First Female DFG President

First Female DFG President

Author: Kristin Leyerer

Professor Katja Becker, Justus Liebig University Gießen, Germany, has been elected President of the German Research Foundation (DFG; Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft) for a four-year period starting from January 1, 2020. She succeeds Professor Peter Strohschneider, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (LUM), Germany, and is the first woman to become President of the DFG.

Katja Becker studied medicine at Heidelberg University, Germany, and received her Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1988. In 1993, she received her approbation as a medical doctor. In 1996, Katja Becker completed her habilitation in biochemistry at the medical faculty of the University of Heidelberg. She completed her medical residency at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK, and the University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland, and gained clinical and research experience in Nigeria, Ghana, and Australia. She qualified as a medical specialist in biochemistry at Heidelberg University in 1998. After working at Heidelberg University and Würzburg University, Germany, she joined the Justus Liebig University Gießen as a Professor for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

From 2009 to 2012, she was Research Vice-President of the Justus Liebig University. She has been Vice-President of the DFG since 2014.

Professor Becker’s research interests include human thioredoxin reductases as potential targets for anticancer drugs. She also focuses on the exploration of metabolism mechanisms of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, and its apoptosis by external factors.

Selected Publications


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