Dr Peter Richard Wich
Senior Lecturer

Dr Peter Richard Wich

Sch: Chemical Engineering

Senior Lecturer and Junior Professor for Bioorganic and Macromolecular Chemistry
(School of Chemical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney)

  • In 2009, Peter Wich received his PhD in chemistry at the University of Würzburg (Germany) in the group of Prof. Carsten Schmuck.
  • From 2010–2012 he worked as Feodor Lynen research fellow (postdoc) in the laboratory of Prof. Jean M.J. Fréchet at the University of California Berkeley (USA).
  • From 2012–2018, he was working as Assistant Professor (Junior­pro­fes­sor, W1) of Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Mainz (Germany) – Institute of Pharmacy and Bio­chemistry.
  • Since 2018 he is appointed as Senior Lecturer at UNSW Chemical Engineering, Sydney (Australia) and is part of the Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design (CAMD) as well as the Australian Center for Nanomedicine (ACN)

Peter has been awarded more than 20 prizes and scholarships for his research, including the Innovation Prize in Medicinal/Pharmaceutical Chemistry for his work on bioinspired nanomaterials (jointly awarded by the German Chemical and the German Pharmaceutical Society) and the Galenus Technology Prize, for his innovative achievements in the field of Pharmaceutical Technology. In 2016, he was selected as “Young Member” of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz, Germany. In recognition of his achievements, he was selected in 2019 to represent the element Roentgenium in the IUPAC Periodic Table of Younger Chemists. In 2020, Peter was named as Polymer Chemistry Emerging Investigator, a biennial selection of polymer scientists in the early stages of their independent careers. 
Peter has been an independent group leader for the last 8 years, graduated 7 PhD students, and overall has successfully attracted more than €2 million (AUD $3 million) in support packages and competitive funding as lead- and co-investigator in his research career.

Research Focus

Peter leads the UNSW Research Lab for Functional Biopolymers. His primary research interests are in the fields of macromolecular chemistry at the interface between nanotechnology and bioorganic chemistry. His lab focuses on the chemical modification of natural biopolymers with the aim to engineer new multifunctional and biocompatible materials for applications in drug delivery, nanomedicine and bio-catalysis.


For more detailed information please visit our website: www.wichlab.com
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @peterwich and give us a like on Facebook:

Awards and Scholarships

2020 Polymer Chemistry Emerging Investigator 
2019 IUPAC Periodic Table of Younger Chemists (representing Roentgenium 111)
2019 Soft Matter Emerging Investigators 
2017 Galenus Technology Prize (Galenus-Privatstiftung, Vienna)
2017 Literature Prize for Textbook “Organische Chemie – Beyer/Walter” (FCI)
2016 Member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature|Mainz (Junge Akademie)
2016 MedChemComm ‘New Talent: Europe’
2014 Innovation Prize in Medicinal/Pharmaceutical Chemistry (GDCh/DPhG)
2012 Award of the “Emil und Paul Müller-Gedächtnisstiftung”
2010–2012 Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation)
2010 Dr. Luis Moroder Award (Excellent Stone Award)
2010 Reaxys PhD Prize (Runner-Up)
2010 IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists (Honorable Mention Award)
2010 Award of the “Unterfränkische Gedenkjahrstiftung für Wissenschaft”
2009/2010 Faculty-Award for Best PhD Thesis (University of Würzburg)
2006–2008 PhD Scholarship of the “Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes”
2004/2005 Faculty-Award for Best Diploma in Chemistry (University of Würzburg)

Engagement in Science and Education (selection)

In 2016, Peter published together with his colleagues Schmuck und Schirmeister a completely revised edition of the German textbook "Organic Chemistry - Beyer / Walter". For the work on this book, they received 2017 the Literature Prize of the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (FCI; Chemical Industry Fund)
In addition to research and teaching at the university, he is also engaged to communicate scien­tific topics to a broader audience. He is the founder of the largest and most successful online portal for chemical experiments, demonstrations and teaching resources in the German-speaking area: Experimentalchemie.de. In addition to this, he and his team had several TV guest appearances as “science experts” in popular German TV edutainment shows, such as Galileo, Planetopia or "1, 2 or 3".

