“I love working with colorful proteins – next to useful it makes your day in the lab just beautiful…”
After receiving his Diploma in Biology from the Ruhr University Bochum in the Department of Biophysics (Klaus Gerwert), ACS conducted his Ph.D. studies at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, in the group of Nobel Laureate Stefan Hell and under the supervision of Stefan Jakobs where he was pivotal in pioneering the field of photo-switchable proteins for super-resolution imaging. After receiving his Ph.D. from the Ruprecht-Karls University, Heidelberg, in 2008 ACS moved for a postdoctoral stay to the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, where he worked on computer aided protein engineering in the group of Birte Höcker, specifically pioneering a sensor for direct visualization of auxin which created significant attention. During his time in Tübingen ACS spend time as a guest researcher at the HHMI research campus Janelia Farm. In 2015 ACS moved to Munich to start the CellEngineering group at the Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging (Vasilis Ntziachristos). Since then, ACS is key to advancing the field of genetically encoded Optoacoustic contrast agents. He also picked up on his favorite topic of photo-switchable proteins, by introducing (in parallel with an US consortium) photo- switching as a unique way to overcome background limitations in Optoacoustic imaging and enable the method for the visualization of small cell numbers deep in the animal. Since 2024 ACS is full professor at the University of Regensburg. ACS primary interests are protein engineering (bioengineering), fluorescent and in general chromophore bearing proteins and optical imaging. ACS projects are primarily funded through the German Research Foundation (DFG), the European Research Council (ERC, Consolidator Grant 2020), the European Innovation Council (EIC, Pathfinder, 2021), the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI, 2024) and the Helmholtz Center Munich.