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New Appointments to LMU

Munich, 01/20/2009

Professor Robert Stockhammer

Faculty of Languages and Literatures
Robert Stockhammer has been professor of general and comparative literature at LMU since October 2007. Initially a deputizing professor he was officially appointed to the post on August 1 2008. “In the discipline of general and comparative literature,” says Professor Stockhammer, “I particularly value the opportunity to interrelate texts of very different kinds in many languages and from very diverse eras. This is why I have always been tentative about specializing too quickly in specific fields, and why I felt particularly drawn to the job description for the chair in Munich. This stated that the post holder could and should represent the whole scope of the field.” Born 1960, Stockhammer studied general and comparative literature, and the philology of other languages, in Munich, Berlin and Salzburg. He was awarded a doctorate in 1989 with a thesis on „Leseerzählungen. Alternativen zum hermeneutischen Verfahren“ [“Reading narratives. Alternatives to the hermeneutic procedure”] and was promoted to professor for a work entitled „Zaubertexte. Die Wiederkehr der Magie und die Literatur, 1880-1945“ [“Magical texts. The return of magic and literature, 1880-1945”]. Stockhammer’s previous appointments include research fellow at the Institute for General and Comparative Literature at the Free University of Berlin, research director at Berlin’s Center for Literary Research, and visiting professor in Frankfurt am Main and Berlin. Other monographs published by Stockhammer are: „Ruanda. Über einen anderen Genozid schreiben“ [“Rwanda. Writing about genocide”] (2005) and „Kartierung der Erde. Macht und Lust in Karten und Literatur“ [“Mapping the earth. Power and desire in maps and literature”] (2007). He is the editor or co-editor of six miscellanies and three anthologies. “At LMU,” states Stockhammer, “I am particularly pleased about the close collaboration with colleagues specializing in many diverse philologies, and the outstanding commitment of students.”

Professor Gert Wörheide
Faculty of Geosciences
As new Professor of Paleontology and Historical Geology at LMU, Gert Wörheide’s program includes, among other things, a deep-sea expedition to the Australian Coral Sea. Professor Wörheide, born 1965, took over the position in October of last year and since then has also been director of the Bavarian state paleontology and geology collection. He will also be working at LMU’s Geo-Bio Center. Wörheide studied geology and paleontology at Freie Universität Berlin and was awarded his doctorate in 1998 by the faculty of Geosciences at Georg-August University in Göttingen. A range of post-doctoral posts led him to the Marine Biology Laboratory of the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, Australia, and to the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the University of Queensland. Wörheide continues to act as Honorary Research Fellow at the Queensland Museum.
After his stay in Australia, he was junior professor from 2002 to 2008 at the Geobiology department of the University of Göttingen’s Geosciences Center. The focus of his scientific work includes the evolution of biomineralization, the macro- and micro-evolution of invertebrate sea creatures and DNA barcoding, in particular in his coordinating role for the international “Sponge Barcoding Project”. Wörheide’s most important publications of recent years include “Phylogeny and evolution of glass sponges (Porifera: Hexactinellida)” in Systematic Biology (2008) and “Sponge Paleogenomics Reveals an Ancient Role for Carbonic Anhydrase in Skeletogenesis” in Science (2007) – both the product of collaboration with various colleagues in Germany, Australia and the USA. His deep-sea expedition planned for forthcoming years will take him to the Osprey- and Shark-Reefs of the Queensland Plateau in Australia’s Coral Sea.

Professor Martin Sökefeld
Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Martin Sökefeld took over the chair of Ethnology at LMU in the winter semester. “Besides my previous specialties,” says Sökefeld, “ I would like to develop political ecology as a new discipline here, and intensify study of transnational politics.” Born 1964, Sökefeld graduated in ethnology, philosophy and Romance studies in Cologne. As research fellow at Tübingen University’s Institute of Ethnology, he undertook 15 months of field research in the high mountainous region of northern Pakistan, on the theme of „Diskurs und Konflikte rund um Ethnizität, Religion und Nationalismus“ [“Discourse and conflicts relating to ethnicity, religion and nationalism”]. In 1996 he was awarded a doctorate from Tübingen University’s Faculty of Cultural Studies, and subsequently pursued non-academic tasks in the field of migration. From 1999 to 2005 he worked as research assistant at Hamburg University’s Institute of Ethnology, where he completed research on the politics of identity in relation to the Alevites, a religious and cultural minority group from Turkey living in Germany. This was also the subject for which he was awarded his professorship. Subsequently he worked for three years as assistant professor at the Institute for Social Anthropology at Bern University. His ongoing research since then on the Cashmere diaspora and the conflict in Cashmere is being funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation in New York, and his studies on integration of the Muslim diaspora in Switzerland by the Swiss National Science Foundation. “My regional emphases at LMU,” says Sökefeld, “will continue to be on northern Pakistan, Cashmere, Europe and Turkey.” Concurrently with this he is also concerned with concepts and politics of identity, conflicts, political ethnology, migration and the general theme of diaspora.

