Winfried Denk

Winfried Denk

Winfried Denk, born 12 November 1957 in Germany, studied physics at the Ludwig- Maximilians University in Munich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and Cornell University (PhD 1989) in 1989. He worked at the IBM research lab in Zurich and at Bell Laboratories before becoming a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg in 1999. He is in the process of moving his department, to the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Physics, University of Heidelberg and a Senior Fellow, HHMI Janelia Research Campus.

Honors and awards

  • 1998  Young Investigator Award (Biophysical Society)
  • 2000  Rank Prize for Opto-Electronics
  • 2003  Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize der DFG (German Research Council)
  • 2006  Alden Spencer Award, Columbia Universtity, New York
  • 2012  Kavli Prize in Neuroscience, Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters
  • 2013  Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), USA
  • 2014  The Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award in basic medical research (Brandeis University)

Research Interest

My main interests lie in the development of microscopy techniques. Currently my lab is working on methods to reconstruct the synaptic circuit diagram of an entire mouse brain using serial block face electron-microscopic. In the past I have worked on near-field optical super-resolution microscopy, protein-structure determination using multi-dimensional NMR, mechano-electrical transduction in hair cells, multi-photon microscopy, calcium signaling in synaptic spines and in dendrites and on motion-processing in the retina.