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Wall of Fame

GIF is proud of our grantees for recognition as Laureates of the following international awards:

Nobel Prize Laureates

From Germany

2020Reinhard GenzelPhysics
2008Harald zur HausenMedicine
2007Gerhard ErtlChemistry
2005Theodor HaenschPhysics
1995Paul CrutzenChemistry
1995Christiane Nuesslein-VollhardMedicine
1994Reinhard SeltenEconomic Sciences
1991Prof. Bert SakmannMedicine
1991Erwin NeherMedicine
1988Hartmut MichelChemistry
1988Robert HuberChemistry
1985Klaus von KlitzingPhysics
1984Georges KoehlerMedicine

From Israel

2011Dan ShechtmanChemistry
2009Ada YonathChemistry
2004Aaron CiechanoverChemistry

Wolf Prize Laureates

From Germany

1998Gerhard ErtlChemistry
1990Jeff SchellAgriculture

From Israel

2021​Meir LahavChemistry
2016Yoseph ImryPhysics
2008Aharon RazinMedicine
2008Howard CedarMedicine
2001Saharon ShelahMathematics
1999Dan ShechtmanPhysics
1998Michael SelaMedicine
1998Ruth ArnonMedicine
1998Ilan ChetAgriculture
1988Raphael David LevineChemistry

Leibniz Prize Laureates

From Germany

2023Largus AngenentEnvironmental Biotechnology
2021Volker Springel​Astrophysics
2020Markus ReichsteinBiogeochemistry
2018Veit HornungImmunology
2018Eicke LatzImmunology
2018Bernhard SchoelkopfMachine Learning
2017Lutz AckermannChemistry
2017Joachim SpatzBiophysics
2016Dan FrostGeology
2015Christian HertweckBiological Chemistry
2014Laurens MolenkampExperimental Solid State Physics
2014Leif KobbeltInformatics and Computer Graphics
2014Irmgard SinningStructural Biology
2013Ivan DikicBiochemistry / Cell Biology
2012Peter SandersTheoretical Computer Science and Algorithms
2012Nikolaus RajewskySystems Biology
2011Christine SilberhornQuantum Optics
2010Frank NeeseTheoretical Chemistry
2010Peter FratzlBiomaterials
2010Petra SchwilleBiophysics
2010Stefan TreueCognitive Neurosciences
2009Martin ZirnbauerNuclear and Condensed Matter Physics
2008Jochen MannhartExperimental Solid State Physics
2008Martin BenekeTheoretical Particle Physics
2008Susanne AlbersTheoretical Computer Science
2007Magdalena GoetzNeurology
2007Detlef WeigelHerbal Developmental Biology
2007Guinevere KauffmannAstrophysics
2007Gerald HaugPaleoclimatology
2006Peter JonasNeurophysiology
2004Manfred StreckerStructural Geology
2004Frank AllgoewerControl Engineering
2004Konrad SamwerSolid State Physics
2003Hans-Peter SeidelComputer Graphics
2003Roland LillCell Biology / Biochemistry
2002Karl LeoSolid State Physics
2002Carmen Birchmeier-KoehlerMolecular Biology
2001Guenther ZieglerMathematics
2001Arthur KonnerthNeurophysiology
2000Dieter LuestTheoretical Physics
1998Christian GriesingerOrganic Chemistry
1998Dietmar VestweberCell Biology / Biochemistry
1998Klaus RademannPhysical Chemistry
1997Christian LehnerMolecular Genetics
1997Paul KnochelOrganometallic Chemistry
1996Reinhard LuehrmannMolecular Biology
1995Emo WelzlInformatics
1995Wolfgang SchleichQuantum Optics
1995Siegfried BethkeElementary Particle Physics
1994Peter SchaeferJewish Studies
1994Stefan JentschMolecular Biology
1994Peter GrussCell Biology
1994Theodor GeiselTheoretical Physics
1993Wolfgang PrinzPsychology
1993Michael FrotscherJewish Studies
1992Jan VeizerGeochemistry of Sediments
1992Hans-Georg RammenseeImmunology
1992Juergen MlynekExperimental Physics
1991Dieter FenskeInorganic Chemistry
1991Gerhard ErtlPhysical Chemistry
1990Rainer GregerPhysiology
1990Reinhard GenzelAstrophysics
1989Manfred ReetzOrganic Chemistry
1989Sigrid PeyerimhoffTheoretical Chemistry
1989Theodor HaenschLaser Physics
1989Heinrich BetzNeurobiology
1987Bert SakmannBiophysical Chemistry
1987Erwin NeherBiophysical Chemistry
1987Kurt MehlhornComputer Science
1986Julius WessTheoretical Physics
1986Christiane Nuesslein-VollhardBiology
1986Hartmut MichelBiology

