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Stefan Hell, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c.


Stefan W. Hell received his doctorate in physics from the University of Heidelberg in 1990. From 1991 to 1993, he worked in Heidelberg at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, followed by a three-and-a-half-year stay at the University of Turku, Finland. In 1997, he was appointed leader of a junior research group at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. In 2002, with his appointment as a Director at the institute, Hell established the department of NanoBiophotonics. Since 2004, he has also led a group, the Optical Nanoscopy Division, at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. Stefan Hell has been the recipient of numerous awards for his research, including the 10th German Future Prize in 2006 and the Leibniz Prize as well as the Lower Saxony State Award in 2008. In 2009, he received the Otto Hahn Prize in Physics, followed in 2011 by the Hansen Family Award, the Körber European Science Prize, the Meyenburg Prize and the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Prize. He was additionally awarded a doctor honoris causa in medicine by the University of Turku, Finland, in 2009.

In 2014, Stefan Hell has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Eric Betzig and William E. Moerner.

  • Video: Fluorescence is a State of Mind

    How to break a fundamental law of physics and win a Nobel Prize to boot. Stefan Hell explains super-resolved fluorescence microscopy for which he shared the 2014 Nobel Prize in chemistry.
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  • Four questions for Professor Stefan Hell on the subject of FOM 2015

    For Professor Stefan Hell, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2014 for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy and the development of STED microscopy, the Focus on Microscopy conference has a very special significance. It was at the very first FOM 1998 in Sydney where Hell gave one of his first lectures on super-resolution, entitled "Super-resolution through 4Pi-confocal microscopy in cellular imaging".
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  • Video Interview with Stefan Hell, the Inventor of Super-Resolution

    Professor Stefan Hell is director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and head of the department of NanoBiophotonics in Goettingen and widely considered as the father of super-resolution. His inventions of 4Pi and STED microscopy were turned into the first commercial super-resolution microscopes available by Leica Microsystems in 2004 and 2007.
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  • Video Talk on Super-Resolution: Overview and Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) Microscopy

    Historically, light microscopy has been limited in its ability to resolve closely spaced objects, with the best microscopes only able to resolve objects separated by 200 nm or more. This limit is known as the diffraction limit. In the last twenty years, a number of techniques have been developed that allow resolution beyond the diffraction limit.
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  • Abstracts of the 2nd European Super-Resolution User-Club Meeting

    The 2nd meeting of the Leica Super-resolution User club was held from September 25 to 27, 2012 in collaboration with the Science for Life Laboratory at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. With a mixture of engaging talks by key experts in the field of super-resolution microscopy and stimulating discussion sessions, the meeting proved as popular as last year’s event, attracting a wide range of scientists interested in both confocal and widefield super-resolution and sample preparation techniques.
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  • Sharp Live Images from the Mouse Brain

    To explore the most intricate structures of the brain in order to decipher how it functions – Stefan Hell’s team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen has made a significant step closer to this goal. Using the STED microscopy developed by Hell, the scientists have, for the first time, managed to record detailed live images inside the brain of a living mouse.
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  • Webinar: Super-Resolution

    In 1873, Ernst Abbe developed a theory that defined the limit of resolution of the light microscope. Following suit from astronomy, Abbe defined resolution as the ability to resolve, as separate, two point sources of light. The Abbe limit of 200–300 nm is based upon the ability of the light microscope to collect only a subset of spatial frequencies and the physiological properties of the human eye.
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