Coworkers and Collaborators:

If you can't think of something clever on your own you need to find people to support you. Besides, working in a team is one of the wonderful sides of doing science. I have always had the opportunity to share my ideas with fascinating people.

My present group is shown on the picture below (from left to right):
Simon Jurt,
Philipp Ansorge, Erich Michel, Malgorzata Sitnik, Matthias Schuster, Andrea Beil, Nadja Bross, (me) and Laurens Kooijman are presently working with me. They are part of projects concerning GPCRs fragments (Matthias, Philipp, Laurens), repeat proteins (Malgorzata (goes by Gosia) and Erich) or metallothioneins (Andrea)(see the project page). The picture also shows Simon Jurt (at the left), who is the head of the NMR service unit. Nadja Bross, is our second technician in the NMR, and very much supports all students.

My previous graduate students include:

Reto Bader, who was my first PhD student. Being trained in biochemistry and mathematics he used molecular biology, solid-phase peptide synthesis, NMR spectroscopy and other techniques to develop our ideas on membrane-binding of hormones. Reto is now a teacher for biology and mathematics.

Mirjam Lerch has carried on his work with much enthusiasm. She has been looking into chimeric peptides of NPY and PP and compared NPY, PYY and PP. Mirjam is now working in an oncology institute at a hospital.

Chao Zou, who did a great job in establishing the biochemistry on the GPCR fragments. He is now at Novartis.

Alexey Neumoin, who worked on folding and on the first structure of a double-TM GPCR fragment. Alexey is back in Moscow working for an international company there.

Jiri Mares who developed a glycolipid system, investigated LPS and studied peptide folding. Jiri is presently working in research (NMR theory) in the north of Finnland.

Nadine Keller was a graduate student from the lab of Markus Grütter. Since her procaspase-8 protein did not want to crystallize she joined my lab for some time and determined the structure by NMR.

Sowmini Kumaran worked together with Chao on the GPCR project as well as with Jiri on glycolipids. She is now back in India.

Reto Walser developed a GPCR mimietic based on a beta barrel protein, and is now working for Astra Zenika

Christina Ewald worked on Armadillo repeat proteins and determined the structure of a complex of a rather large ArmRP and a peptide

Jacopo Marino developed biochemical methods for establishing the topology of membrane proteins, in particular GPCR fragments

Harsha Kocherla worked on the structure of 2-TM fragments of GPCRs from the Y4 receptor

Martin Poms worked on the structure of 3-TM fragments of GPCRs from the Ste2p receptor


former Postdocs:

Sivakami Chandrasekaran was my first Posdoc and worked on models for single TM-spanning peptides in order to investigate the effect on pK values

Svava Wetzel started working on repeat proteins in my group, and investigated folding of Ankyrin repat proteins

Xuan Shao worked on 2-TM fragments from the Y4 GPCR

Randall Watson discovered that ArmRP can be reconstituted from complementary fragments

Martin Christen determined the structure of a complex derived from 2 complementary ArmRP fragments


Many diploma students (Verena Gafner, Margot Mayrhofer, Gaby Rytz, Sandra Lauber, Claudia Fischer, Karin Weber, Tanja Schäfer, Fabian Bumbak, Jon Graf and Christian Baumann) and project students (Barbara Christen) have ruined their life while working with me...

The daily work at the spectrometers is supported by the technicians Nadja Bross and Simon Jurt.


At the campus site I have made many fruitful collaborations with John Robinson from the Organic Chemistry Institute and Andreas Plückthun, Markus Grütter, Amedeo Caflish and Milan Vasak from the Biochemistry Institute, with Peter Hamm from the Institute of Physical Chemistry, with Eva Freisinger from the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, and with Alex Sartori form the Cancer Research Institute.

External fruitful collaborations exist with Fred Naider (New York) and Jeff Becker (Tennessee) on the Ste2p GPCR projects, with Peter Güntert from the University of Frankfurt on computational aspects of NMR, with Jürgen Scherkenbeck (Wuppertal) on insect hormones, with Knud Jensen frorm Copenhagen on neuropeptides, with Jörg Kleinschmidt from Konstanz on beta-barrel proteins, with Marina Rubini from Konstanz on the incorporation of unnnatural amino acids into proteins, with Reinhard Dallinger (Innsbruck) and Silvia Atrian and Merce Capdevile (Barcelona) on metallothionein structure, with Hans-Robert Kalbitzer (Regensburg) on high pressure studies, with Ismael Mingarro (Alicante) on topological studies of GPCR fragments, with Andrea Cavalli and Luca Varani from the IRB in Bellinzona on various projects with Dan Scott from the Florey Institute in Melbourne on the stabilization of GPCRs, and with Daniel Häussinger from the University of Basel on the use of various spin-labels. I am sure I forgot to name a few, I apologize...

Many projects were done with groups in the Pharmacy department, namely the group of Gerd Folkers, Annette Beck-Sickinger (now in Leipzig) and Hans-Peter Merkle.

I have had the opportunity to work for some time in the powerful lab of Kurt Wüthrich. I have many friends from there. Support on the spectroscopic part from Gerhard Wider is deeply acknowledged. Peter Güntert (now in Frankfurt/Zurich) has written most of the software I am using and he is always willing to discuss things with me.

I would also like to acknowledge discussing with Marcel Blommers, Wolfgang Jahnke, Cesar Fernandez and Alvart Gossart from Novartis as well as with Hans Senn, Alfred Ross and Werner Klaus from Hoffman LaRoche.