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Thorsten Friedrich Profile Page
Thorsten Friedrich


Lab: Prof. Dr. Thorsten Friedrich
Department: Institute of Biochemistry
Phone: 203 6060
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: Mitochondria and bacteria respiratory complex I, the first complex of cell respiration


Education & Training: Education/Training
1981-1988: Study of Chemistry, University of Düsseldorf, Germany
1992: Dr. rer. nat., University of Düsseldorf, Germany
Employment & Experience: 1992 Visiting Research Fellow in Biophysics, Johnson Foundation,
Philadelphia, USA
1993-94 Research Fellow in Biochemistry, Heinrich-Heine-University,
Düsseldorf, Germany
1994 Research Fellow in Biophysics, Johnson Foundation, Philadelphia,
1994-2000 Research Fellow in Biochemistry, Heinrich-Heine-University,
Düsseldorf, Germany
2000-2001 Assistant Professor in Biochemistry, Heinrich-Heine-University,
Düsseldorf, Germany
2001-present Professor in Biochemistry, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg,
Scientific Activities: 1993-present Referee for the ‚US-Isreali Binational Science Foundation’ and the
‘German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research & Development’
1993-present Member, German Association of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
1993-present Reviewer for scientific journals (e.g. Science, EMBO J., J.Biol.Chem.)
2006-present Speaker of the Bioenergetics Section of the German Association of
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM)
2007-present Associate Editor ‘Biological Chemistry’


Honors and Awards:

2020, 2021, 2022: ‘Master Lab’, University of Freiburg, competitive grant for excellence in higher education
Since 2016: Member of the DFG Priority program ‘Iron-Sulfur’ for Life’ (SPP 1927)
Since 2016: Member and coordinator of the RTG ‘Transport across and into membranes’ (GRK 2202)
Since 2014: Member of the RTG ‘Functional diversity of cofactors in Enzymes’ (DFG-GRK 1976)
2011: Instructional Development Award (IDA), University of Freiburg
2011: Distinguished visiting speaker, Group of Sir John Walker, Nobel-Laureate, MRC Cambridge
2011: Invitation for full professor (W3); Chair in Biochemistry, University of Kaiserslautern (declined)
2008-2014: Coordinator and member of the DFG-IRTG ‘Membrane Proteins and Biological Membranes’ (DFG-GRK 1478)
2008-2014: Member of the DFG Research Unit ‘Dynamics of bacterial membrane proteins’ (Chair: Prof. Peter Graumann; DFG-FOR 929)
Since 2007: Coordinator and member of the German-French graduate college ‘Enzyme reactivities and their applications’ of the German-French University (CDFA-04-07, together with the University of Strasbourg)
Since 2006: Member of the ‚Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine’ of the Exzellenzinitiative des Bundes und der Länder, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (Chair: Prof. Ch. Borner, DFG-GS 4)
2006-2009: Coordinator and member of a Collaborative Research Project of the VW-Stiftung (‘Interaction of molecular conformation and biological function’)
2002-2007: Principal investigator within a DFG-RTG (DFG-GRK 434)
1998-2005: Member and coordinator of a Priority Program of the DFG (DFG-SPP 1070)
1995-2000: Principal investigator within a DFG-CRC (DFG-SFB 189)


Selected Publications:

Van den Bergh B, Schramke H, Michiels JE, Kimkes TEP, Radzikowski JL, Schimpf J, Vedelaar SR, Burschel S, Dewachter L, Lončar N, Schmidt A, Meijer T, Fauvart M, Friedrich T, Michiels J, Heinemann M. Mutations in respiratory complex I promote antibiotic persistence through alterations in intracellular acidity and protein synthesis. Nat Commun. 2022 Jan 27;13(1):546.  Abstract

Grauel A, Kägi J, Rasmussen T, Makarchuk I, Oppermann S, Moumbock AFA, Wohlwend D, Müller R, Melin F, Günther S, Hellwig P, Böttcher B, Friedrich T. Structure of Escherichia coli cytochrome bd-II type oxidase with bound aurachin D. Nat Commun. 2021 Nov 11;12(1):6498.  Abstract

Vranas M, Wohlwend D, Qiu D, Gerhardt S, Trncik C, Pervaiz M, Ritter K, Steimle S, Randazzo A, Einsle O, Günther S, Jessen HJ, Kotlyar A, Friedrich T. Structural Basis for Inhibition of ROS-Producing Respiratory Complex I by NADH-OH. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2021 Dec 20;60(52):27277-27281.  Abstract

Mühlbauer ME, Saura P, Nuber F, Di Luca A, Friedrich T, Kaila VRI. Water-Gated Proton Transfer Dynamics in Respiratory Complex I. J Am Chem Soc. 2020 Aug 12;142(32):13718-13728.  Abstract

Sonn-Segev A, Belacic K, Bodrug T, Young G, VanderLinden RT, Schulman BA, Schimpf J, Friedrich T, Dip PV, Schwartz TU, Bauer B, Peters JM, Struwe WB, Benesch JLP, Brown NG, Haselbach D, Kukura P. Quantifying the heterogeneity of macromolecular machines by mass photometry. Nat Commun. 2020 Apr 14;11(1):1772.  Abstract

Theßeling A, Rasmussen T, Burschel S, Wohlwend D, Kägi J, Müller R, Böttcher B, Friedrich T. Homologous bd oxidases share the same architecture but differ in mechanism. Nat Commun. 2019 Nov 13;10(1):5138.  Abstract

Schulte M, Frick K, Gnandt E, Jurkovic S, Burschel S, Labatzke R, Aierstock K, Fiegen D, Wohlwend D, Gerhardt S, Einsle O, Friedrich T. A mechanism to prevent production of reactive oxygen species by Escherichia coli respiratory complex I. Nat Commun. 2019 Jun 11;10(1):2551.  Abstract

de Vries S, Dörner K, Strampraad MJ, Friedrich T. Electron tunneling rates in respiratory complex I are tuned for efficient energy conversion. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2015 Feb 23;54(9):2844-8.  Abstract

Teufel R, Friedrich T, Fuchs G. An oxygenase that forms and deoxygenates toxic epoxide. Nature. 2012 Mar 7;483(7389):359-62.  Abstract

Boxma B, de Graaf RM, van der Staay GW, van Alen TA, Ricard G, Gabaldón T, van Hoek AH, Moon-van der Staay SY, Koopman WJ, van Hellemond JJ, Tielens AG, Friedrich T, Veenhuis M, Huynen MA, Hackstein JH. An anaerobic mitochondrion that produces hydrogen. Nature. 2005 Mar 3;434(7029):74-9.  Abstract

SGBM PhD students

SGBM PhD students:


Doris Kreuzer-Dekovic (04/2012 - 11/2016)

Marta Vranas (04/2009 - 10/2013)

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