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Reiner Haag

Reiner Haag received the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize for his work in the area of Macromolecular Chemistry.

The Freiburg chemist Dr. Rainer Haag (33) was awarded the 2002 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize in recognition for his work on the synthesis and modification of dendritic polymers. Six young German researchers received this great distinction from the German Research Foundation (DFG) in Bonn in May. Awarded yearly since 1977, the prize recognizes and promotes outstanding achievements by early-stage researchers. Funding for the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize is provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Rainer Haag and his research group at the Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry of the University of Freiburg developed a synthesis for producing completely branched, tree-like macromolecules, so-called glycerine dendrimers. He is studying these perfect macromolecules, as well as the incompletely branched but more easily accessible polyglycerine developed at the same institute in groups led by Prof. Rolf Mülhaupt and Dr. Holger Frey, to learn more about the automatization of chemical syntheses. The highly functional “carrier polymers” offer many docking sites for tiny molecules, such as catalysts, i.e., active ingredients that can dock on and be modified there. This strategy holds great potential for the production of pharmaceuticals, since this docking process simplifies many filtration steps.
In addition, the tree-like, branched polymers developed by Rainer Haag’s group can also absorb, transport, and then release guest molecules in their crowns through selective functionalization. This “encapsulation” of tiny guest molecules could lead to new approaches for administering drugs in specific areas of the body.