Selected Publications

“pH-Responsive Protein Nanoparticles via Conjugation of Degradable PEG to the Surface of Cytochrome c”
E. Steiert, J. Ewald, A. Wagner, U. A. Hellmich, H. Frey and P. R. Wich
Polym. Chem., 2020, 11, 551 - 559. (DOI: 10.1039/C9PY01162E)

“Receptor-mediated Uptake of Folic Acid-functionalized Dextran Nanoparticles for Applications in Photodynamic Therapy”
K. Butzbach, M. Konhäuser, M. Fach, D. N. Bamberger, B. Breitenbach, B. Epe and P. R. Wich 
Polymers, 2019, 11, 896 (DOI: 10.3390/polym11050896

“Protein‐Based Nanoparticles for the Delivery of Enzymes with Antibacterial Activity”
E. Steiert, L. Radi, M. Fach, P. R. Wich
Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2018, 1800186 (DOI: 10.1002/marc.201800186)

“Surface Modification of Polysaccharide-Based Nanoparticles with PEG and Dextran and their Effects on Immune Cell Binding and Stimulatory Characteristics”
D. Bamberger, D. Hobernik, Matthias Konhäuser, M. Bros, P. R. Wich
Mol. Pharmaceutics 2017, 14 (12), 4403–4416 (DOI: acs.molpharmaceut.7b00507)

“Amphiphilic Polysaccharide Block Copolymers for pH-responsive Micellar Nanoparticles”
B. Breitenbach, I. Schmid, P. R. Wich
Biomacromolecules 2017, 18 (9), 2839–2848. (DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.7b00771)

“Methods of Protein Surface PEGylation under Structure Preservation for the Emulsion-based Formation of Stable Nanoparticles”
L. Radi, M. Fach, M. Montigny, E. Berger-Nicoletti, W. Tremel, P. R. Wich
Med. Chem. Commun. 2016, 7, 1738–1744 (DOI: 10.1039/C5MD00475F)

“Nanoparticle Assembly of Surface-Modified Proteins”
M. Fach, L. Radi, P. R. Wich
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138 (45), 14820–14823 (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b06243)

For a full list of publications please see:
Wichlab.com - Publications
UNSW research gateway
Google Scholar

Open Positions

We are looking for enthusiastic and dedicated new team members who enjoy science and are excited about new challenges. Interested undergraduate and graduate students of the field of (bio)organic chemistry, chemical engineering, material science, nanotechnology (and neighbouring fields) are welcome to get in touch with us. Interested candidates are encouraged to email their application documents (cover letter, CV, letter of recommendations, academic certificates/records, references). Please don’t hesitate to contact us in advance if you have questions. We are looking forward to your application!
Visit our website for more details about current open positions and the application process: www.wichlab.com/join


UNSW Sydney (Australia):
- CEIC6712 Pharmaceutical Design and Engineering (course coordinator, 2020 - today)
- CHEN6701 Advanced Reaction Engineering (course coordinator, 2018 - today)
- CEIC4951, CEIC4952, CEIC4953 Research Thesis (2018 - today)
- CEIC9951, CEIC9952, CEIC9953 Advanced Research Thesis (2018 - present)
- BIOM4951, BIOM4952, BIOM4953 Research Thesis (2019 - today)

University of Mainz (Germany):
- “Pharmazeutische/Medizinische Chemie I: Quantitative Bestimmung von Arznei-, Hilfs- und Schadstoffen” Lecture series + coordination of accompanying laboratory course for 2. semester pharmacy students (SS 2012 - WS 2017/18)
- “Einführung in Instrumentelle Analytik I bzw. II” Lecture series about methods in analytical chemistry and instrumental analysis for pharmacy students (SS 2014 - WS 2017/18)
- “Prinzipien und Spezielle Aspekte des Wirkstoffdesign” Lecture series about drug design and nanomaterials for advanced pharmacy students and biomedical chemistry master students (WS 2013/14 - WS 2017/18)
- “Pharmazeutische/Medizinische Chemie” Lecture series about medicinal chemistry for advanced pharmacy students (WS 2012/13 - WS 2017/18)

