Skip to content

ISAS Congratulates Sven Heiles on his Habilitation

Dortmund, 31st January 2023

With his research on the structure and spatial distribution of lipids, Sven Heiles successfully habilitated in the field of analytical chemistry at Justus Liebig University (JLU) Giessen. A talk on this subject within the field of palaeontology concluded the habilitation procedure last Wednesday. Palaeontology refers to the scientific study of prehistoric beings, for example on the basis of fossils. How can analytical methods tell us more about the life of dinosaurs? In front of the Faculty Council as well as about 60 other guests, Heiles answered this question in an entertaining presentation.

Prof. Dr. Sven Heiles.


Born in Groß-Gerau, Hesse, Heiles received his doctorate with distinction from the TU Darmstadt in 2012 after studying chemistry there. His dissertation was followed by research stays at the University of Birmingham and the University of California, Berkeley. The chemist then conducted his research at JLU Gießen as a postdoc and, from 2016, as a junior research group leader. Since August 2022, Heiles has been junior professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen's Faculty of Chemistry and head of the Lipidomics Junior Research Group at ISAS.

Technologies like the isotope ratio mass spectrometer, the scanning electron microscope or the orbitrap mass spectrometer can be used to analyse the body temperature, physiology and biochemistry of dinosaurs as well as draw conclusions about their visual appearance. The 38-year old explained, for example, how analysing stable CO2 isotopomers (such as carbon dioxide molecules with the same number of protons but a different amount of neutrons and, therefore, a distinguishable mass) in fossils can provide information on dinosaurs’ body temperature. In addition, Heiles discussed the work of other researchers and explained how lipid signatures give an insight into the climate conditions of the time. Lastly, the chemist gave an intriguing outlook on controversially discussed aspects such as evidence of proteins and cells in dinosaur fossils.

(Bettina Dirauf / Sara Rebein)


Further articles

20th February 2024

SARS-CoV-2: The Very Latest Methods Clarify the Active Agents and the Mechanism of Action of Ancient Self-Medications

Prophylactic, soothing or even healing agents, mostly natural substances, have been known to natural medicine since ancient times. But what about viral infections? Could infusions made from sage or perilla also be used against SARS-CoV-2 infections -as a prevention or an aid to healing? An interdisciplinary team of researchers led by Prof Dr Mirko Trilling from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) and scientists at ISAS investigated these questions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Das Bild zeigt Prof. Dr. Mirko Trilling mit verschränkten Armen, an einer Wand lehnend. The picture shows Prof Dr Mirko Trilling with his arms folded, leaning against a wall.
7th February 2024

A Long Sought-After Combination Method in Mass Spectrometry

Researchers who analyse complex samples using mass spectrometers are often faced with the challenge that the substances they contain are fundamentally different. Some are chemically polar, others are non-polar. Until now, this has required two complex separate analyses. But a researcher at ISAS has developed a method with which even less polar substances can be included in a standard mass spectroscopic analysis for polar biological substances.

Daniel Foest steht im Labor und hält ein Papier mit einer Leberprobe, die er am Massenspektrometer untersucht.
12th January 2024

“My research is literally hard work"

Darleen Hüser is looking for the immuno-cellular fingerprint of rheumatoid arthritis. In this interview, the doctoral student reveals her razor-sharp research and why she needs different microscopes.

Das Porträt zeigt ISAS-Doktorandin Darleen Hüser aus der Arbeitsgruppe Bioimaging.
21st December 2023

Science Slam: Humorous Science Communication Is Fun for Everyone

Talking lab equipment, artificial intelligence and expertise from the North Pole - this colourful mix of topics characterised the latest Science Slam at the institute. Four ISAS employees demonstrated with their specialist knowledge and plenty of humour how science communication can be fun for everyone involved.

Luisa Becher fotografiert die vier Teilnehmenden des ISAS Science Slam.
20th December 2023

The Art of Balancing: Accuracy in Image Analysis

What challenges in analysing microscopic images can be mastered with artificial intelligence if the latter is incorporated at an early stage? Why should researchers think about the target metrics of image analysis when planning their experiment? Dr Jianxu Chen has now put together his tips, recently published in the journal Nature Methods, as a kind of checklist for researchers.

Die Abbildung zeigt eine Wage und symbolisiert das Gleichgewicht zwischen Analyse und Genauigkeit bei der Validierung von biomedizinischen Aufnahmen.
1st December 2023

Bone research: ISAS participates in the new "DIONE" Collaborative Research Centre

The nationwide project recently funded by the German Research Foundation is focussing on inflammation-induced bone loss. Researchers from Dortmund, Dresden, Erlangen/Nuremberg and Ulm want to find out exactly how inflammatory diseases - such as rheumatoid arthritis or intestinal diseases - damage bones. Among other things, their research aims to help identify new therapies for skeletal-associated diseases.

Bone structur with osteoporosis.
4th May 2023

What are you doing at ISAS, Joy?

What role does the oxygen levelin the blood play in thrombosis? Joy Amrei Brummel is tackling this and other questions in her bachelor's thesis. The 24-year-old student reports on how she applies her university knowledge in the ISAS laboratory.

Joy Amrei Brummel stellt eine Probe in die Zentrifuge.
27th January 2023

Guest Presentation: New Framework for Stem Cell Analysis

Dr Susanne Rafelski, deputy director of scientific programme at the Allen Institute for Cell Science is a guest at ISAS on 7 February.

Portrait Susanne Rafelski.
26th January 2023

ISAS Organises 54th DGMS Conference - Registration Now Open

The annual meeting of the German Society for Mass Spectrometry in Dortmund from May 14-17 will focus on mass spectrometric techniques and research.

Bild vom Dortmunder Hafen bei Nacht.