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Sonja Albers Profile Page
Sonja Albers


Lab: Prof. Dr. Sonja-Verena Albers
Department: Institute of Biology II- Microbiology
Molecular Biology of Archaea
Address: Schänzlestrasse 1
79104 Freiburg
Phone: +49 761 203 2630
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Lab homepage:
PhD positions available: YES
Research Area: Protein Structure and Function
Research Interests: - Biogenesis of the archaeal cell envelope
-Assembly of macromolecular structures in the archaeal cell envelope
-Regulation of archaellum biosynthesis
-Signaltransduction cascades and the involvement of protein phosphorylation
- Development of genetic tools for different archaeal species


Education & Training: 1991-1996: Studies of Biology: Julius-Maximilians-Universität zu Würzburg, Germany
Diplom awarded (August 1996) for thesis work performed at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany. Topic “Towards a transformation system for Sulfolobus solfataricus: Conjugative transfer of the plasmid pNOB8” (Supervisor Prof. Dr. W. Zillig)
1997-2001: PhD: University of Groningen, Molecular Microbiology, Haren, The Netherlands. Titel: “Sugar transport in the thermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus” (Supervisors: Prof. W.N. Konings and Prof. A.J.M. Driessen)
Employment & Experience: 09/2014-present: W3 professorship for microbiology at the University Freiburg, Germany
12/2011 Habilitation: Philipps University Marburg, Marburg, Germany. Topic “The archaeal cell surface” (Supervisor Prof. Dr. E. Bremer)
2008-2015: Max Planck research group leader: Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg, Germany. Topic: “Molecular Biology of Archaea”
2006-2011: VIDI laureate: University of Groningen, Molecular Microbiology, Haren, The Netherlands, from August 2008 at the Max Planck Institute for terrestrial Microbiology, Germany. Topic: “Secretion and assembly of the bindosome in the archaeal cell envelope”
2003-2006: VENI laureate: University of Groningen, Molecular Microbiology, Haren, The Netherlands. Topic: “Mechanism of secretion of macromolecules across the archaeal cell envelope”
1996: Scientific assistant: Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany (06/96-12/96) Topic: “Vector development for Sulfolobus solfataricus” (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. W. Zillig)


Honors and Awards:

2013-2017 ERC starting grant
03/2012 “Forschungspreis” of the Vereinigung für Allgemeine und Angewandte Mikrobiologie (VAAM), Germany
2006-2011 VIDI grant by NWO (Dutch Science Organisation)
2003-2006 VENI grant by NWO (Dutch Science Organisation)
2003 EMBO short term fellowship for a research stay at the Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. C. Schleper
09/2002 ISE Award, Award of the International Society of Extremophiles for talented researchers in the field of Extremophiles
1998-2000 Marie Curie fellowship (TRM, EU) long term fellowship
1997-2001 Several FEBS YTF travel grant to attend meetings
07/97-12/97 DAAD (Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst) short term fellowship


Selected Publications:

Banerjee A, Tsai CL, Chaudhury P, Tripp P, Arvai AS, Ishida JP, Tainer JA, Albers SV (2015) FlaF is a β-sandwich protein that anchors the archaellum in the archaeal cell envelope by binding the S-layer protein. Structure, doi:10.1016/j.str.2015.03.001. Abstract

Reimann J, Esser D, Orell A, Amman F, Pham TK, Noirel J, Lindas AC, Bernander R, Wright PC, Siebers B, Albers SV. (2013) Archaeal Signal Transduction: Impact of Protein Phosphatase Deletions on Cell Size, Motility and Energy Metabolism in Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. Mol Cell Proteomics, 12:3908-23. Abstract

Orell, A., Peeters, E., Vassen, V., Jachlewski, S., Schalles, S., Siebers, B., and Albers, S.V. (2013) Lrs14 transcriptional regulators influence biofilm formation and cell motility of Crenarchaea. The ISME J, 7: 1886-1898. Abstract

Lassak, K., Peeters, E., Wróbel, S., Albers, S.V. (2013) The one-component system ArnR: a membrane-bound activator of the crenarchaeal archaellum. Mol Microbiol, 88:125-39. Abstract

Reindl, S., Ghosh, A., Williams, G.J., Lassak, K., Neiner, T., Henche, A.L., Albers, S.V. *and J.A. Tainer *(2013) Insights on FlaI functions in archaeal motor assembly and motility from structures, conformations and genetics. Mol Cell, doi:pii: S1097-2765(13)00047-6.* co-corresponding authors Abstract

Banerjee, A., Ghosh, A., Mills, D.J., Kahnt, J., Vonck, J., and S.V. Albers. (2012) FlaX, a unique component of the crenarchaeal archaellum, forms oligomeric ring-shaped structures and interacts with the motor ATPase FlaI. J Biol Chem, 287:43322-43330. Abstract

Reimann, R., Lassak, K., Khadouma, S., Ettema, TJ., Yang, N., Driessen, A.J.M., Klingl, A., and S.V. Albers (2012) Regulation of archaella expression by the FHA and von Willebrand domain-containing proteins ArnA and ArnB in Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. Mol Microbiol, 86:24-36.  (a micro commentary by K Jarrell covered this article in Mol Mic) Abstract

Jarrell, K.F. and S.V. Albers (2012) The archaellum, an old structure with a new name. Trends Microbiol, 20:307-12. Abstract

Meyer, B.H., , Zolghadr, B., Peyfoon, E., Pabst, M., Panico, M., Morris, H.R., Haslam, S.M., Messner, P., Schäffer, C., Dell, A., and S.V. Albers (2011) Sulfoquinovose synthase – an important enzyme in the N-gylcosylation pathway of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. Mol Microbiol., 82:1150-1163. Abstract

SGBM PhD students

SGBM PhD students:

Megha Patro (since October 2018)



Lisa Bischof (January 2015-March 2019)

Patrick Tripp (January 2015-November 2019)

João Nuno de Sousa Machado (January 2017-March 2022)

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