Early life and education
Benz studied mathematics, chemistry, and physics at the University of Würzburg. In 1972, he obtained his Ph.D. in biology, with Peter Läuger at University of Konstanz as his supervisor; and, in 1977, he obtained his Habilitation in Biophysics.
A Heisenberg Fellow of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (German Science Foundation), Benz was a visiting professor at State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1980 and 1982. In 1984, he was a visiting professor at University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
In 1986, Benz became a full professor of biotechnology at the University of Würzburg, his alma mater.
Since 2009, Benz has held the Wisdom Professorship at the Jacobs University Bremen and has been a research fellow at the Rudolf Virchow Center and the DFG Research Center for Experimental Biomedicine. He remains a professor at the University of Würzburg.
Benz's research interests include the periplastic structure and organization of cell membranes and other biological membranes; biophysical processes and the molecular basis of membrane proteins in microorganisms and higher organisms; and, pore-forming peptides and proteins.
Benz is the leader of several research projects, including:
- the molecular basis of signal transduction and membrane transport (SFB 176; 1987–1999);
- ecology, physiology, and biochemistry of plants under stress (SFB 251; 1989–1992);
- nuclear magnetic resonance in vivo and in vitro for the study of biomedical basic elements (Member in the DFG-Graduate College; 1992–1999); and,
- the regulatory membrane proteins: from the mechanism of recognition to the pharmacological structure (SFB 487; seit 2000).
In 2002, Benz was recognised with the Gay-Lussac/Humboldt Award de la Ministère de recherche français for his role in the development of a Franco–German collaboration.
- Benz R. (1980.) Künstliche Lipidmembranen. Modelle für biologische Membranen, Universitätsverlag Konstanz, ISBN 3-87940-142-X
- Benz R. (2004.) Bacterial and Eukaryotic Porins. Structure, Function, Mechanism, Wiley-VCH, ISBN 3-527-30775-3
- "Swedish honors for Jacobs Wisdom Professor Roland Benz", Jacobs University Bremen, 10 June 2011
- "Solemne Investiturade Doctor honoris causa Roland Benz", Universitat de Barcelona, November 2007
- "Roland Benz honorary doctor at Umeå University", Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), Juni 2011