News / 12 March 2016

Professor Matthias Hentze is a native German. He attended Münster University Medical School, and studied at Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow and Southampton.

Following on from his medical degree and a M.D. in Biochemistry (Münster), Matthias began his research career as a post-doctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Maryland, USA) before joining EMBL Heidelberg in 1989 as a Group Leader.

Matthias Hentze headshot

After obtaining the Habilitation from Heidelberg University in 1990, Matthias served as the Dean of Graduate Studies from 1996 until 2005. In 2002 when he was Dean, Matthias co-founded the Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit (MMPU) between EMBL and the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg University which he still co-directs. Here the Matthias research group conducts translational research on common diseases of iron metabolism and of altered mRNA metabolism.

Recent work by the Hentze group has uncovered hundreds of new RNA-binding proteins, including many metabolic enzymes. Their current work focuses on the elucidation of connections between metabolism and gene regulation.

In July of 2005, Matthias was promoted from Dean to the position as EMBL Associate Director. In that same year, he became Professor for Molecular Medicine.

As EMBL Director, Matthias advises and works closely with EMBL’s Director General. Matthias oversees the areas of Resource Development and Alumni Relations, and is supported by the Director's Office. Matthias has many varied functions in his role, including supporting and representing the Director General at international scientific research, training and service organisations. Matthias also generates additional opportunities for the Laboratory, by promoting aspects of EMBL via public engagement and communication strategies as well as generating visibility and positive awareness of the Laboratory.