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Organic chemist Feringa appointed Academy Professor

22 April 2008
Prof. Ben Feringa
KNAW president dr. Van Oostrom congratulates prof. Feringa (photo: Elmer Spaargaren)

Prof. Ben L. Feringa, professor of Synthetic Organic Chemistry at the University of Groningen has been appointed an Academy Professor. The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) announced this Thuesday. Prof. Harry R. Büller (Vascular Medicine, University of Amsterdam), Prof. Frank G. Grosveld (Molecular Cell Biology, Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Prof. Pierre J.G.M. de Wit (Molecular Phytopathology, Wageningen University) have also been appointed Academy Professors.

Feringa has been appointed in recognition of his pioneering work in the field of chemistry. He became world-famous after he synthesized organic molecules. Feringa was the first person to synthesize molecular motors that continued to turn under the influence of light. Colleagues from all over the world regard this as one of the high points of modern chemistry. Many of the postdoc researchers he has attracted from all over the world have moved on to fill high positions.

KNAW Academy Professors are given the opportunity to concentrate on whatever they want in the field of innovative teaching and research for a period of five years, without the administrative responsibilities that usually form part of their jobs. The KNAW finances the salary of the Academy Professor and a research budget, together EUR 200,000 per professor. The university in question must appoint a promising young research leader to replace the Academy Professor. The research leader is thus given the chance to start up a personal research line. Thus the Academy Professors Programme contributes in two ways to the innovation of research.

The new Academy Professors will be installed on Monday 26 May 2008 in the Trippenhuis in Amsterdam.

Please go to after 12 May 2008 for more information about the programme.
Information about these and previous Academy Professors can be found on

For more information please view:

Last modified:15 January 2018 09.39 a.m.
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