The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has appointed Professor Maria Loi and Professor Dirk Slotboom from the Faculty of Science and Engineering as members of the Academy. Members of the KNAW, prominent academics from all disciplines, are chosen on the basis of their academic achievements. The KNAW now has around 550 members. Membership is for life. The new Academy members will be installed later this year.
Maria Loi (1973) Professor of Photophysics and Optoelectronics
Maria Antonietta Loi holds two world records: that of the best performing solar cell created with quantum dots and made using Sn-based perovskites. Loi has the perfect combination of creativity, vision and transdisciplinary knowledge required to create the solar cell of the future. By exposing physical principles and manipulating materials down to the nanoscale, she translates fundamental physics into concepts that can be used for the energy transition. Her work has yielded patents, start-ups and close cooperation with industry. Loi is also a passionate and knowledgeable educator. Her PhD students invariably complete their PhDs within the nominal four years and her postdocs find excellent positions.
Dirk Slotboom (1971) Professor of Structural Membrane Biology
Dirk Slotboom specialises in explaining and manipulating membrane transport in bacteria and mammalian cells. He established his reputation by discovering a new displacement mechanism, with one protein component distorting the membrane, allowing a second protein in the membrane to tilt, thus bringing in a substance from outside the cell. In his work, he combines biochemical, biophysical and microbiological methods, but Slotboom's interests extend far beyond his own field. Together with synthetic chemists, he is attempting to develop substances that can inhibit membrane transport and, ultimately, possibly serve as antibiotics. He is an outstanding, multiple award-winning lecturer and one of the architects of an entirely new multidisciplinary curriculum for the Life Science and Technology programme at the RUG. The programme meets a great need among both students and employers.
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