Alex was born in Germany and studied Chemistry at the University of Münster from 1993-1998. He received his diploma degree in 1998 and his doctoral degree in 2000 for work in Professor Hoppe's
group on new cyclization reactions with enantiomerically enriched allyllithium species. In 2001 he joined Professor Martin's
lab at the University of Texas at Austin where he worked as a postdoctoral fellow on the total synthesis of indole alkaloids. In 2002 he began another postdoctorate in Professor Schultz's
lab at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla where he was engaged in the in vivo incorporation of unnatural amino acids into proteins.
He received several awards for his Ph.D. and postdoctoral work, most importantly for the best dissertation at the Department of Natural Sciences, the Department of Mathematics, and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Münster in 2001. His studies were continously supported by fellowships from the German National Academic Foundation
, the Fund of the Chemical Industry
, the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation
, and the German Research Foundation
Alex joined the Department of Chemistry at North Carolina State University as an Assistant Professor in 2004, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009, and to Professor in 2012. His lab's research interests are in the area of Chemical Biology and Synthetic Biology, and range from organometallic chemistry and natural product synthesis to the discovery of small molecule modifiers of biological pathways and protein & nucleic acid engineering. Alex is a member of the Biotechnology Faculty, the RNA Biology Group
at NCSU, the RNA Society of North Carolina
, the Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research
, and he is an associate member of the Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry
For his independent research accomplishments, Alex received a Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Award from the March of Dimes Foundation, a Sigma Xi Research Faculty Award, a Cottrell Scholar Award, a Beckman Young Investigator Award, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a Teva USA Scholars Grant from the American Chemical Society, a Thieme Chemistry Journal Award, an American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant, and an NCSU Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award.
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