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    SCIAS Fellows

    Becoming a SCIAS-Fellow

    Internationally renowned researchers from universities and research facilities all over the world, who cooperate with faculties of JMU, can be appointed SCIAS-Fellow of the Siebold-Collegium Institute of Advanced Studies. 

    Requirements are:

    1. The title of professor or at least being a postdoc (minimum of four years since degree).
    2. Proven affinity to JMU (past stays in Würzburg, cooperation with Würzburger researchers, etc.).
    3. A stay of at least three month at SCIAS.
    4. A guest lecture of about 30-45 minutes on the current research topic.

    Our SCIAS-Fellows

    The Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg has hosted many excellent researchers who developed tight cooperation and connections with the university and the city of Würzburg. Here you can find some current and formerly leading researchers of different scientific disciplines which we are proud to call SCIAS Fellows.

    Dr. Toby Bell (Monash University in Melbourne) is a chemist. He received his doctorate from the University of Melbourne in 2002. The subsequent postdoctoral phase brought him to the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (Mülheim) and the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium). In 2009, he was appointed Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at Monash University and in 2014 he was appointed to a Tenure Track at Monash University. At Monash he heads an interdisciplinary research group using fluorescence techniques to study molecules and cells.

    Dr. Johanna Fassl is Professor of Art History and Visual Communication and the Co-Director of the Scholarships Without Borders Program at Franklin University Switzerland, where she is also an editor of the academic journal intervalla: platform for intellectual exchange. She received her PhD with distinction from Columbia University and established and directed CU’s Study Center Casa Muraro and academic program in Venice. Her research, supported by scholarships from the Mellon Foundation, Getty Research Institute, and the Swiss National Science Foundation, analyzes eighteenth-century art, specifically the work of Giambattista Tiepolo, within an interdisciplinary context of optics, philosophy, and the psychology of perception, placing a specific emphasis on the void and other forms of abstraction. Her second research area lies in contemporary art connected with trauma studies, investigating works by artists that respond to war or were produced during the flight from conflict zones.

    Peter Fineran is a professor at the University of Otago in New Zealand in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. As the head of the phage-host laboratory, he is investigating mechanisms by which bacteria defend themselves against bacteriophages - viruses that infect bacteria. In particular, his group is studying bacterial CRISPR-Cas, toxin-antitoxin and other defence systems, and how phages can overcome these defences. He aims to exploit these research findings to apply phages as new anti-infectives and use defence systems for biotechnological purposes.

    Prof. Fineran started his academic career at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in biochemistry. He completed his doctorate at Cambridge University, UK, where he also worked as a postdoctoral researcher before he started his own group in New Zealand in 2008. He has received numerous awards for his scientific achievements, including the Fleming Prize of the Microbiology Society (UK), and he was recently elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

    Prof. Flecha is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Barcelona. He was hired by the EC as chair of the Expert Group which elaborated the criteria of policy and societal impact of all sciences in the European scientific programme. Prof. Flecha is the first scientist in the categories of Social Impact and Gender Violence in Google Scholar. He has delivered lectures in Harvard and Cambridge and published articles in journals by those universities. Prof. Flecha founded CREA, a research center that collaborates with scholars of diverse disciplines like mathematics, physics, and health in developing the social impact of their studies. Some of his scientific creations are being implemented in more than 100 countries.


    Prof. Dr. Stefan Hofman (Boston University) is a leading expert in the research of anxiety and anxiety disorders. Since 2008, he is Professor of Psychology at the Department of Psychology of Boston University. He directs the Psychotherapy and Emotion Research Laboratory where he examines anxiety disorders with regard to treatment mechanisms, translational research, culture and mental health, motion research and psychopathology and nosology.


    The research focus of Dr. Zhenguo Huang (University of Technology Sydney) is in the field of new boron-containing compounds for potential applications in hydrogen storage and batteries as well as the growth of large and few-layered h-BN nanosheets and borophene, and their novel applications. He currently is a Senior Researcher at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of Technology Sydney.


