Nathalie Katsonis


Nathalie Katsonis received her MSc (2001) and PhD (2004) degrees from the University Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris, France). Her investigations of the interplay between motion, light and molecular machines started in the group of Ludovic Jullien, where she researched the chromophore that initiates the flagellar movement of purple bacteria. For her postdoctoral research she moved to the group of Ben Feringa to investigate chirality and order in supramolecular assemblies.

Her independent career started in 2007 as Associate Researcher for the French National Center for Scientific Research. In 2008 she was invited back to Groningen to work with Feringa on artificial molecular motors and switches. In 2011 she took up a tenure-track position at the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente (the Netherlands), where she was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014 and to Full Professor in 'Bio-inspired and Smart Materials' since 2017. In March 2020 she joined the Stratingh Institute of Chemistry of the University of Groningen (the Netherlands), as Professor of 'Active Molecular Systems and Materials'.

Katsonis has led the way in transmitting directed molecular motion across length scales, with a special focus on the role of chirality and on the effects of mechanically-relevant motion of molecular machines. Her achievements have provided the underpinnings for increasingly complex functionalities in dynamic and ultimately life-like supramolecular materials.


Awards and grants

  • 2019    Board Member of the van't Hoff Foundation
  • 2018    ERC Consolidator Grant
  • 2017    Gold Medal of the Royal Dutch Chemical Society
  • 2017    ECHO grant from the Dutch Science Foundation
  • 2016    Athena Award from the Dutch Science Foundation
  • 2014    De Jonge Akademie of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2014    FOM Projectruimte (from the Dutch Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter)
  • 2012    University of Twente "Prof. De Winter Prize"
  • 2012    Aspasia Grant from the Dutch Science Foundation
  • 2012    ERC Starting Grant
  • 2012    international Exchange Grant from the Royal Society
  • 2011    U-Twist Fellowship of the University of Twente
  • 2010    Vidi grant from the Dutch Science Foundation
  • 2004    Veni Grant from the Dutch Science Foundation


Invited lectures

  • 2019    Chirality at the Nanoscale, Monte Verita, Ascona, Switzerland
  • 2019    International Conference on Molecular Systems Engineering, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • 2019    International Symposium on Chiral Discrimination, Bordeaux
  • 2018    Supr@Lyon “Supramolecular chemistry at work”, Lyon, France.
  • 2018    ERC Grantees Conference, Weizmann Institute, Israel
  • 2018    Keynote Speaker, Avond van de Chemie (115th anniversary of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society)
  • 2017    Molecular Machines Nobel Prize Conference, University of Groningen, NL
  • 2017    International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry, Cambridge
  • 2017    GRC Artificial Molecular Switches and Motors, USA
  • 2017    GRC Supramolecular Materials, Switzerland
  • 2016    Colloquium of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences
  • 2016    International Liquid Crystal Conference, USA
  • 2016    Molecular rotors, motors and switches, Telluride, USA
  • 2016    Molecular switches and functional surfaces, Germany
  • 2016    Anisotropy and shape in biological materials, Lorentz Center
  • 2016    First Middle-Eastern Materials Science Conference, Abu Dhabi
  • 2016    FOM Dagen focus session on materials, The Netherlands
  • 2015    GRC Artificial Molecular Switches and Motors, USA
  • 2014    EuCheMs Young Investigators Workshop, Cyprus
  • 2014    Symposium of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society, The Netherlands