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Thomas Reinheckel Profile Page
Thomas Reinheckel


Lab: Prof. Dr. Thomas Reinheckel
Department: Institute for Molecular Medicine and Cell Research
University Medical Center
Address: Stefan-Meier-Str. 17
79104 Freiburg
Phone: 49 761 203 9606
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 Medicine
Research Interests: In vivo functions of proteases


Education & Training: 2007: Habilitation in Molecular Medicine, University of Freiburg
1997: Dissertation, Pathological Biochemistry, University of Magdeburg
1996: Medical state examination
1996: Studies of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NYC
1993 – 1994: Academic Year, Dept. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Albany N.Y
1989 – 1996: Study of Medicine, University Magdeburg
Employment & Experience: 2014-present President of the International Proteolysis Society
2013-present Professor (W3) of Molecular Medicine / Cellular Pathomechanisms, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Cell Research Freiburg
2010-present Board Member of SFB 850 - Control of Cell Motility in Morphogenesis, Cancer Invasion and Metastasis, Freiburg
2007-present Associate Member Centre for Biological Signalling Studies – BIOSS - (Cluster of Excellence), Freiburg
2007-present Principal Investigator Comprehensive Cancer Center Freiburg Research Program
2006-present Principal Investigator Spemann Graduate School for Biology and Medicine (SGBM), Freiburg
2013-2014 Council Member and Vice President of the International Proteolysis Society
2002-2012 Group leader; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Cell Research Freiburg
1999-2002 Postdoc; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Cell Research Freiburg
1997-1999 Internship / Residency, Dept. of General Surgery, University Hospital Magdeburg

Scientific Activities: 1994-present: German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
2004-present: International Proteolysis Society (IPS)


Honors and Awards:

2007 Habilitation award by the Fonds of Chemical Industry

1993/1994 Fellowship Biomedical Sciences Exchange Program between North America and Europe

1991-1996 Fellowship der Hans-Böckler-Foundation


Selected Publications:

Tholen M, Hillebrand LE, Tholen S, Sedelmeier O, Arnold SJ, Reinheckel T. (2014) Out-of-frame start codons prevent translation of truncated nucleo-cytosolic cathepsin L in vivo. Nat Commun. 5:4931. Abstract

Bengsch F, Buck A, Günther SC, Seiz JR, Tacke M, Pfeifer D, von Elverfeldt D, Sevenich L, Hillebrand LE, Kern U, Sameni M, Peters C, Sloane BF, Reinheckel T. (2014) Cell type-dependent pathogenic functions of overexpressed human cathepsin B in murine breast cancer progression. Oncogene 33(36):4474-84. Abstract

Müller S, Faulhaber A, Sieber C, Pfeifer D, Hochberg T, Gansz M, Deshmukh SD, Dauth S, Brix K, Saftig P, Peters C, Henneke P, Reinheckel T. (2014) The endolysosomal cysteine cathepsins L and K are involved in macrophage-mediated clearance of Staphylococcus aureus and the concomitant cytokine induction. FASEB J. 28(1):162-75. Abstract

Akkari L, Gocheva V, Kester JC, Hunter KE, Quick ML, Sevenich L, Wang HW, Peters C, Tang LH, Klimstra DS, Reinheckel T, Joyce JA. Distinct functions of macrophage-derived and cancer cell-derived cathepsin Z combine to promote tumor malignancy via interactions with the extracellular matrix. Genes Dev. 2014 Oct 1;28(19):2134-50. Abstract

Dennemärker J, Lohmüller T, Mayerle J, Tacke M, Lerch MM, Coussens LM, Peters C, Reinheckel T. (2010) Deficiency for the cysteine protease cathepsin L promotes tumor progression in mouse epidermis. Oncogene. 18;29(11):1611-21. Abstract

Reiser J, Adair B, and Reinheckel T. (2010) Specialized roles for cysteine cathepsins in health and disease. J Clin Invest 120(10):3421-31. Abstract

Sevenich, L., Schurigt, U., Sachse, K., Gajda, M., Werner, F., Müller, S., Vasiljeva, O., Schwinde, A., Klemm, N., Deussing, J., Peters, C., and Reinheckel, T. (2010) Synergistic anti-tumor effects of combined cathepsin B and cathepsin X/Z deficiencies on breast cancer progression and metastasis in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 107(6):2497-502. Abstract

Halle, A., Hornung, V., Petzold, G.C., Stewart, C.R., Monks, B.G., Reinheckel, T., Fitzgerald, K.A., Latz, E., Moore, K.J., Golenbock, D.T. (2008) The NALP3 inflammasome is involved in the innate immune response to amyloid-beta. Nat Immunol. 9(8), 857-65. Abstract

Vasiljeva, O., Papazoglou, A., Krüger, A., Brodoefel, H., Korovin, M., Deussing, J., Augustin, N., Nielsen, B.S., Almholt, K., Bogyo, M., Peters, C., Reinheckel, T.: (2006) Tumor cell-derived and macrophage-derived cathepsin B promotes progression and lung metastasis of mammary cancer. Cancer Res. 66, 5242-5250. Abstract

Stypmann, J., Glaser, K., Roth, W., Tobin, D.J., Petermann, I., Matthias, R., Mönnig, G., Haverkamp, W., Breithardt, G., Schmahl, W., Peters, C., Reinheckel, T. (2002) Dilated cardiomyopathy in mice deficient for the lysosomal cysteine peptidase cathepsin L. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 99, 6234-6239. Abstract

SGBM PhD students

SGBM PhD students:


Track 1:

Alejandro Gomez Auli (04/2012 - 11/2016)

Ursula Kern (07/2009 - 01/2014)

Fee Bengsch (04/2009 - 06/2013)

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