Roland Benz

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Roland Benz (born 1943 in Singen, Baden-Württemberg) is a German biophysicist.

Early life and education[edit]

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 2003, Benz has been a Member of the European Graduate College;[citation needed] and, since 2005, a Member in the French–German Graduate College, both sponsored by the DFG.[citation needed]

Since 2009, Benz has held the Wisdom Professorship at the Jacobs University Bremen[1] 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.

Research interests[edit]

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.[citation needed]

In 2007, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Barcelona.[2]

In 2011, he was honoured, with another honorary doctorate, by the Umeå University's Faculty of Medicine[3]


  • 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


  1. ^ "Swedish honors for Jacobs Wisdom Professor Roland Benz", Jacobs University Bremen, 10 June 2011
  2. ^ "Solemne Investiturade Doctor honoris causa Roland Benz", Universitat de Barcelona, November 2007
  3. ^ "Roland Benz honorary doctor at Umeå University", Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), Juni 2011