Inspiring students to love science

idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Nachrichten, Termine, Experten

Grafik: idw-Logo
Thema Corona

Science Video Project

24.08.2018 15:25

Inspiring students to love science

Thomas Joppig Corporate Communications & Public Relations
Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH

    Of course, he was surprised. After all, no former student had ever donated 50,000 euros to his or her professor at Jacobs University Bremen. “This was an unbelievably momentous occasion for me,” says Sebastian Springer. A few years ago, the biochemist had seen potential in an applicant from far-away Yemen that no-one else saw. Other universities and colleges had rejected Hashem Al-Ghaili’s application. But not Springer, who awarded him a place to study at Jacobs University. Al-Ghaili, who was to later become a science communicator with 27 million Facebook followers, expressed his gratefulness in the form of a donation. Springer has invested the funds in cancer research equipment.

    “Potential” is an important concept for the 52-year old scientist. Developing the abilities of each and every one of his students, motivating and giving them the tools they need to succeed is his passion. “The greatest reward for me in teaching is when a student says: Wow - I never thought I could achieve that.”

    Springer teaches students from all over the world. They are frequently highly talented and extremely motivated, and come from a variety of learning cultures. Bringing them together and promoting teamwork - that is an important initial task. The groups are small and Springer knows each person - the contact with students is very intensive. He always imparts skills using concrete examples; he records each of his lectures and makes them available to the students. The level is as high as the demands "We train top students and give them the very best career opportunities.”

    Being ambitious in his academic goals, with the objective of delivering the best possible quality to be able to keep up with the best internationally in his scientific endeavors - that is important to Springer. Before joining the International University Bremen in the year of its establishment in 2001, which later became Jacobs University, he worked with future Nobel Laureate Randy Schekman at the University of California at Berkeley for five years. "This was an environment in which we were always encouraged to set ourselves the highest possible goals and achieve the very best results. It didn’t happen because of pressure from above, but because of an atmosphere of mutual encouragement among colleagues.”

    He tries to apply this philosophy to his own research group, which consists of doctoral students, post-docs, a technician and student assistants. Springer is an enthusiastic basic researcher who wants to discover something new. His enjoyment of research stems from his curiosity and fascination with nature, and he passes on this enthusiasm to his students who are involved in research at a very early stage and often achieve outstanding results. "How cells, the organism and the immune system interact is simply beautiful," says Springer. “I feel very privileged to be able to work on this.”

    How does a cell organize its components at the right places? Why does a protein look like this and not differently? The seemingly naive question of “why” is always at the beginning of his research, says Springer. This can give rise to something concrete. Together with his team, Springer has developed a new method for the production of diagnostic reagents that simplify the treatment of cancer. This research project took fourteen years, the result of which has been patented and is now to lead to the foundation of a company. "Hopefully we can use it to financially give back to Jacobs University, which has, after all, invested in our work.”

    Springer is a lecturer, researcher - and now also an official. The father of two children, whose wife is headmistress of a Bremen high school, is a spokesperson representing the interests of the professors in the Academic Senate, the university's highest decision-making body in academic matters, at Jacobs University. For him, this is a new, exciting experience contributing to the further development of the university. He wants to support the introduction of new Master's programs in the life sciences. What is needed here are skills that tend to play a subordinate role in his everyday scientific work: the balancing of interests, for example, and the finding of compromises. There is no doubt that Sebastian Springer will also master this task.

    This text is part of the series "Faces of Jacobs", in which Jacobs University is featuring students, alumni, professors and employees. For more stories, please have a look at

    For more information:

    About Jacobs University Bremen:
    Studying in an international community. Obtaining a qualification to work on responsible tasks in a digitized and globalized society. Learning, researching and teaching across academic disciplines and countries. Strengthening people and markets with innovative solutions and advanced training programs. This is what Jacobs University Bremen stands for. Established as a private, English-medium campus university in Germany in 2001, it is continuously achieving top results in national and international university rankings. Its almost 1,400 students come from more than 100 countries with around 80% having relocated to Germany for their studies. Jacobs University’s research projects are funded by the German Research Foundation or the European Research Council as well as by globally leading companies.
    For more information:

    Thomas Joppig | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
    Corporate Communications & Public Relations | Tel.: +49 421 200-4504
    Commercial registry: Amtsgericht Bremen, HRB 18117
    President/ Managing Director: Prof. Dr. Michael Hülsmann (Geschäftsführer)
    Chair Board of Governors: Prof. Dr. Antonio Loprieno (Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender)

    Merkmale dieser Pressemitteilung:
    Journalisten, Lehrer/Schüler, Studierende, Wirtschaftsvertreter, Wissenschaftler, jedermann
    Biologie, Chemie, Ernährung / Gesundheit / Pflege, Medizin
    Forschungs- / Wissenstransfer, Studium und Lehre

    Dr. Sebastian Springer is Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Jacobs University Bremen.

    Zum Download


    Prof. Dr. Sebastian Springer with his former student and current Social-Media-Star Hashem Al-Ghaili.

    Zum Download



    Die Suche / Erweiterte Suche im idw-Archiv

    Sie können Suchbegriffe mit und, oder und / oder nicht verknüpfen, z. B. Philo nicht logie.


    Verknüpfungen können Sie mit Klammern voneinander trennen, z. B. (Philo nicht logie) oder (Psycho und logie).


    Zusammenhängende Worte werden als Wortgruppe gesucht, wenn Sie sie in Anführungsstriche setzen, z. B. „Bundesrepublik Deutschland“.


    Die Erweiterte Suche können Sie auch nutzen, ohne Suchbegriffe einzugeben. Sie orientiert sich dann an den Kriterien, die Sie ausgewählt haben (z. B. nach dem Land oder dem Sachgebiet).

    Haben Sie in einer Kategorie kein Kriterium ausgewählt, wird die gesamte Kategorie durchsucht (z.B. alle Sachgebiete oder alle Länder).

    Cookies optimieren die Bereitstellung unserer Dienste. Durch das Weitersurfen auf erklären Sie sich mit der Verwendung von Cookies einverstanden. Datenschutzerklärung