Christoph A. Merten (www.merten.embl.de) studied biochemistry at the University of Frankfurt and obtained his PhD on directed evolution of retroviral vectors for gene therapy applications at the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Langen, Germany. Subsequently he did a postdoc at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge (UK), focussing on in vitro compartmentalization techniques. In 2005 he moved to the Institut de Science et d'Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (ISIS) in Strasbourg, France, where he became a junior group leader in 2007. Christoph joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, as a Principal Investigator in 2010, where his group focusses on microfluidic approaches in drug discovery, personalised medicine and genetics.
Christoph´s group pioneered the use of droplet-microfluidics for large-scale cell-based assays. They demonstrated the screening of several hundred thousand antibodies for binding, inhibition of a drug target or even the effect on a target cell in a single experiment. Furthermore, the group established a personalized therapy platform enabling to test drug combinations directly on tumor biopsies. Christoph Merten is an inventor on a total of 15 patents (four of them with him as the sole inventor) and collaborates with many academic groups (e.g. The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, EU Blueprint Consortium, Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit) and pharma companies (e.g. Roche, GSK), in Europe and the US. In 2017 he founded the antibody discovery company Velabs Therapeutics (www.velabs-therapeutics.com), where he also serves as CSO.