From Israel

2021​Eli KeshetLife Sciences
2020Joseph KlafterChemistry and Physics
2020Daniel ZamirAgriculture
2019Adi KimchiLife Sciences
2018Shlomo HavlinPhysics
2018Alexander LubotzkyMathematics and Computer Sciences
2017Yosef YardenLife Sciences
2016Meir LahavChemistry and Physics
2016Leslie LeiserowitzChemistry and Physics
2016David ShulmanReligious Studies and Philosophy
2015Zelig EshharLife Sciences
2014Shamma FriedmanTalmud
2014Mordechai SegevChemistry and Physics
2012Yoav BenjaminiStatistics
2011Yosef ShilohLife Sciences
2010Abraham NitzanChemistry
2010Arye LevinGeneral Linguistics
2010Yehoshua KolodnyEarth Sciences
2009Itamar ProcacciaPhysics
2008Moshe OrenBiochemistry
2008Benjamin IsaacHistory
2007Shalom SchwartzPsychology
2005Yaakov LandauMiddle Eastern Studies
2004Aharon RazinBiochemistry
2004David HarelComputer Science
2004Joseph BernsteinMathematics
2003Aaron CiechanoverBiology
2003Zvi Ben-AvrahamEarth Sciences
2002Ada YonathChemistry
2002Itamar WillnerChemistry
2002Asher KoriatPsychology
2001Yoseph ImryPhysics
2001Ruth ArnonMedicine
2000Yirmiyahu YovelPhilosophy
2000Amir PnueliComputer Science
1999Myriam YardeniHistory
1999Shmuel MorehMiddle Eastern Studies
1999Chaim (Howard) CedarBiology
1998Saharon ShelahMathematics
1998Dan ShechtmanPhysics
1998Rami RahamimoffMedicine
1996Ilan ChetAgriculture
1992Yitzhak WahlLife Sciences
1989Elihu KatzSocial Sciences
1983Saul FriedlaenderHistory
1974Raphael LevineExact Sciences
1973Shmuel EisenstadtSocial Sciences
1969Yuval Ne’emanSocial Sciences

Prof. Avi Rivkind

Hadassah Medical Center



Professor Avraham Rivkind, M.D., F.A.C.S. Professor of Surgery, former Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine and Head of the Shock Trauma Unit in the Department of the General Surgery at Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem. He received his Doctorate in Medicine from the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School in 1980. Personal physician to the late President of the State of Israel, Mr. Ezer Weizman, as well as advisor to the Surgeon General of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on general surgery, trauma and ethics. Professor Rivkind completed a Fellowship in traumatology and critical care at the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System (MIEMSS), Baltimore, Maryland, and was a visiting Associate Professor in Trauma and Fore-gut surgery at the University of Southern California. He is Chairperson of the Israel Committee on Trauma, and Director of the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) Program, Jerusalem, Israel.
Professor Rivkind was awarded the Karl Stoll Chair in Surgical Trauma and was recently honored by the State of Israel as a torchbearer for Israel’s 75th Independence Day ceremony. Professor Rivkind is a widely recognized expert in natural disaster management, motor vehicle accidents, and identifying and treating blast injury as a result of shock waves. His research interests include hemorrhagic shock, fluid re-suscitation and all aspects of trauma care; primary interests in fore-gut surgery, gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), esophageal and stomach diseases and cancer.

