• Hans-Ulrich Humpf

Happy Birthday to the Editor in Chief, Peter Schreier


Peter Schreier, the Editor in Chief of Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, celebrated his 70th birthday on July 18th. As a former PhD student and Associate Editor of MNF it is my pleasure to extend my congratulations in this Editorial on this special occasion. Peter Schreier studied pharmacy and food chemistry and his academic training took place in Freiburg, Saarbrücken, Karlsruhe, Guelph (Canada) and Munich. One of the first milestones during his academic career was his stay at the Technical University of Munich in the group of Prof.

Friedrich Drawert, where he finished his habilitation in the field of flavour chemistry. As a young scientist he was appointed to the newly established Chair of Food Chemistry at the University of Würzburg in 1980, where he was the head for almost 30 years. At the age of 38 years the appointment in Würzburg was an honour but also a challenge as the new Chair had to be established. The Dean of the department at that time, the well known organic chemist Sigfried Hünig, welcomed Peter Schreier by saying “we have built a swimming pool for you but you have to swim on your own”.

The scientific development of Peter Schreier and his research group nicely reflects the situation of food chemistry worldwide. Following the initial research activities in the field of flavour chemistry the research interests of Peter Schreier shifted more and more towards studies of food relevant enzymes and the production of chemicals by using enzymatic or microbiological biocatalysis. In parallel, broad knowledge and experience in the field of chiral analysis and authenticity using multi dimensional gas chromatography and later isotope ratio mass spectrometry has been gained in Peter Schreier's group. Based on this long-lasting experience in the field of enzymes as well as in chiral analysis, he was in a perfect position to pursue outstanding new research activities in the field of biocatalytical research, which was performed in close cooperation with Waldemar Adam from the Department of Organic Chemistry and resulted in several successful applications. Another important milestone in his scientific career was the acquisition of a new LC-MS/MS instrument in 1994 which was possible after he had declined an appointment at the Technical University Munich. With this new instrument, which was one of the first ones in Germany, his research interests were directed even more towards a molecular level, focusing on problems of physiological functions of food constituents arising from plants, fungi, thermal treated food samples as well as food contaminants. For these research activities Peter Schreier established a very successful collaboration with the Würzburg Medical Hospital as well as other medically oriented research groups over the years. The results of Peter Schreier's impressive research activities have been documented in more than 450 publications receiving extraordinary resonance in the scientific

community. He was the mentor of more than 100 PhD students, 5 habilitations and an innumerable number of students performing their diploma theses in his group. Seven of his former PhD students are holding professorships in various locations across the globe.

Peter Schreier has recognized at an early stage that food chemistry is an interdisciplinary link between other disciplines, mainly chemistry, biology and medicine/nutrition. This nicely reflects the global situation as food chemistry has changed from a special

discipline of chemistry or pharmacy to an integrated part of life sciences. This interdisciplinary character of food chemistry and the need for research activities on a molecular level to elucidate the chemical structures responsible for any biological activity was the basic idea for Molecular Nutrition & Food Research (MNF) which was established in 2005 with Peter Schreier as Editor in Chief. The great success of this concept initiated and promoted by Peter Schreier, can be clearly seen from the Impact Factor ranging between 4.301–4.713 over the last three years and MNF being among the top journals in its category. When MNF started in 2005 nobody was expecting this success. However, it is a clear indication that there was a great demand for an interdisciplinary research journal in this field.

A birthday is an occasion to look back at the personal success and the merits of Peter Schreier and express our thanks and appreciation. But this birthday is also an occasion to look forward. Let me wish you first of all good health as well as many more productive and successful years in the future.

One behalf of the whole MNF team I would like to wish you a very happy birthday!