Hofmann Award 2008

Professor Michel Rohmer,

Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg

From molecular fossils of bacterial hopanoids
    to the formation of isoprene units:
    discovery and elucidation of the methylerythritol
    phosphate pathway


   University of Zürich, Irchel Campus,
   Department of Chemistry

   25th of November 2008


Prof. Michel Rohmer began his University career at the l'École nationale Supérieure de chimie in Strasbourg in 1970, where he received his PhD in 1975. From Strasbourg he moved to Mulhouse, where he worked as a Professor of organic and bioorganic chemistry from 1979 to 1994, then, he returned to Strasbourg working at the Louis Paster University. He currently leads the L’UMR 7123 at CNRS  "Synthesis, biosynthesis  and activity of biomolecules ".

Michel Rohmer is a specialist in the chemistry and biochemistry of microorganisms, with main interest in the analysis of isoprenoids.
He discovered the biohopanoids, a family of pentacyclic triterpenoids which are the bacterial equivalent of cholesterol in our cells. His work in the biosynthesis of these bacterial hopanoids has revolutionized the view of synthesis pathways to isoprenoids by revealing their universal precursor, isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphat, different from the mevalonate pathway accepted for the last 50 years.