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Prof. Dr. Reinhard Genzel

Prof. Dr. Reinhard Genzel is one of the directors at MPE, Honorary Professor of Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich (since 1989) and Full Professor in the Physics Department of the University of California, Berkeley (since 1999). He received his Ph.D. in physics and astronomy in1978 at the University of Bonn with a thesis in radio astronomy prepared at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy at Bonn. During the years 1978-80 he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, focusing on radio very long baseline interferometry and mid-infrared studies of Galactic star forming regions, from 1980 to 1982 Miller Fellow at the University of Berkeley working on far-infrared spectroscopy, from 1981 to 1985 Associate and Full Professor at the Department of Physics doing research in infrared and submillimeter astrophysics and studies of the Interstellar Medium. In 1986 he was appointed Director at MPE where he and his group have been carrying out a program of studying the Galactic Center, active galactic nuclei and star formation in galaxies at high-redshift with state of the art infrared instruments developed at the Institute. For his research, Prof. Genzel received many honours and awards including Otto Hahn Medal of the Max-Planck Society (1980), Miller Fellowship (University of California, Berkeley 1980), Presidential Young Investigators Award (1984), Fellow of the American Physical Society (1985), Newton Lacy Pierce Prize of the American Astronomical Society (1986), Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG (German Research Association) (1990), de Vaucouleurs Medal of the University of Texas (2000), Janssen Prize of the SociÈtÈ Astronomique de France (2000), Stern-Gerlach-Medal of the German Society of Physics (2003), Balzan Prize for ‘Infrared Astronomy’, Switzerland (2003), Petrie Prize, Canadian Astronomical Society (2005), Einstein Medal of the Albert-Einstein-Gesellschaft AEG (Albert Einstein Society), Bern, Switzerland (2007), Shaw Prize of The Shaw Prize Foundation, Hong Kong (2008), Premio Galileo, Fondazione Premio Galileo 2000, Italy (2009), Honorary Doctorate, Leiden University, Netherlands (2010), Karl Schwarzschild Prize, Astronomische Gesellschaft AG (German Astronomical Society) (2011), and he was also elected Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences (2000), Foreign Member of the AcadÈmie des Sciences de France (1998), Member of the European Academy of Sciences (2002), Member of the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina (2002), Member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (2003), and Foreign Corresponding Member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Exact Sciences, Physics and Chemistry, Madrid, Spain (2010).

Research interests:

  • Astrophysics of galactic nuclei
  • Star formation and dynamics of galaxies
  • Massive Black holes
  • Experimental infrared, submillimeter, and millimeter astronomy


Contact Address:

Prof. Dr. Reinhard Genzel
Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik
P.O. Box 1312
D-85741 Garching, Germany

E-Mail: genzel @

Fax: +49-89-30000-3601