Dr. Elke-Vera Kotowski

Moses Mendelssohn Foundation



Dr. Elke-Vera Kotowski studied political science, literature, philosophy and cultural studies in Duisburg and Berlin. She has been researching and teaching at the University of Potsdam since 1994 and was involved in the establishment of the “Jewish Studies” course at the University of Potsdam. Her research areas are European-Jewish literary, cultural, and social history with a focus on the history of identity and mentality of German-speaking Jewry in the 19th and 20th century. A special area of research that Ms. Kotowski has been conducting since 2012, in cooperation with the German Foreign Office and German embassies, among others, is the cultural heritage of Jewish emigrants worldwide. From 2009-2016, she was the academic coordinator of the Walther Rathenau Graduate School in the network of Berlin and Brandenburg universities. She has been a member of the Selma Stern Center for Jewish Studies Berlin Brandenburg since its founding (2011). She has also been chief curator of the Moses Mendelssohn Foundation and executive director of the Moses Mendelssohn Institute since 2020. She is currently developing a documentation center on the history of the Berlin deportation site “Platform 17” as well as a student living and working campus for the development of new concepts of commemoration and remembrance in the German-Jewish context (www.else-ury-campus.de).

Ms. Liza Katz

Germany Liaison and Program Manager



Liza joined the German Israeli Foundation (GIF) for scientific research and development as German Liaison and Program Manager in September 2022. Previously, she has been a project manager at the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s foreign office in Israel since 2015, focusing on Democracy, foreign security issues and German-Israeli relations. Liza obtained her university degree in Biology and French Studies at the University of Heidelberg. As a native German, living in Israel since 2012, she is convinced that the scientific research collaboration between Germany and Israel is crucial for maintaining a long-lasting friendship between the two countries.

Dr. Meital

Senior Scientific Manager



Meital obtained her BSc in chemistry (Bar-Ilan University). Fascinated by the world organometallics, she joined the lab of Prof. Milko van der Boom (Weizmann Institute of Science) and pursued her PhD in Chemistry. Meital then performed two postdoctoral studies: the first with Prof. David Milstein (Weizmann Institute of Science) and the second with Profs. Eli Lebowitz and Wendy Silverman (Yale University). Meital joined the German Israeli Foundation (GIF) for scientific research and development as Scientific Manager in 2021. She hopes to contribute her passion to science and academic experience to enhance the collaboration ties between scientist from Israel and Germany.

Dr. Eric

University Research Management



Prior to his appointment as GIF Director, Eric spent 27 years in university research management: 13 years at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya and nearly 14 years at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan.

Working together with the President and Provost of IDC Herzliya, Dr Zimmerman established and directed the Academic Affairs, International Engagement and Research Support Offices. His portfolio included responsibility for all competitive research and program grants and the protection of the institutional intellectual property; developing global partnerships and managing all institutional internationalization agreements, including student exchange, summer and study abroad programs; managing the development of double degree MA-level programs; and the development of joint doctoral programs.

Dr Zimmerman has been a member of several national and international committees, most recently a Higher Education Reform Expert (HERE) of the European Commission, and was a past leader of a task group within the largest European professional association of research administrators (EARMA), a founding board member of a European-based association on research information management (euroCRIS), the force behind the development of the Israel National Database of Academic Research and Development (INDARD), and party to other national and global initiatives. He regularly writes and lectures on internationalization, entrepreneurship education, research management, academic productivity and Israel, and advises organizations on information management and work flow practices as they effect academics and administrators at institutions of higher education. Finally, Dr Zimmerman is an experienced grants proposal reviewer.

Eric, born in New York City in 1962, is married to Sharon (an economist and European projects manager), has five grown children and six grandchildren.

Prof. Yehuda

Tel Aviv University



Born in Israel Board certified surgeon since 1978.

Served in IDF as chief surgeon of The Army Frontline Field Hospital.

