Derk Joester is originally from Munich (Bavaria, Germany) and studied Chemistry in Tübingen. He travelled to the US on a Fulbright Scholarship to study Chemistry and Biochemistry, and then went on to get his Diploma in Organic Chemistry at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, in 1998. He received his Ph.D. for work carried out in organic supra-molecular chemistry with Prof. François Diederich at ETH Zurich in 2003, and in the same year became a Postdoctoral Fellow at Weizmann Institute of Science in the lab of Prof. Lia Addadi in the Department of Structural Biology. From 2005-2007 he continued his research at the Weizmann Institute as a Minerva Fellow. In September 2007 he accepted a position at the Materials Science & Engineering Department at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, where he currently is an Associate Professor. His research interests include biological mechanisms of crystal growth, the role of organic/inorganic interfaces and confinement in phase transformations, metastable precursor phases, and the structure and properties of mineralized tissues with hierarchical architectures. His lab pioneered the application of atom probe tomography to biomineralized tissues and has contributed to the fundamental understanding of structure and composition of dental enamel.