Moritz Schulze successfully defended his PhD thesis!

Research focused on mathematical modelling applied to pharmaceutical processes

January 23, 2024

Moritz Schulze began the IMPRS PhD program in January 2019 and defended his PhD thesis on October 13, 2023. He highlights the benefit of engaging in exchanges with members of the institute and fellow PhD candidates, fostering not only scientific discussions but also social interactions. Conversations with experts from diverse research fields expanded his perspective and facilitated a quicker understanding of the challenges he encountered.

Moritz Schulze's thesis, titled “Model-Based Process Identification for Pharmaceutical Synthesis” explored the realm of mathematical modelling applied to pharmaceutical processes. Mathematical modelling as part of his thesis included the development of models, the reliable identification of them from data, and their application.

Under the guidance of his doctoral advisor, Prof. Ulrike Krewer, and direct supervisor, Prof. René Schenkendorf, he aimed to utilize mathematical modelling in combination with a systematic strategy to in-silico generate process insights of pharmaceutical syntheses. The major part of his research involved collaborating with Prof. Seidel-Morgenstern's research group on the partial synthesis of the antimalarial artemisinin.

Together with his project partner, Dr.-Ing. Susann Triemer (also an IMPRS fellow who graduated in early 2023), Moritz Schulze developed a reactor and a kinetic model for the partial synthesis of artemisinin in a milliscale two-phase flow reactor. A significant challenge they solved was that the underlying reaction mechanisms were only partially known. 

Working with Prof. Seidel-Morgenstern and Dr.-Ing. Susann Triemer in the artemisinin synthesis project was an important experience for Moritz Schulze. It showed the complexity of real-world problems, emphasizing the need for interdisciplinary collaboration to address multifaceted challenges. The expertise of an interdisciplinary team helped to complement the scientific focus of each individual, demonstrating the power of diverse perspectives in problem-solving.

Reflecting on his journey, the Moritz Schulze offers a simple yet crucial piece of advice to future PhD students in the program – don't hesitate to ask. Embrace the opportunities provided by the program and engage with fellow researchers. The collaborative nature of academia is a powerful tool, and utilizing the collective knowledge of the community can significantly enhance the research experience.

Currently, Moritz Schulze is working as a postdoc at Boehringer Ingelheim, where he is applying the skills and knowledge gained during his PhD studies to address challenges in pharmaceutical development. This includes developing mathematical models and planning experiments to collect informative data. The transition from academia to industry underlines the practical applicability of the skills developed during his time in the IMPRS/OGVU program.

Moritz Schulze expresses his gratitude to the IMPRS for the opportunity to be part of this multidiverse scientific community. The program has played a significant role in shaping his academic and professional career, resulting in a lasting positive impact.

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