Basic Research at the Membrane department of the Weitzman Institute of Science (1978-1980).

Visiting Scientist at the Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Health (NIH) Bethesda Maryland, USA 1980-1982, 1988.

Full Professor of Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. Served as the head of Surgery Department at the Tel Aviv Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital).

Former President of Magen David Adom (MDA), the Israel Pre-hospital emergency services.

Currently, board member of the friend organization of MDA.

Active in the “Advanced Surgery Group”, Assuta Medical Center, Tel Aviv.

Served as the Chairman of the Committee for the Early Cancer Detection at the Israel Cancer Association.

Served as member in the Research committee of the Israel Cancer Association and at the Research committee of the Israel Ministry of Health.

Member of the American Society of Surgical Oncology.

Member of the Board of Trustees, The Bar-Ilan University Ramat Gan.

Board member of the Israel Opera. Board member of the Israel Culture and Art Council and chairman of its Music Section committee.

Publications: More than 150 original articles published in international professional journals and as chapters in books.

Active participation in more than 400 international scientific conferences.

Prof. Ingrid

Martin Luther University



Academic Education

  • 1974-1979 Studies in physics, TU Dresden, Germany
  • 1979 Diploma Thesis in Theoretical Physics, TU Dresden
  • 1982 Ph.D. Thesis in Theoretical Physics, TU Dresden
  • 1985-1990 Postdoc, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Russia
  • 1995 Habilitation in Theoretical Physics, TU Dresden


Academic Education

  • 1982-1985 Assistant Professor, TU Dresden, Institute of Theoretical Physics
  • 1985-1990 Senior Scientist, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Russia
  • 1990-1995 Regular Guest Scientist, Research Centre Jülich, Germany; collaboration with P. H. Dederichs
  • 1996 Guest Professor, New York University, USA; collaboration with P. Levy
  • 1998 Guest Professor, University Paris-Sud, France; collaboration with A. Fert
  • 1999 Guest Professor, University of Nagoya, Japan; collaboration with J. Inoue
  • 2001- C4/W3 Professor, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany 2006 Sabbatical, Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara, USA
  • 2009-2011 Guest Professor, Bristol University, Great Britain; collaboration with B Györffy
  • 2013 Sabbatical, Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara, USA
  • 2016 and 2018 Guest Professor, Riken Center for Emergent Matter Science, Tokyo, Japan; collaboration with N. Nagaosa


Professional Activities

  • 2001-2007 Spokesperson of the DFG Research Unit “Oxidic Interfaces”
  • 2001-2007 Elected Reviewer of the DFG
  • 2003-2009 Member of the Nomination Committee of the Gottried Wilhelm Leibniz Programme
  • 2005- Advisory Board: Fraunhofer Institute IMWS, Halle
  • 2006-2014 Member/Chair of the International Union of Pure and Applied Science (IUPAP, C9)
  • 2008-2019 Spokesperson of the DFG CRC 762 “Functionality of Oxide Interfaces”
  • 2009-2017 Editorial Board Member Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
  • 2011-2017 Member of the German Council of Science and Humanities
  • 2012-2018 Advisory Board: Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
  • 2018- Member of the Board of Governors RWTH Aachen
  • 2020- Member of the Committee of Senate of the Leibniz Community


Fellowships, Awards, and Honours

  • 1997-2001 Heisenberg Fellow of the DFG
  • 1999 Fellow of the Japan Society for Promotion of Science
  • 2007-2018 Max Planck Fellow

Research Interests

Quantum theory of Solids; Density Functional Theory; Transport Theory; Theory of Magnetism; Physics of Nanostructures; Spintronics; Topological properties of solids

Prof. Monika

University of Leipzig



Monika Wohlrab-Sahr was born in 1957. She studied Protestant Theology and Sociology from 1976 to 1985.

