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Prof. Dr. Ewine van Dishoeck

Prof. Dr. Ewine van Dishoeck is an external scientific member at MPE and full professor of astronomy at Leiden University, the Netherlands, where she received her PhD in 1984 cum laude.  From 1984-1987 she was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows where she continued her research at the boundary of astronomy, molecular physics and chemistry.  In this period, she also held a visiting fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton. In 1987, she was appointed as a visiting professor at Princeton University, and from 1988-1990 she was an assistant professor in cosmochemistry at the California Institute for Technology. In 1990, she moved back to Leiden University as a senior lecturer, and was appointed as a full professor of molecular astrophysics in 1995. Her research group at MPE and Leiden now focusses on the astrochemical evolution from interstellar clouds to planet-forming disks and the importance of molecules as diagnostics of the star- and planet formation process, using observations at submillimeter and infrared wavelengths. In 1992 (until 2007), she succeeded Prof. J. Mayo Greenberg as director of the Raymond & Beverly Sackler Laboratory for Astrophysics at Leiden Observatory, in which physical and chemical processes in icy grain mantles are simulated.  She holds many national and international science policy functions, including scientific director of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA), chair of the working group on Astrochemistry of the International Astronomical Union, and has significant involvements in ALMA, JWST-MIRI and Herschel. Prof. van Dishoeck received many honors and awards for her research including the Maria Goeppert-Mayer award of the American Physical Society (1993), the Bourke Medal of the UK Royal Society of Chemistry (2001), Spinoza Award of the Dutch National Science Foundation (2000), Member of the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences (2001), Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences (2001), Physica Prize of the Netherlands Physical Society (2005), Petrie award of the Canadian Astronomical Society (2007), and Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2008).

Research interests:

  • Interstellar molecules, astrochemistry
  • Star- and planet formation
  • Submillimeter and infrared astronomy
  • Laboratory astrophysics


Contact Address:

Prof. Dr. Ewine van Dishoeck
Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik
P.O. Box 1312
D-85741 Garching, Germany

E-Mail: ewine @
ewine @