    Prof. Keisuke Kawamoto, M.D., Ph.D. is an expert physician in hematology and general internal medicine in Japan. After finishing the residency programs of hematology and internal medicine, Prof. Kawamoto became a graduated school student for researching the biology of malignant lymphoma at Kurume University (Hematopathology, Prof. Koichi Ohshima Lab) because he experienced a lot of patients with poor prognostic hematological malignancies as a physician. Prof. Kawamoto's main work is research on T/NK-cell type malignant lymphoma by using histopathological analysis. T/NK-cell lymphoma shows poor prognosis because no effective treatment is still established. Prof. Kawamoto became a researcher at the Institute of Pathology JMU since 2022 and he is currently challenging for the subclassifying T/NK-cell malignant lymphoma by trying novel approaches in order to improve the prognosis of T/NK-cell type malignant lymphoma.

    Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Kumigashira (Tohoku University) is one of the leading experts in the field of oxide nanostructures, photoemission spectroscopy and x-ray absorption spectroscopy. He has a Ph.D. in Physics and holds the chair of the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials (IMRAM) at Tohoku University and of the Photon Factory, Institute of Materials Structure Science (IMSS) from the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK).


    Mikhail Lopatin received his B.A, M.A (with distincition) and PhD in Musicology from the P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow (Title of the PhD-Thesis: "Franco-Flemish Masses of the Fiftheenth Century: Issues of Stylistic Development"). His main research focus have been in canons and canonic techniques of Trecento and early Quattrocento music. After his dissertation Mikhail Lopatin initially worked as a lecturer at the Tchaikovsky Convervatory. Lopatin then held positions at internationally renowned institutions: He received a "Swiss Federal Government Scholarship", was Visiting Fellow at the Villa I Tatti at Harvard University (Center for Italien Renaissance Studies, Florence), and Newton Intrerantional Fellow at the University of Oxford (St. Hugh's College). From 2018 to 2020 he is a Humboldt Fellow at the JMU.

    During his research stay at the University of Würzburg, Mikhail Lopatin received the renowned "Westrup Prize" for his article "Metapoesis in Trecento Song: 'Divisio' at the Intersection of Love, Poetic Form, and Music" in the journal "Music and Letters" (Vol. 99, 2018).

    Prof. Dr. José Hernán Muriel Ciceri (Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico) is a legal scholar. After studying at the Santo Tomás University in Bogotá (Colombia), he obtained an LL. M. at the University of Konstanz. He then completed his doctorate there under the supervision of Prof. em. Dr. Dr. h. c. Dieter Lorenz with the thesis "Die Übertragung der Abfallentsorgung auf Dritte" (2006). After several years of practical and academic work in Colombia, he has held a professorship at the University Tecnológico de Monterrey in Puebla (Mexico) since 2021.

    In addition to law and technology, Prof. Muriel's research focuses primarily on financial market law, private international law, and environmental and energy law. The cooperation with his Würzburg colleague Prof. Dr. Markus Ludwigs has resulted in a jointly published international conference volume on the topic of "Administrative Law and Sustainable Development (Derecho administrativo y desarrollo sostenible)" ( Another anthology on "Digitalisation as a Challenge for Justice and Administration (La digitalización como reto para la justicia y la administración)" will be published shortly.

    Prof. Peter Arnt Nielsen (Copenhagen Business School) is a legal scholar. After graduating in law from the University of Copenhagen, he received his doctorate there in 1999. After holding judicial positions, he has been a professor at the Copenhagen Business School since 2007 and heads the legal department there. Prof. Nielsen has been a member of numerous legislative committees and working groups in the European Union. He is also a member of the Groupe européen de droit international privé and the International Academy of Comparative Law.

    His research focuses on international arbitration, mediation, litigation, Danish and international contract law and European private law.

    Prof. Dr. Alicia Ponte-Sucre (Central University of Venezuela, UCV) is one of the leading experts regarding the themes Leishmania and Trypanosoma. Prof. Dr. Alicia Ponte-Sucre holds a Magister Scientiarum in Biology (Physiology and Biophysics) and a Doctor of Sciences (Pharmacology). She is Full Professor in Human Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine, UCV. She has several scientific affiliations in her field and acts as external advisor of diverse national and international institutions for projects and scholarships and referee for national and international journals. She is member of the Directorate of the Venezuelan-German cultural organization, named Humboldt Cultural Association. This corporation was founded in Caracas in 1949, with the special task of deepening the ties between Venezuela and Germany, and to promote cultural scientific exchanges between the two countries.

