David Heckmann - former doctoral candidate of the international Graduate School for Plant Science at HHU (iGRADplant) was honoured for the best doctoral thesis 2014 of the faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science

David Heckmann, a graduate of the International Graduate Training Group for Plant Science (iGRADplant)
Photo: Steffen Köhler

David Heckmann got a Bachelor´s degree in biology at the University of Cologne, Germany, before starting his fast-track doctorate in bioinformatics at HHU. He has been part of the International Graduate School for Plant Science (iGRADplant) at HHU.

David Heckmann took part in the fast-track PhD program in Biology but also additionally obtained his
Master´s degree during his doctorate.

“HHU provided good conditions – There were people who knew how to approach the theoretical parts of my PhD project and we already had available experimental data to start our interdisciplinary project combining questions in biology with informatics.”

As part of the graduate training within iGRADplant he went to Michigan State University for six months.
“The special feature of Michigan State University was the large focus on bioinformatics. I was very impressed by the various research groups within plant science and the seriousness of the students who worked there.“

David Heckmann liked the interdisciplinary exchange within iGRADplant which led to new contacts and supported his work. He also acknowledges the possibility that the Cluster of Excellence on Plant Science at HHU (CEPLAS) offers an additional opportunity for interdisciplinary research on his subject.

David Heckmann graduated in the summer of 2014 and received the PhD prize of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences in 2015. Currently he wants to complete his projects at HHU while searching for research possibilities abroad.

David Heckmann has been interviewed by Mareike Schulz in February 2015.

In person

David Heckmann

2009 - Bachelor of Science in Biology at the Universität cologne,
"Theoretical studies of two-prey-one-predator system"
2014 - Dr. rer. nat. in Biology/Bioinformatics at HHU Düsseldorf (iGRADplant)

PhD project:
"Mathematical modelling of metabolism applied to the evolution of photosynthesis
" best doctoral thesis 2014 of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Research group: 
Prof. Dr. Martin Lercher, Institute for Bioinformatics at HHU

Graduate Training:
Interdisciplinary Graduate and Research Academy (iGRAD) and the International Research Training Group iGRADplant

Additional information:
Participation in the Genetics Program of the Michigan State University as part of the iGRADplant graduate training program

Heckmann et al (2013)
Cell 153, 1579-1588

Mallmann J, Heckmann D, et al (2014) eLife, 10.7554/

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