Alexander Steinbüchel was born in 1953, and studied Biology at the University of Göttingen. After receiving his PhD (Prof. Schlegel, 1983), he spent one year at the Rockefeller University (New York) with Prof. DeDuve. Returning to Göttingen, he completed his habilitation in 1991. He was awarded the PhilipMorris research prize in 1992. He has been Professor of Microbiology and the Director of the Institute for Microbiology at the University of Münster since 1994. His second affiliation as Distinguished Adjunct Professor is at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). His research interests include microbial polymers (polyesters, polyamides, polyisoprenoides), lipids, organic sulfur compounds and vanillin. The focus is on the characterization of key enzymes and the engineering of the metabolism aiming at improved biotechnological production processes and biosynthesis of novel compounds.