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Andreas Hiltbrunner Profile Page
Andreas Hiltbrunner


Lab: Prof. Dr. Andreas Hiltbrunner
Department: Department of Botany
Faculty of Biology
Address: Schänzlestrasse 1
79104 Freiburg
Phone: +49 761 203 2709
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Lab homepage:
BIOSS Excellence Cluster: Associated member
PhD positions available: YES
Research Area: Molecular Plant Sciences
Research Interests: • Molecular mechanisms of light perception an downstream signalling in seed plants and cryptogams (e.g. Arabidopsis thaliana, Physcomitrella patens)
• Evolution of light signalling in plants
• Phytochrome signalling
• Integration of light, hormone, and environmental signalling


Education & Training: 2003: Doctorate in Natural Sciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
1999 - 2003: PhD Student with Prof. N. Amrhein and Prof. F. Kessler, Institute of Plant Sciences, ETH, Zurich, Switzerland
1999: Diploma in Natural Sciences (Plant Physiology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Genetics and Mycology), ETH Zurich, Switzerland
1998 - 1999: Diploma work with Prof. F. Kessler and Prof. N. Amrhein, Institute of Plant Sciences, ETH, Zurich, Switzerland
Employment & Experience: 2012 - present: Professor of Molecular Plant Physiology (W3), University of Freiburg, Germany
2009 - 2012: Independent Group Leader (A13, Akad. Rat a. Z.), ZMBP, University of Tübingen, Germany
2003 - 2009: Postdoctoral Fellow/Group Leader with Prof. E. Schäfer, Institute of Biology II, University of Freiburg, Germany
2003: Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. F. Kessler, Institut de Botanique, Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Scientific Activities: 2014 - present: Member of the Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine, University of Freiburg, Germany
2012 - present: Associated member of BIOSS (Centre for Biological Signalling Studies), University of Freiburg, Germany


Honors and Awards:

2004 - 2007: Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP), Long Term Fellowship
2003: European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), Long Term Fellowship
2003: Travel Award of the Instituto Juan March de Estudios e Investigaciones
2003 - 2004: Two Year Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)
2000: Willi-Studer Award (for best ETH degree in Biology)


Selected Publications:

Possart A*, Xu T, Paik I, Hanke S, Keim S, Hermann HM, Wolf L, Hiss M, Becker C, Huq E, Rensing SA, Hiltbrunner A*. Characterization Of Phytochrome Interacting Factors From The Moss Physcomitrella Patens Illustrates Conservation Of Phytochrome Signaling Modules In Land Plants. Plant Cell. 2017 Jan 25.  *corresponding authors  Abstract

Sheerin DJ, Hiltbrunner A. Molecular mechanisms and ecological function of far-red light signalling. Plant Cell Environ. 2017 Jan 19.   Abstract

Legris M, Klose C, Burgie ES, Rojas CC, Neme M, Hiltbrunner A, Wigge PA, Schäfer E, Vierstra RD, Casal JJ. Phytochrome B integrates light and temperature signals in Arabidopsis. Science. 2016 Nov 18;354(6314):897-900.  Abstract

Rensing SA, Sheerin DJ, Hiltbrunner A. Phytochromes: More Than Meets the Eye. Trends Plant Sci. 2016 Jul;21(7):543-6.  Abstract

Sheerin DJ, Menon C, zur Oven-Krockhaus S, Enderle B, Zhu L, Johnen P, Schleifenbaum F, Stierhof YD, Huq E, Hiltbrunner A. Light-activated phytochrome A and B interact with members of the SPA family to promote photomorphogenesis in Arabidopsis by reorganizing the COP1/SPA complex. Plant Cell. 2015 Jan;27(1):189-201.  Abstract

Possart A, Hiltbrunner A. An evolutionarily conserved signaling mechanism mediates far-red light responses in land plants. Plant Cell. 2013 Jan;25(1):102-14.  Abstract

Rausenberger J, Tscheuschler A, Nordmeier W, Wüst F, Timmer J, Schäfer E, Fleck C*, Hiltbrunner A*. Photoconversion and nuclear trafficking cycles determine phytochrome A's response profile to far-red light. Cell. 2011 Sep 2;146(5):813-25. * corresponding authors   Abstract

Genoud T, Schweizer F, Tscheuschler A, Debrieux D, Casal JJ, Schäfer E, Hiltbrunner A*, Fankhauser C*. FHY1 mediates nuclear import of the light-activated phytochrome A photoreceptor. PLoS Genet. 2008 Aug 1;4(8):e1000143. *corresponding authors   Abstract

Hiltbrunner A, Viczián A, Bury E, Tscheuschler A, Kircher S, Tóth R, Honsberger A, Nagy F, Fankhauser C, Schäfer E. Nuclear accumulation of the phytochrome A photoreceptor requires FHY1. Curr Biol. 2005 Dec 6;15(23):2125-30.  Abstract

Bauer J*, Chen K*, Hiltbrunner A*, Wehrli E, Eugster M, Schnell D, Kessler F. The major protein import receptor of plastids is essential for chloroplast biogenesis. Nature. 2000 Jan 13;403(6766):203-7. *equally contributing first authors  Abstract

SGBM PhD students

SGBM PhD students:

Track 2:

Klara Lesch (since September 2019)

Philipp Schwenk (since May 2015)


CIBSS Track:

Dorothee Derwort (since January 2019)

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