03. January 2022

Prof. Dr. Ilona Grunwald Prof. Dr. Ilona Grunwald

University Professorship (W3) for Physiology

Prof. Dr. Ilona Grunwald has been appointed Professor of Physiology and Head of the Institute of Physiology II at the Faculty of Medicine as of January 1, 2022.

Prof. Dr. Ilona Grunwald
Prof. Dr. Ilona Grunwald © © Astrid Eckert
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Prof. Grunwald had been working at the Technical University of Munich since 2017, where she held the professorship for Neuronal Control of Metabolism. Previously, she conducted research as an independent group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology in Martinsried near Munich. The main focus of her research is to understand how nervous systems enable humans and animals to adapt to the constant changes in their environment in the short and long term, thus ensuring their survival and the survival of the next generation.

For her research, she primarily uses flies (Drosophila melanogaster) as a model organism. In this, she investigates basic genetic, synaptic and neuronal circuit mechanisms that can also be applied to other organisms. One focus of her work is on how physiological states such as hunger or reproductive state alter the perception and neuronal processing of sensory impressions such as odors and tastes.

Prof. Grunwald received her diploma in biology from the Georg-August University of Göttingen in 1999. She subsequently conducted research as part of the graduate program at the renowned European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and successfully completed her doctorate at the University of Heidelberg in 2002. Longer stays abroad during her studies and as a postdoc took her to the University of California in San Diego and Los Angeles, among other places.

She has received various awards for her work, such as the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society, the Career Development Award of the Human Frontiers Science Program, the EMBO Young Investigator Award and the Dr. Heinrich Baur Award. She has also been awarded an Emmy Noether Group Leader Research Fellowship and an ERC Starting Grant. Since 2021, she has been a Henriette Heart Scout of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

With Professor Grunwald, we have been able to attract an excellent scientist to Bonn, who complements our research focus in the neurosciences in an outstanding way. We wish her all the best for her start in Bonn and welcome her warmly to the Medical Faculty.

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