Committee Member


Prof. Dr. Yael Politi

Telephone: +49-351-463-44301

Technische Universität Dresden
Zentrum für Molekulare und Zellukläre Biotechnologie
Tantzberg 41, 01307 Dresden


Academic Education

2005-2009 Dissertation: Department of Structural Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. Title: “The formation of transient amorphous calcium carbonate in biomineralization and its transformation into calcite.“ Advisors: Prof. Lia Addadi and Prof. Steve Weiner
2002-2004 Master thesis. Department of Structural Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. Title: “Transient amorphous calcium carbonate in sea urchin skeleton” Advisors: Prof. Lia Addadi and Prof. Steve Weiner
1999-2001 B.Sc. degree in Biology, 2001, with high honors, Tel Aviv University, Israel Faculty of Life Sciences

Academic Career

since 2019 Professor, chair Bioprospecting, Technische Universität Dresden, Center for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering (CMCB) B CUBE, Dresden, Germany
2012-2019 Group Leader “Biological chitin-based tools and sensors”, Department of Biomaterials, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam, Germany
2009-2012 Postdoctoral position at the Max Plank Institute of Colloids and Interfaces. Potsdam, Germany. Dept. Biomaterials. Advisor: Prof. Peter Fratzl

Research Areas

  • I study the relationships between structure- properties-function in a variety of biological materials mainly chitin-based cuticular materials from arthropods, but also mineralized structures such as the sea urchin test and spines. We want to understand how they operate but also how they form. The exoskeleton of arthropod, the cuticle, is intrinsically multifunctional as it has to serve both as a skin and a skeleton and as it carries a diverse set of tools and a myriad of sensors. We are fascinated by this inherent multifunctionality that is enabled by an incredible versatility in materials architecture and properties. This material versatility is indeed thought central to the evolution of the more than million species that render Arthropoda the largest, most diverse, animal group. It is also what makes the arthropod’s cuticle an especially attractive archetype for bio-inspired multifunctional materials design. After years of research in biomimicry it is clear that solutions from nature cannot simply be copied into engineering. Instead, an in-depth understanding of the “design” principles as used by biology within the context of their evolutionary path and the complementary mechanistic understanding on how these structures are synthesized and organized hold promise for bio-inspired design.

Other Committee Members