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Manufacture Small Molecules, Small Molecules

Finding Humanity in Science

The 2015 Humanity in Science Award (www.humanityinscienceaward.com) was presented jointly to Peter Seeberger and Andreas Seidel-Morgenstern, directors at two collaborating Max Planck institutes in Germany, by our sister publication The Analytical Scientist. Their groundbreaking work in drug synthesis also won both scientists a spot on our 2015 Power List. By coupling flow chemistry with advanced chromatography methods, Seeberger and Seidel-Morgenstern were able to manufacture artemisinin-based therapies – the most effective drugs to treat malaria – from plant waste material, air and light. The science is innovative and exciting, and the potential impact of their project – and the concepts born from it – could really shake things up in the pharmaceutical industry.

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About the Authors

Peter Seeberger

Peter Seeberger’s research covers a broad range of topics from engineering to immunology. He is a director at the Max-Planck Institute for Colloids and Surfaces in Potsdam and Professor at the Free University of Berlin. Through his work in the area of neglected diseases, Peter has also become involved in philanthropic causes – he is a co-founder of the Tesfa-Ilg ‘Hope for Africa’ Foundation that aims to improve healthcare in Ethiopia.


Andreas Seidel-Morgenstern

After receiving his PhD from the Academy of Sciences in Berlin and working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Tennessee, Andreas Seidel-Morgenstern defended a Habilitation at the Technical University, Berlin before working for Schering AG. In 2002 he joined the Max Planck Institutes, where he is head of the Physical and Chemical Foundations of Process Engineering group. Andreas is interested in heterogeneous catalysis, the development of new reactor concepts, crystallization, adsorption and preparative chromatography. The results of his work are published in almost 400 research papers.

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