Talk of Pr. Robert Schober

Robert Schober

Synthetic Molecular Communication: Fundamentals, Opportunities, and Challenges


Synthetic molecular communication is an emerging research area offering many interesting and challenging new research problems for engineers, biologists, chemists, and physicists. Synthetic molecular communication is widely considered to be an attractive option for communication between nano-devices such as (possibly artificial) cells and nano-sensors. Possible applications of nano-communication networks include targeted drug delivery, health monitoring, environmental monitoring, and "bottom-up" manufacturing. The IEEE and ACM have recently founded several new conferences and journals dedicated to this exciting new and fast growing research area.
In this talk, we will give first a general overview of the areas of synthetic molecular communication and nano-networking. Components of synthetic molecular communication networks, possible applications, and the evolution of the field will be reviewed. We will focus particularly on diffusion based synthetic molecular communication, identify the relevant basic laws of physics and discuss their implications for communication system design. Subsequently, several communication engineering design and signal processing problems will be discussed. Furthermore, experimental results obtained from a biological testbed will be provided. In the last part of the talk, we will discuss some research challenges in synthetic molecular communication.


Robert Schober was born in Neuendettelsau, Germany, in 1971. He received the Diplom (Univ.) and the Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Erlangen-Nuermberg in 1997 and 2000, respectively. From May 2001 to April 2002 he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto, Canada, sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). From 2002 to 2012 he was a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Wireless Communications at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada. Since January 2012 he is an Alexander von Humboldt Professor and the Chair for Digital Communication at the Friedrich Alexander University (FAU), Erlangen, Germany. His research interests fall into the broad areas of Communication Theory, Wireless Communications, and Statistical Signal Processing

Pr. Schober received several awards for his research including the 2002 Heinz Maier–Leibnitz Award of the German Science Foundation (DFG), the 2004 Innovations Award of the Vodafone Foundation for Research in Mobile Communications, the 2006 UBC Killam Research Prize, the 2007 Wilhelm Friedrich Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the 2008 Charles McDowell Award for Excellence in Research from UBC, a 2011 Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, and a 2012 NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Fellowship. In addition, he received best paper awards from the German Information Technology Society (ITG), the European Association for Signal, Speech and Image Processing (EURASIP), IEEE WCNC 2012, IEEE Globecom 2011, IEEE ICUWB 2006, the International Zurich Seminar on Broadband Communications, and European Wireless 2000. Pr. Schober is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada.

Pr. Schober has served as Editor and Guest Editor on the Editorial Boards of several journals including the IEEE Transactions on Communications, the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, the IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, the Eurasip Journal on Advances in Signal Processing, and IEEE Sensors. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Communications.