Professor Regine Willumeit-Römer now heads the “Metallic Biomaterials” division
The Institute of Materials Research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht is to be expanded at the beginning of the new year by adding a fifth division. The new director is Professor Regine Willumeit-Römer, long-time department head at HZG.
Photo: HZG/ Christian Schmid
The physicist and biochemist has only been researching degradable medical implants using metallic biomaterials for approximately nine years. The forty-eight-year-old materials researcher, however, has gained an esteemed reputation both nationally and internationally in her field. She has, for example, obtained three million Euros for the EU project MagnIM and has secured the same amount in funding for the Helmholtz-supported Virtual Institute MetBioMat.
“My aim is to establish the Metallic Biomaterials division as a centre for scientific expertise in Germany. This goal is supported by the inter-institutional cooperation that we have here in Geesthacht,” Regine Willumeit-Römer explains. The entire process chain is covered here in Geesthacht, from the material development to the characterisation and structural investigation down to the production of magnesium prototypes.
The new materials for medical implants, bone screws for example, are to be used as substitutes for the body’s own material. The material is biodegradable, dissolving within the organism on its own after the bones heal. This avoids the necessity of a second surgery to remove the screw.
The two departments within her new division are concerned with the influence of materials on cell metabolism as well as the development and improvement of metallic biomaterials for medical applications. Plans also include new laboratory expansion and an increase in personnel.
About: Regine Willumeit-Römer completed her doctorate in physics at the University of Hamburg in 1996 and her post-doctoral “habilitation” in biochemistry in 2003. She also served as a teaching professor in Hamburg. In September 2014 she accepted a professorship at Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, where she will give her inaugural lecture on the 12th of January: “How Do Degradable Magnesium Implants Affect Bones?"
The new “Metallic Biomaterials” division