Jan Helbing was born in 1970 in
Neumünster, Germany. He studied physics at the University of Würzburg as a
fellow of the German national scholarship foundation. In Würzburg he also
completed his diploma work on femtosecond spectroscopy of molecular beams in
the group of Prof. Gustav Gerber in 1996. Before, he had spent one year at the
physics graduate school of the State University of New York at Stony Brook,
where he received a Master's degree in 1994.
In 1997 he joined the group of Prof. Majed Chergui at the University of Lausanne and started to work on the spectroscopy and dynamics of matrix-isolated molecules and later biomolecules. He completed his Ph.D work in 2001, for which he was awarded the Prix Brunner of the University of Lausanne. Early in 2002 he moved to the group of Prof. Peter Hamm at the University of Zurich as a postdoc and was mainly involved in developping the new technique of transient 2D-IR spectroscopy. He became Oberassistent in 2004 is part of the permanent research and teaching staff of the Physical Chemistry Institute of the University of Zurich since 2011.
He is interested in developing novel chiral and non-linear infrared spectroscopic methods with polarized laser pulses and applies them to obtain information on structural changes in novel molecular devices and biomolecules.