She holds a doctorate in sociology from Philipps-University Marburg (1991) and a Habilitation from Free University in Berlin (1998). From 1999-2006. Monika Wohlrab-Sahr has been professor of Sociology of Religion at the University of Leipzig, since 2006 she is professor of Cultural Sociology there. She was a research fellow at UC Berkeley, the European University Institute in Florence, the Centre for Advanced Study at JNU in New Delhi and at the University of Montréal. She has done research on conversion to Islam, Islam in Europe and – over many years – on secularity, at first related to the East German secularization process, and then expanding globally and historically. At present she is heading a big research project on “The Contested Legacy of 1989. Appropriations between Politicization, Popularization and Historical-Political Education”, and she is one of the directors (with Christoph Kleine) of the Centre of Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences on “Multiple Secularities: Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities” (funded by the DFG since 2016).

She has been on the Review Board for Social Sciences of the German Research Council (DFG) for 8 years, for 4 years she served as the spokesperson of this board. She also has been the director of the Leibniz-program at the University of Leipzig, and is member of several Scientific Advisory Boards and Editorial Boards.

Mr. Maximilian Metzger

Consultancy Activities



Professional Career

  • Since 01/2015 Retirement; Consultancy Activities
  • 08/2010 – 12/12014 Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Deputy Director General for International Cooperation in Education and Research
  • 08/2009 – 07/2010 Deputy Director General for Information and Communication Technologies; New Services at the BMBF
  • 06/2009 – 07/2009 Head of Division; Policy Issues of International Cooperation at the BMBF
  • 2004 – 2008 Secretary-General at CERN 2001 – 2004 Head of Division for European Research Organisations (CERN, ESO, ESRF, ILL. ETIN, DNW) at the BMBF
  • 1996 – 2001 Head of Division for Education, Science, Research, Technology and Nuclear Affairs at the Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU in Brussels
  • 1980 – 1996 Administrator and Head of Division in various divisions at the BMBF
  • 1978 – 1980 Judge at the Administration Court in Munich​



  • 1977 2nd State Examination in Law
  • 1974 – 1975 Research Assistant in History of Law at the Universities of Munich and Augsburg
  • 1974 1st State Examination in Law
  • 1969 – 1974 Studies in Law and Philosophy at the University of Munich

Dr. Jens

State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education



Dr Jens Brandenburg has been a Member of the German Bundestag representing the Rhine-Neckar region since 2017. In the Parliamentary Group of the Free Democratic Party, he was spokesperson on study, vocational training and lifelong learning as well as spokesperson on the Study Commission “Vocational Training in the Digital Work Environment” until 2021. In December 2021, he was appointed Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Education and Research. He studied political science and economics at the University of Mannheim and completed his PhD at the Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences. Prior to becoming a Member of the German Bundestag, he worked for a global management consulting firm.

Ms. Bettina Stark-Watzinger

Federal Minister of Education and Research



Personal details

  • Date of birth: 12 May 1968
  • Place of birth: Frankfurt am Main
  • Marital status: married
  • Religion: Roman Catholic


Education & training

  • 1989 Abitur school leaving certificate
  • 1989 – 1993 Studied economics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main 
  • 1994 – 2001 BHF BANK AG, Frankfurt am Main (incl. parental leave) 
  • 1997 – 2006 Career break including continuing education and residence abroad


Professional experience

  • 2006 – 2008 Academic Manager, Finance, Accounting, Controlling and Taxation Department, European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel 
  • 2008 – 2013 Executive Director, House of Finance, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main 
  • 2013 – 2017 Administrative Director, SAFE – Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe (research centre)


Political career

  • since 2004 Member of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) 
  • 2011 – 2017 County Councillor, Main-Taunus 
  • since 2011 Member, FDP Executive Board of Land Hesse
  • 2014 – 2015; 2019 – 2021 Deputy Chair, FDP of Land Hesse 
  • 2015 – 2019 General Secretary, FDP of Land Hesse 
  • since 2017 Member of the German Bundestag 
  • 2018 – 2020 Chair of the Finance Committee, German Bundestag
  • 2020 – 2021 Parliamentary Secretary of the FDP Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag
  • since 2021 Chairwoman, FDP of Land Hesse 
  • since 2021 Federal Minister of Education and Research