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Professor Alexander Lerchl: start helper for successful studies


May 16, 2018

Those who choose one of the two introductory courses at Jacobs University Bremen, will get to know him: Alexander Lerchl, Professor of Biology and Ethics in Science and Technology, teaches students in the Medical Preparatory Year (MedPrep) and the Foundation Year - with the deepest of conviction. “As an experienced person I can give direction to younger people and help them make decisions. This is exciting and fun," says the 58-year-old, who has been researching and teaching at the international university since its foundation.

MedPrep is a challenging, two-semester program consisting of theory and practice, in which participants are specifically prepared for their future medical studies, including the obligatory entry tests. It’s "an excellent opportunity to get a university place," says Lerchl - and a win-win situation for everyone involved. For the students, because their chances of finding one of the rare study places are considerably improved, for the medical schools, because they get well-trained people, and for the teachers, because they are dealing with highly motivated students. "As professors, we really enjoy doing this," says Lerchl, who recently became a member of the renowned British Royal Society of Medicine founded in 1805 and teaches courses in natural sciences and laboratory science for the MedPrep Year.

In the Foundation Year, school leavers seek clarity in their choice of studies. Many of them already have an idea of what they want to study. But they want to get an overview of different subjects first - in order to find out for themselves whether the chosen subject really suits them. “Together we try to find out what interests each student," says Alexander Lerchl. “That is the starting point. Once this is clarified, the students catch on and participate with a great deal of motivation," says Lerchl. The bridge year also familiarizes participants with the basics of academic work - and the English language courses as well as mixing with fellow students from all over the world prepare them for studying in an international environment.

Alexander Lerchl is particularly interested in radiation protection and chronobiology. Together with his team, he investigates whether technically generated fields, such as those emitted by power lines, household appliances, mobile phones or transmission masts, are potentially harmful to health. He is particularly in demand by journalists in spring when it comes to spring fever. The biology of inner rhythms, the ups and downs of hormones in humans, is his second research field. His ethics course, which is open to all students and deals with the ethical responsibility of each individual in their profession, whether in medicine, biology or engineering, is also close to his heart.

Alexander Lerchl has been working at Jacobs University since its foundation in 2001. "I have never regretted this decision," he says. The campus with international students from over 100 countries is an unusually lively and positive place. In rankings, the university has occupied top positions for years; this must first be achieved. "We’ve built up something here," says Alexander Lerchl, "we did a good job.”

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