Professor Gabriele Kaeppler
Faculty of Medicine
On being called to the chair of dental radiology and surgery on September 1, Gabriele Kaeppler took up a post at LMU that is unique in Germany. Currently there is no other professorship focusing on use of x-rays in dentistry. “A prime reason for my transfer to Munich,” says Gabriele Kaeppler, “was the fact that LMU offered me this unique professorship. I owe this in particular to the great commitment, and also far-sightedness in relation to future requirements, of Professor Ehrenfeld, director of the oral, orthodontic and facial surgery department.” Alongside her professorship, she has also taken over management of the radiology department at LMU’s clinic and polyclinic for oral, orthodontics and facial surgery.
Kaeppler studied dentistry at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, where she also received her doctorate and license to practice. From 1987 she worked for five years as assistant doctor in the Clinic for Orthodontics and Facial Surgery, Plastic Surgery department, at Katharinen hospital in Stuttgart. Since 1990 she has practiced as dental specialist for oral surgery. For two years she worked as assistant doctor in an oral surgery practice in Landau in der Pfalz. From 1993 to 2008 she was a research fellow at the central radiology department of the Center for Oral Medicine  and Dentistry at Tübingen University. From 1999 she was chief consultant there and director of the central radiology department. In 2004 she was awarded a doctorate in oral medicine and dentistry for her original paper on „Aussagekraft von Röntgenaufnahmen in der Zahn-, Mund- und Kieferheilkunde in Abhängigkeit von der Dosis“ [“The dose-related significance of radiology images in oral medicine and dentistry”]. As early as 2007 she became a supernumerary professor at Tübingen University.
Kaeppler’s scientific specialties are in diagnostic precision and the imaging quality of radiology procedures in oral medicine and dentistry, together with dose reduction and x-ray radiation protection and 3D radiology procedures. In her teaching capacity, Gabriele Kaeppler focuses particularly on training dentistry students in the theory and practice of imaging procedures in the field of orthodontics and facial medicine, with particular reference to x-ray protection. She places great value here on practical and patient-oriented training. She also advocates improvements in student training in the field of radiology in dentistry. In this context she is a member of the task force ‘Student training and technical qualification in radiation protection: radiology working committee for analysis of radiology courses in German colleges’. In Munich Gabriele Kaeppler is pleased that she will receive much more support from her “dynamic departmental head Professor Ehrenfeld than at other universities, and that collaboration with in-house colleagues is excellent.”  She aims to be innovative in her new field – both in research and teaching.

Professor Thomas Gudermann
Faculty of Medicine
Since May 2008, Professor Thomas Gudermann has held the chair of Pharmacology and Toxicology at LMU’s Faculty of Medicine. Previous to this he was Professor of Pharmacology, at the Philipps-Universität-Marburg’s Medical Faculty, and director of the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He was also Vice Dean there until 2007. Born 1960, Gudermann studied human medicine at Westfälische-Wilhelms-Universität Münster  and at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheba, Israel. After receiving his license to practice as physician in 1988, he was awarded a doctorate from Münster University in 1989. A training stipend from the German Research Foundation took him to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.  With a stipend from the Max Planck Society, he worked from 1988 to 1989 on the Society’s clinical research group for reproductive medicine at Münster University. From 1992 to 1994 he pursued clinical training there in endocrinology, together with gynecology and obstetrics at the Gynecology Center. Subsequently he worked for six years as research associate in the Pharmacological Institute at Freie Universität Berlin (FU). In 1997 he qualified as specialist in pharmacology and toxicology, gaining a professorship in this field at FU in 1998. The research emphasis of his working group at LMU is the field of biochemical and molecular pharmacology and toxicology, and more specifically cellular signal recognition and conversion. “Currently,” states Gudermann, “the focus of our interest is on members of the ‘transient receptor potential’ (TRP) family of ion channels, and on G-protein-coupled receptors. By using, as starting points, naturally occurring mutations to cationic canals and receptors diagnosed in patients,” Gudermann continues, “we create a bridge between the pathophysiology of human diseases and the identification of new therapeutic target structures.” An overriding aim of his work is to identify new, multi-indication target proteins for pharmacological intervention.

