Obituary Prof. Dr. Helmut Ringsdorf


Helmut Ringsdorf, whose work laid the foundation of our SFB 1066, died on
March 20th 2023. From 1971 to 1994 he was a professor of chemistry
at the University of Mainz, where he taught Organic and Polymer Chemistry. He
was a visionary explorer, who worked in the interdisciplinary field between
Materials- and Life-Science. This included work on Liquid Crystals
(Supramolecular Systems) and the development of the concept of Nanomedicine
(polymeric pharmaca against tumors). In doing so, he acted as an explorer
searching for new islands with -in any respect- interesting properties in yet
unknown parts of the ocean. This work brought him into the group of the 100
most cited chemists worldwide. And it laid the foundation for this SFB granted
in 2013. A summary of his ideas and concepts leading to this evaluation can be
found here.


From Self-Organization to Tumor-Immune therapy: How things started and how they evolved?

Matthias Barz, Lutz Nuhn, Gerhard Hörpel, Rudolf Zentel

Macromol. Rapid Commun. 43, 2100829 (2022); DOI: 10.1002/marc.202100829



Prof. Ringsdorf was born on July 30th in Gießen. He studied chemistry at the universities of
Frankfurt, Darmstadt and Freiburg, where he finished his studies in 1958 under the
supervision of Hermann Staudinger (master) and Elfriede Husemann (PhD). After a
Postdoc at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (New York City) he started his
independent career at the university of Marburg. In in 1971 he got the offer
for a full professorship at the university of Mainz. Personally, he is married
-since the time of his PhD thesis- with Margot. They have 2 children.


Symposium to start a cooperation between the universities Mainz and Kyushu (Japan) in November 2018; from left to right: R. Zentel (former speaker of the SFB), H. Ringsdorf; The speech of H. Ringsdorf can be found here: