Prof. Stefan Saletinig joined the Faculty of Science and Medicine in February 2019. Learn more about his work, passion, and objectives at our Faculty.
1. What is your research focus?
Prof. Salentinig: "My research focuses on unraveling some of the fundamental physico-chemical concepts of food and its interaction with the digestive tract. The global goal of my research is the design of healthy food and oral drug delivery systems. As an example, natural food materials such as milk have been optimized by evolution over millions of years to secure the development through nutrient transport, and survival of species. Yet their physical chemistry in the digestive tract is not well understood. Only recently, my team discovered the formation of highly-ordered liquid crystalline nanostructures in food systems such as milk or mayonnaise during digestion. Such findings provide us with new nature-inspired design strategies that may ultimately lead to food materials that can be personalized to the needs of the consumer, for instance, to advance clinical nutrition, fight metabolic diseases or deliver drugs in their optimal form to a specific location in the body."
2. What do you find particularly interesting/appealing about our Faculty?
Prof. Salentinig: "The collaborative mindset with the open culture of sharing expertise across disciplines is very appealing to me. Further, I am very happy about the facilities and the broad range of expertise that the Faculty offers, that is crucial for state-of-the-art student training and research projects. The bilingual culture of the University is also interesting for me as it reflects the global, inter-cultural and inter-disciplinary spirit of science that is becoming more and more important to solve the complex global challenges of the future."
3. What do you wish to achieve here in Fribourg?
Prof. Salentinig: " I wish to initiate a vibrant, international research and teaching program in experimental physical chemistry with a focus on food that inspires students to become the next generation of scientists in this emerging field. The students of today are the generation that will continue discovering fundamental principles in nature and design new materials that we can’t even think of today. I am also working on forming a network in Fribourg with partners from academia, clinics and industry in a collaborative spirit to transform fundamental science into new products with broader impact."
4. What is your personal message or passion you would like to share with our students?
Prof. Salentinig: " Stay curious, keep exploring and continuously challenge yourself and the world around you. Have fun in what you are doing and don’t take yourself too seriously. Above all, don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes – they are important for you to improve. To quote Niels Bohr: “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.”"