Martin Lercher

Professor of Computer Science and Biology, Heinrich Heine University

Martin Lercher is Professor in the departments of Computer Science and Biology at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany. He heads the Computational Cell Biology research group, which explores the molecular organization and evolution of cellular systems, in particular metabolism. Their major aim is to understand design principles that arise from the optimization of complex systems through natural selection. The group builds and analyzes mechanistic models of biological systems, which are firmly grounded in physical and chemical descriptions. Combining these models with numerical optimization, evolutionary simulations, and biological data allows them to test ideas about the evolution of bacteria and plants.

Along with Dr. Itai Yanai, Dr. Lercher co-authored the popular science book The Society of Genes, which discusses how genes compete and cooperate in our genome. Also in collaboration with Dr. Yanai, Dr. Lercher discusses the exciting and significant parts of scientific research that occur behind the scenes, called “night science” and explores the creative side of scientific thinking in a collection of editorials in Genome Biology and associated podcasts

Scientific progress is unthinkable without creativity, without the generation of new ideas. And yet the creative side of the scientific process is hardly ever mentioned in science degree programs. With this GradFUTURES session, we want to change that – we want to take you on a tour into the exciting world of scientific creativity and to give you tools you can use in your own research!