    Professor Subhabrata Sen, since July 2019 Professor Designate of Chemistry at Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida, near New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, India. He will join this position from July 2019, was the head of the Department of Chemistry at Shiv Nadar University until July 2018. From 2002 to 2012, he gained experience in pharmaceutical industry in companies like Chemocentryx Inc., USA, BASF-India, Pfizer-VMPS before joining academia in 2013. So far, he has mentored seven Ph.D. students. He is an editorial board member of Wiley Journals (Drug Development Research). So far, he has more than fifty peer-reviewed publications in internationally reputed journals and holds several world and US patents. Among the numerous awards he received is the Siebold Collegium Fellowship from University of Würzburg in 2017.

    Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Zahit Tiryaki graduated from Marmara University Faculty of Theology in 2005. In 2007, he completed his master's degree at the Marmara University Institute of Social Sciences with his thesis titled "The Analysis of Mehmed Emin Üsküdârî's Şerhu Tehzîbi'l-Mantık" and in 2015, he completed his doctorate with his thesis titled "Imagination/Cogitation and Estimation in Ibn Sina's Philosophy". Tiryaki conducted research on his research topics at the University of Jordan in 2010-2011 and at Yale University in 2012-2013. Currently working as a lecturer at Istanbul Medeniyet University, Faculty of Letters, Department of Philosophy, Department of Islamic Philosophy, Tiryaki's main area of interest is theories of the soul and philosophy of mind in their classical and contemporary aspects. Focusing more specifically on the approaches to the soul-body relation in the classical and post-classical periods of Islamic philosophy and theology, Tiryaki traces the approaches to the mind-body relation from the early periods of the history of philosophy to the contemporary period. In this long-scale reading, Tiryaki argues that despite the conceptual differences and transformations in various periods, the mind-body problem and the basic approaches such as dualism and materialism developed to solve this problem can be read within a problematic continuity. Tiryaki, who thinks that the conceptual and historical transformations in the mind-body problem can only be fully understood through such a long-scale historical reading, and in this sense adopts both a historical and problematic reading, understanding and interpretation framework for the mind-body problem, tries to situate the approaches to the soul-body relation in the classical and post-classical periods of Islamic philosophy and theology within the general history of philosophy.


    Ass. Prof. Dr. Masanori Tsunekawa (Shiga University) is an expert on the topic of Photoemission. He has a Ph.D. in Physics and is currently Assitant Professor at the Faculty of Education, Shiga University.

    Prof. Dr. Horacio Vanegas-Fischbach (formerly Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research, IVIC) is a Neurobiology scientist. He holds a Bachelor in Medicine and Surgery, a Doctor of Philosophy from Yale University, and has been a full professor at the department of Biophysics and Biochemistry at the IVIC for several years.


    The research interests of Prof. Dr. Francesco Verde's (Sapienza University of Rome) include, among others, History of Ancient Philosophy, Classical Philology, Greek and Roman Literary and Philosophical Culture, History of Ancient Physics, History of Greek Mathematics and Philosophical Historiography of the Ancient World. He has a Ph.D. degree in Philosophy and is currently Adjunct Professor of History of Ancient Philosophy at Sapienza University of Rome.


    Prof. Dr. Zuowei Xie is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Hong Kong Academy of Sciences. He is a Choh-Ming Li Professor of Chemistry in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He received a BSc degree from Hangzhou University in 1983 and a MSc in 1986 from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He earned his PhD in Chemistry in 1990, working in a joint PhD program offered by Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technische Universität Berlin. Prof. Xie’s main research interests center around the chemistry of (super)carboranes, metallacarboranes and low-valent main group elements, as well as catalytic B-H bond functionalization. He has published over 350 scientific papers and received numerous honors and awards including the Humboldt Research Award (2022), Inaugural Hong Kong Research Grants Council Senior Research Fellowship (2020), the State Natural Science Prize (2008).