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Winfried Römer Profile Page
Winfried Römer


Lab: Prof. Dr. Winfried Römer
Department: Institute of Biology II and
BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies
Address: Signalhaus
Schänzlestraße 18
79104 Freiburg
Phone: +49 (0)761 203 67500
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Lab homepage:
BIOSS Excellence Cluster: Member
PhD positions available: YES
Research Area: Synthetic Biology and Signalling
Research Interests: Our research focuses on host-pathogen interactions. We are interested in understanding the impact of diverse bacterial virulence factors on host cell physiology. For instance, we aim at elucidating how the Pseudomonas aeruginosa lectins LecA and LecB impair wound healing processes. To achieve our scientific goals, we usually combine “complex”, analytical approaches with “minimal”, synthetic approaches. Besides cell biology, biochemical, immunological and high resolution microscopy techniques (fluorescence and atomic force microscopy), we employ epigenetic, optogenetic and omics approaches.


Education & Training: 1996-2001:
Magister student of Biology and Chemistry for secondary schools; University of Regensburg; Germany

Ph.D. student with Prof. Dr.Claudia Steinem; Institute of Analytical Chemistry, Chemo- and Biosensor Technology; University of Regensburg; Germany

Management Consultant student; Akademie für Wirtschaftswissenschaften; Bad Harzburg; Germany
Employment & Experience: 2004-2008:
Postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Ludger Johannes at Curie Institute;
Traffic, Signaling and Delivery Laboratory; Paris; France

Research Scientist at CNRS (French national center for scientific research) and Curie Institute; Traffic, Signaling and Delivery Laboratory; Paris; France

since 2011:
Junior-Professor for Synthetic Biology of Signalling Processes; Institute of Biology II and BIOSS – Centre for Biological Signalling Studies; University of Freiburg; Germany
Scientific Activities: 2010-2013: Elected member of the advisory board of the French Society for Cell Biology
2012-2014: Membership in the scientific selection panel of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin
2012-2014: Mentoring program for female scientists at the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel
2014-2018: Elected member of the Advisory Board of the Biology Faculty, University of Freiburg
since 2015: Member of the Freiburg Centre for Interactive Materials and Bioinspired Technologies


Honors and Awards:

2000:            Scholarship of the “Fonds der Chemischen Industrie”
2004-2005:    Post-doctoral fellowship from Curie Institute
2005-2007:    Post-doctoral fellowship from CNRS
2011:            Pfizer Foundation Research Prize (Infectiology)
since 2011:    Appointment as Principal Investigator of the Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine (SGBM)
since 2011:    Appointment as Principal Investigator of BIOSS
2011-2016:    ERC Starting Grantee
since 2012:    Appointment as Principal Investigator and of the International Max Planck Research School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (IMPRS-MCB)
since 2014:    Appointment as member of the steering committee of IMPRS-MCB
since 2015:    Appointment as member of the steering committee of BIOSS
since 2015:    Appointment as Principal Investigator of the International Research Training Group “Soft Matter Science”: Concepts for the design of functional materials


Selected Publications:

Mittapalli V, Madl J, Loeffek S, Kiritsi D, Kern J, Römer W, Nystroem A, and Bruckner-Tuderman L. 2016. Injury-driven Dermal Stiffening Creates a Pre-existing Microenvironment that Expedites Skin Carcinoma Progression. Cancer Res. 76(4): 940-51. Abstract

Juillot S, Beyer H, Madl J, Weber W, Zurbriggen M, Römer W. 2016. Signalling to the nucleus under the control of light and small molecules. Mol. BioSyst. 12(2): 345-9. Abstract

Kühn K, Cott C, Bohler S, Aigal S, Zheng S, Villringer S, Imberty A, Claudinon J, Römer W. 2015. The interplay of autophagy and b-Catenin signaling regulates differentiation in acute myeloid leukemia. Cell Death Discov. 1: 15031 Article

Eierhoff T*, Bastian B, Thuenauer R, Madl J, Audfray A, Aigal S, Juillot S, Rydell GE, Müller S, de Bentzmann S, Imberty A, Fleck C*, Römer W*. 2014. A lipid zipper triggers bacterial invasion. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 111(35): 12895-900. Abstract

Arnaud J, Tröndle K, Claudinon J, Audfray A, Varrot A, Römer W*, Imberty A*. 2014. Membrane Deformation by Neolectins with Engineered Glycolipid Binding Sites. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 53(35): 9267-70. Abstract

Novoa A, Eierhoff T, Topin J, Varrot A, Barluenga S, Imberty A*, Römer W*, Winssinger N*. 2014. Novel LecA Ligand Identified from Glycan Array Inhibits Host Cell Invasion by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 53(34): 8885-9. Abstract

Römer W*, Pontani L, Sorre B, Rentero C, Berland L, Chambon V, Lamaze C, Bassereau P, Sykes C, Gaus K, Johannes L*. 2010. Actin dynamics drive membrane reorganization and scission in clathrin-independent endocytosis. Cell. 140(4): 540-53. Abstract

Johannes L, Römer W. 2010. Shiga toxins - from cell biology to biomedical applications. Nat Rev Microbiol. 8(2):105-16. Abstract

Ewers H*, Römer W*, Smith AE, Bacia K, Dmitrieff S, Chai W, Mancini R, Kartenbeck J, Chambon V, Berland L, Oppenheim A, Schwarzmann G, Feizi T, Schwille P, Sens P, Helenius A, Johannes L. 2010. GM1 structure determines SV40-induced membrane invagination and infection. Nat Cell Biol. 12(1):11-8. Abstract

Römer W, Berland L, Chambon V, Gaus K, Windschiegl B, Tenza D, Aly MR, Fraisier V, Florent J-C, Perrais D, Lamaze C, Raposo G, Steinem C, Sens P, Bassereau P, Johannes L. 2007. Shiga toxin induces tubular membrane invaginations for its uptake into cells. Nature. 450:670-675. Abstract

SGBM PhD students

SGBM PhD students:

Track 1:

Ana Valeria Melendez Mayorga (since January 2018)



Track 1:

Isabel Wilhelm (01/2014 - 01/2018)

Samuel Juillot (01/2013 - 08/2016)

Anita Nieth (01/2012 - 05/2015)

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