB 1078 for Protonation Dynamics in Protein Function.
The speakers during the special colloquium and award ceremony included Professor Menachem Gutman (University of Tel Aviv, Israel) and Professor Ernst Bamberg (Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Frankfurt), who honored the merits of Professor Junge in his laudation. The colloquium was followed by a reception with former and present colleagues and friends accompanied by stimulating discussions.