ERC Starting Grant 2018

LOGO_ERC-FLAG_EU_ 2Dr. Benjamin Fingerhut, junior group leader at the Max Born Institute (MBI), is recipient of the prestigious ERC Starting Grant 2018. The project addresses ultrafast biomolecular dynamics via a non-adiabatic theoretical approach. The award is granted by the European Research Council (ERC) to support excellent researchers at the beginning of their independent research careers.

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the awardees of its Starting Grants. In the highly competitive selection procedure, the research proposal of Benjamin Fingerhut has been selected for funding. ERC Starting Grants are designed to support excellent early career researchers in establishing their own independent research programme. ERC Starting Grants are awarded to researchers up to 7 years after their PhD to conduct a research programme at a European university or research institute. The grants are awarded under the “excellent science” pillar of Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme with a funding of up to Euro 1.5 million for a maximum of 5 years.

The successful project is devoted to the fundamental understanding of ultrafast biomolecular vibrational dynamics in the mid-IR/THz spectral region where biologically highly relevant dynamics occur. The innovative non-adiabatic approach addresses fundamental problems, such as proton transfer, vibrational lifetimes and the dissipation of excess energy. The project aims to elucidate ultrafast biomolecular vibrational dynamics in dipolar liquids, within nanoconfined environments and in the vicinity of biological interfaces. As such the non-adiabatic approach to biomolecular vibrational dynamics facilitates insight into transmembrane proton translocation mechanisms which is highly relevant as microscopic foundation of cell respiration.

Further information on ERC Starting Grants 2018:

May 2017 Featured Article in Structural Dynamics

Our recent acticle
Molecular couplings and energy exchange between DNA and water mapped by femtosecond infrared spectroscopy of backbone vibrations

by Yingliang Liu, Biswajit Guchhait, Torsten Siebert, Benjamin P. Fingerhut, and Thomas Elsaesser

was selected as May Featured Article in Structural Dynamics.



Robin Hochstrasser Young Investigator Award

Dr. Benjamin Fingerhut, junior group leader at the Max-Born-Institute (MBI) receives the 2016 Robin Hochstrasser Young Investigator Award. The award is granted by an international scientific committee, consisting of members of the editorial board of the journal Chemical Physics, in order to support excellent early career researchers.

To honor Robin Hochstrasser and support young scientists Elsevier has initiated for Chemical Physics the Robin Hochstrasser Young Investigator Award. Professor Hochstrasser was one of the pioneers in ultrafast spectroscopy of molecular systems and has made seminal contributions to our understanding of condensed phase structure and dynamics. His group was the first to introduce 2D IR spectroscopy in 1998 as optical analogue of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Today, this technique is among the most important in ultrafast science. At MBI, it has been extended into the terahertz range and is being applied to biophysical problems.

The Robin Hochstrasser Young Investigator Award of Chemical Physics is granted to excellent scientists younger than 40 years of age on the basis of their scientific contributions. An international committee of scientists, consisting of five members of the editorial board of Chemical Physics, selects the winner from the nominations.

Benjamin Fingerhut joined the MBI in 2014 and is currently supported by an Emmy Noether Early Career Grant of the German Research Foundation (DFG) which allowed him to establish the new Junior Research Group: Biomolecular Dynamics at the MBI. His research involves the development of state of the art spectroscopic simulation techniques and their application to the real-time determination of ultrafast structural dynamics of molecular and biomolecular systems. The group combines analytical and computational approaches for novel simulation protocols suited to investigate excited-state non-adiabatic dynamics as well as vibrational dynamics of spacio-selective probes like phosphate groups to explore fluctuation induced decoherence dynamics in aqueous and biological environments.


for further information:

Accepted talk at the STC2016

Martin’s contribution entitled “Nonlinear Signals From Nonadiabatic ab-initio Molecular Dynamics Simulations”

was accepted as talk at the Symposium on Theoretical Chemistry 2016.



for more information see:

Symposium on Theoretical Chemistry 2016

The new Intel Xeon E5-2650 v2 based 2U Twin2 Nodes arrived at MBI.










Two nodes will be equipped with MIC Xeon Phi support.



The German Research Foundation (DFG) awarded an Emmy Noether Early Career Grant to Dr. B. P. Fingerhut. Our research will focus on the theoretical description of biolmolecular dynamics within area C of the Max-Born-Institute.


International Conference on Ultrafast Phenomena

The paper “Signatures of Conical Intersection Mediated Relaxation Dynamics in Time-Resolved Broadband Raman Detection” by B. Fingerhut (MBI), K. Dorfman (UC Irvine) and Shaul Mukamel (UC Irvine) has been accepted for an oral presentation at the 19th International Conference on Ultrafast Phenomena (UP), held 7 – 11 July in Okinawa, Japan.

Prof. S. Haroche @ Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Nobel price winner  Prof.  Serge Haroche will be @ Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

on Thu, Feb. 06. 2014, 18:30 Uhr

“Manipulating photons non-destructively and taming Schrödinger cats of light”

for details see: