Prof. Dr. Seyla Benhabib

Distinguished Senior Scientist

Seyla Benhabib is the Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University and was Director of the Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics (2002-2008). Professor Benhabib was the President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in 2006-07, a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin in 2009, at the NYU Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice in Spring 2012, and at the German Marshall Fund’s Transatlantic Academy in Washington DC in Spring 2013. In 2009, she received the Ernst Bloch prize for her contributions to cultural dialogue in a global civilization and in May 2012, the Leopold Lucas Prize of the Evangelical Academy of Tubingen.  She holds honorary degrees from the Humanistic University in Utrecht in 2004, the University of Valencia in November 2010, from Bogazici University in May 2012, Georgetown (2014) and Universite de Geneve (2017). She received a Guggenheim grant during 2010-2011 for her work on sovereignty and international law.  Professor Benhabib was awarded the Meister Eckhart Prize of the Identity Foundation and the University of Cologne in May 2014 for her contributions of contemporary thought. Professor Benhabib was elected to be Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences (Summer 2018).

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Prof. Dr. Gunnar von Heijne

Distinguished Senior Scientist

Professor Nils Gunnar Hansson von Heijne is a Swedish scientist working on signal peptides, membrane proteins and bioinformatics at the Stockholm Center for Biomembrane Research at Stockholm University. Gunnar von Heijne graduated 1975 with a Master of Science degree in chemistry and chemical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). He then became a doctoral student in theoretical physics at KTH, in a research group focusing on statistical mechanics and theoretical biophysics, and was awarded his Ph.D. in 1980. In 1983 he was made docent in theoretical biophysics at KTH, where he remained until 1988. 1982-1985 he was active as a science reporter at Sveriges Radio. 1989-1994 he was active at Karolinska Institutet, and in 1994 he was made a professor in theoretical chemistry at Stockholm University. In 2012 he was awarded the Accomplishment by a Senior Scientist Award by the International Society for Computational Biology. Von Heijne is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 1997 and a member of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry from 2001 to 2009, and the Committees chairman from 2007 to 2009. In 2008, he received an honorary doctorate at Abo Academi.

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Prof. Dr. Nicola Spaldin

Distinguished Senior Scientist

Nicola Spaldin is Professor of Materials Theory at ETH Zurich, known for her pioneering research on multiferroics. Spaldin was inspired to search for multiferroics, magnetic ferroelectric materials, by a remark about potential collaboration made by a colleague studying ferroelectrics during her postdoctoral research at Yale University from 1996 to 1997. She continued developing the theory of these materials as a new faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and in 2000 published for the first time the explaination why few such materials were known. Following her theoretical predictions, she was part of a team that experimentally demonstrated the multiferroic properties of bismuth ferrite. Spaldin was the 2010 winner of the American Physical Society’s James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials, the 2015 winner of the Körber European Science Prize for „laying the theoretical foundation for the new family of multiferroic materials“ and one of the laureates of the 2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science. Spaldin is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (2008), the Materials Research Society (2011) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2013), and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2017.

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