THE WAR ON SUPERBUGS
Searching for a suitable doctorate in this field, Robert Macsics became aware of TUM Professor Dr. Stephan A. Sieber. As the Chair of Organic Chemistry II, he is pursuing a very innovative research approach aimed at developing new drugs to combat multiresistant bacteria. From the very beginning, Robert Macsics was extremely keen.
Bacteria resistant to antibiotics are a major problem all over the world. The dreaded hospital-acquired infections involve what is known as multiresistance. Virtually all available antibiotics can no longer put a stop to these multiresistant pathogens. Hundreds of thousands of people are dying every year as a result of infections with these pathogens. So the search is on for new antibiotics that are different from all those already available. In the course of their research at TUM, Robert Macsics and his colleagues seem to have found one.
In order to turn the promising active ingredient into a marketable antibiotic, Robert Macsics established the start-up smartbax in 2021 together with Professor Sieber and experienced entrepreneur Marco Janezic. Initially, Robert Macsics had aimed for a secure job in a large company after finishing his doctorate. Now he is an entrepreneur himself and no longer deals with just scientific issues, but also with economic, legal, strategic and all kinds of bureaucratic hurdles. “The more I immerse myself in the world of bioentrepreneurship, the more I realize that this is right up my alley,” he says. “I love the challenges and the diversity of what I do.”
Without planning it, Robert Macsics is now doing exactly what he always wanted to do. “I take joy in my work, have fun with my colleagues, and feel like I’m doing something meaningful,” he says. “As a scientist at TUM and as an entrepreneur at the same time, I am certainly covering all these essential drivers of my life.”
Doctorate Chemistry 2020
From 2012 to 2015, Robert Macsics completed a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. He completed a master’s degree in Pharmacology at the University of Oxford in the UK in 2016. He then returned to Munich for his doctorate. With a fellowship from the Boehringer Ingelheim Fund, he pursued his doctorate at the Chair of Organic Chemistry II at TUM from 2016 to 2020. In the publicly funded TUM project aBACTER and with his own Biotech start-up, Robert Macsics is doing everything he can to develop a new antibiotic against multiresistant bacteria. In 2021, he received the Klaus Tschira Foundation’s KlarText Prize for Science Communication for the fact that he is able to present his complex research in an accessible way, even to laypersons.
Whenever time permits, Robert Macsics is meeting up with his friends. Activities such as hiking, biking and traveling may also coax the passionate scientist out of his lab.