Professor Thomas Zwick
Faculty of Business Administration
Professor Thomas Zwick has held the chair of Human Resource Management at LMU since October 2008, having previously covered this post temporarily in the summer semester 2007. “The professorship is excellently suited to my current research interests,” states Professor Zwick. “While I covered for the chair in the summer semester 2007, I was favorably struck both by the good atmosphere in the faculty and the Institute for Business and Human Resource Education, and the good collaboration with LMU students.”
Born 1968 in Egypt, Thomas Zwick studied at Regensburg University and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, USA.  In December 1993 he graduated in economics from Regensburg University. Between February 1994 and January 1998 he worked as assistant lecturer at Maastricht University, In July 1998 he defended his thesis entitled “Unemployment and the development of human resources” at the University of Maastricht’s Faculty of Economics. From February 1998 to September 2008, Thomas Zwick worked as research fellow and latterly as deputy departmental head in the “Employment markets, personnel management and social security” research field at the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. In January 2006 he was appointed professor at Zurich University in recognition of a paper entitled “Productivity effects of personnel management measures”. Thomas Zwick is also permanent visiting professor at the ZEW.
His research emphases are micro-economic and micro-econometric employment market analyses, qualification research and personnel economics. His future focus will be on dual training, in-service further training, effects of demographic changes on company operations, employee participation and incentive schemes.

Professor Peter Müller
Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics
In September 2008 Peter Müller, born 1967, took up a professorship in Applied Mathematics at LMU’s Analysis department. “LMU’s Mathematics Institute is an ideal environment for me due to its diverse and internationally acclaimed work in mathematical physics,” states Müller. “Together with the relevant working groups at the Technical University, Munich offers a concentration of researchers in my field that is unique in Germany, and therefore has a strong power of attraction.”
Müller studied physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Erlangen-Nürnberg, and at Imperial College in London. After conferral of a doctorate in theoretical physics from Erlangen in 1996, he became assistant professor at Georg-August-Univesität, Göttingen in 1967. There he was awarded a professorship in physics in 2002, and in 2006 – after residences at mathematics institutes in Bochum, Irvine (California) und Bielefeld – also in mathematics.
Peter Müller’s research emphases lie at the interface between analysis, stochastics and mathematical physics. His prime focus is on questions arising from physics in relation to spectral theory’s chance, self-adjoint operators. Enquiries into spectral properties of chance Schrödinger operators are one emphasis here. The other, currently, lies in spectral graph theory, in particular chance graphs. One of Peter Müller’s concerns is to enhance collaboration between analysis and stochastics, and also between mathematics and physics. He also teaches in “Elite Master Course: Theoretical and Mathematical Physics” (TMP). He hopes to pass on to students his enthusiasm for interdisciplinary research.

Professor Andrea Wichelhaus
Faculty of Medicine
Since September 1, 2008, the Outpatient Clinc of Orofacial Orthodontics at the University of Munich Medical Center has a new chair and director in the person of Professor Andrea Wichelhaus. “LMU offers premises, equipment and staff to facilitate very good patient care on the one hand,” says Professor Wichelhaus, “and on the other it supports development of scientific emphases in my field.” This, she says, is a “prime reason” for her move to Munich from Basle. Between 1999 and 2008, as professor at Basle University, she directed the orthodontics and pediatric dentistry clinic there. Her research emphases include biocompatible tests on orthodontics materials, the effect of musculature on functional processes, the development and testing of new spring systems and bridges in bonded technology, and mechanobiology. Born 1960, Andrea Wichelhaus studied dentistry in Cologne and Heidelberg. She received her doctorate in 1987 and then specialized in the field of orthodontics.
Between 1990 and 1999 she was senior physician and deputy director of Ulm University’s orthodontics department, where she was also awarded a professorship in 1996. Among other distinctions she received the Walter Engel prize in recognition of scientific innovations in orthodontics. In 1998 she was called to the chair of orthodontics at Halle University.               
In Munich the focus of Professor Wichelhaus’s research will be mechanobiology or signal transduction, tissue reconstruction following tooth movement, biomechanics and materials research, the genetics of cleft palate and syndrome patients, and diagnostic and imaging procedures. In the teaching domain she aims to integrate problem-oriented learning with the use of new media. Professor Wichelhaus believes that “knowledge should be downloadable for students whenever they need it.”

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