PhD and Undergraduate Supervision

PhD Students:
- Rakib Sheikh (Jan 2020 – present)
- Luca Altevogt (Jan 2020 – present)
- Vinod Kannaujiya (Sep 2019 – present)
- Jonas Kaltbeitzel (Aug 2019 – present)
- Ziqing Wang (Aug 2019 – present)
- Elena Steiert (Nov 2016 – Feb 2020)
- Matthias Konhäuser (Oct 2016 – Dec 2019)            
- Benjamin Breitenbach (Apr 2015 – Feb 2019)
- Lydia Radi (Nov 2014 – May 2018)
- Ira Schmid (May 2014 – Oct 2018)
- Matthias Fach (Nov 2012 – Dez 2016)    
- Denise Bamberger (Jul 2012 – Sep 2016)

International Visiting Students:
- Özgür Capar (Dec 2019 – Feb 2020, PhD Student, University of Düsseldorf, Germany)
- Therese Steudter (Sep 2019 – Feb 2020, Practicum, Chemie, University Mainz, Germany)
- Nawal Thaher (Aug 2019 – Oct 2019, Practicum, Pharmazie, University Mainz, Germany)
- Sophia Heuser (May 2019 – Oct 2019, PJ Practicum, Pharmazie, University Mainz, Germany) 
- Jasmin Hörner (Mar 2019 – Apr 2019, Practicum, Pharmazie, University Mainz, Germany)
- Ilaria Geremia (Mar 2014 – Sep 2014, Undergraduate Student, University of Trieste, Italy)
- Mario Ficker (Feb 2015 – May 2015, PhD Student, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

Honours Students: (Start)
2019-T3 Araya Chokenana (Chemical Engineering)
2019-T3 Ecem Unal (Biomedical Engineering)
2019-T3 Marco Lau (Biomedical Engineering)
2019-T3 Sohini Chakrabarti (Chemical Engineering)
2019-T2 Farhan Haque (Chemical Engineering)
2019-T2 Olivia Chan (Biomedical Engineering)
2019-T1 Anas Halim (Chemical Engineering)
2019-T1 Nur Fazlin (Chemical Engineering)
2019-T1 Sam Holland (Chemical Engineering) 

Master Students:
- Bianca Spieß (Mar 2017 – Sep 2017, Chemie, Uni Mainz, Germany)
- Marie Luise Frey (Jun 2016 – Dez 2016, Biomedizinische Chemie, Uni Mainz, Germany)
- Elena Steiert (Apr 2016 – Sep 2016, Biomedizinische Chemie, Uni Mainz, Germany)
- Matthias Konhäuser (Feb 2016 – Aug 2016, Biomedizinische Chemie, Uni Mainz, Germany)
- Benjamin Breitenbach (Jun 2014 – Feb 2015, Biomedizinische Chemie, Uni Mainz, Germany)
- Ira Schmid (Mar 2013 – Nov 2013, Biomedizinische Chemie, Uni Mainz, Germany)

Bachelor Students:
- Tino Mackiol (Mar 2017 – Jul 2017, Biomedizinische Chemie, Uni Mainz, Germany)
- Bellinda Lantzberg (Sep 2016 – Nov 2016, Biomedizinische Chemie, Uni Mainz, Germany)
- Carina Ade (Nov 2015 – Jan 2016, Biomedizinische Chemie, Uni Mainz, Germany)
- Ioanna Xenidou (Mar 2015 – May 2015, Biomedizinische Chemie, Uni Mainz, Germany)
- Laura Mayer (Apr 2015 – Jun 2015, Biomedizinische Chemie, Uni Mainz, Germany)



+61 2 938 55664
School of Chemical Engineering Science and Engineering Building, E8 Room 321, Lv3 (Hilmer) UNSW Sydney, NSW 2052 Australia