Food chemist and glucosinolate expert Dr habil. Franziska Hanschen

Short portraits on International Women's Day

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Dr habil. Franziska Hanschen is head of the Research Group “Optimization of Glucosinolate Degradation Pathways” at the Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ). Here she works primarily on elucidating the formation, reactivity, identification and functionality of secondary plant substances, particularly those containing sulphur.

After studying food chemistry at the Technische Universität Berlin, she completed her doctorate there on the thermal degradation of glucosinolates in vegetable cabbage varieties (Brassica) and the subsequent reactions of the degradation products.

Dr Hanschen has been conducting research at the IGZ since 2012, initially as a postdoctoral researcher and completed several research stays abroad, before taking over the lead of a junior research group funded by the Leibniz Association in 2018.

In the coronavirus summer of 2020, Dr Hanschen completed her habilitation on the topic of “Enzymatic and non-enzymatic degradation of glucosinolates and their effects on the soil microbiota and humans” following what was probably one of the first virtual habilitation colloquia at the University of Hamburg. In 2020, she also received the prestigious "Werner Baltes Prize" from the Food Chemistry Society, a division of the German Chemical Society, for her outstanding scientific achievements. The renowned glucosinolate expert has been a regular research group leader at the IGZ since 2021.

In our interview for International Women's Day, we asked the food chemist and mother of a child what aspect of science she enjoys most and how to harmonise family and research.

International Women's Day
International Women's Day on 8 March has a long history as a symbol for the fight for women's rights. For more than a century, this day has been used to highlight injustices, demand equality and celebrate the achievements of women. It plays a central role in raising awareness of gender-specific challenges and promoting women in all areas of life. In the context of research at IGZ, International Women's Day emphasises the role of female scientists who enrich the landscape of plant and horticultural science with their commitment and expertise.

This video’s language is German, English subtitles are available.
This video is part of a short portrait series that was launched this year: