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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 is mainly focused on host-pathogen interactions; in particular, we are interested in understanding the impact of bacterial virulence factors on the host cell physiology of single cells, tissues and model organisms in molecular detail by using a combination of analytical and synthetic approaches. For instance, our lab investigates the effects of the P. aeruginosa lectins LecA and LecB on wound healing processes (e.g. cell proliferation, cell adhesion and migration, immune response, cell death). In collaboration with chemists we develop alternative strategies to fight bacterial infections, e.g. glycomimetics that fully block host cell invasion when applied in nano-molar concentrations, or bacteriophages to kill intracellular bacteria. We also design novel CAR-T cell therapy approaches to target and kill cancer cells.


Education & Training: 2005-2007: Diploma in Management Consultancy, Akademie für Wirtschaftswissenschaften Bad Harzburg, Germany
2001-2004: Graduate Studies in Chemistry (Dr. rer. nat.), University of Regensburg, Germany
1996-2001: Studies in Biology, Chemistry and Didactics, University of Regensburg, Germany (1st state examination

Employment & Experience: Since 2017: Full Professor (W3) for Synthetic Biology of Signalling Processes; Institute of Biology II and BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies; University of Freiburg, Germany
2011-2017: Junior Professor (W1) for Synthetic Biology of Signalling Processes; Institute of Biology II and BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies; University of Freiburg, Germany
2008-2017: Permanent Research Scientist (chargé de recherche) at CNRS (French national center for scientific research) and Curie Institute; Traffic, Signaling and Delivery Laboratory; Paris; France
2004-2008: Postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Ludger Johannes at Curie Institute; Traffic, Signaling and Delivery Laboratory; Paris; France
Scientific Activities: 2015-2020: Member of the Freiburg Centre for Interactive Materials and Bioinspired Technologies
2014-2018: Elected member of the Advisory Board of the Biology Faculty, University of Freiburg
2013: Organizer of the “Symposium on Advanced Microscopy Techniques in Life Sciences”, Freiburg
2012-2014: Mentoring program for female scientists at the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel
2012-2014: Membership in the scientific selection panel of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin
2011: Co-organizer of the Congress “Cytoskeleton in membrane trafficking”, Paris
2010-2013: Elected member of the advisory board of the French Society for Cell Biology

• Guest Editor for PLOS Computational Biology
• Reviewing activity for Nature Communications, Cell Chemical Biology, JACS, Nano Letters, Chemical Science, BBA-Molecular Cell Research, Molecular Biology of the Cell, Cancer Letters, Nature Communications, Biophysical Journal, PLoS ONE, Interface Focus, Biomolecules, Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), for the Landsteiner Foundation for Blood Transfusion Research, the French National Research Agency (ANR), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and EraSynBio (BMBF).
• Evaluation activity for HCERES (The High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education, France).


Honors and Awards:

2021:    Appointment as FRIAS senior fellow
since 2019: Vice-Spokesperson of the International Max Planck Research School for Immunobiology, Epigenetics, and Metabolism (IMPRS-IEM)
2019:    Appointment as AI of CIBSS
2015:    Appointment as member of the steering committee of BIOSS
2014:    Appointment as member of the steering committee of IMPRS-MCB
2012:    Appointment as PI of the International Max Planck Research School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (IMPRS-MCB)
2011-2016: ERC Starting Grant
2011:    Appointment as PI of BIOSS
2011:    Appointment as PI of the Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine
2011:    Pfizer Foundation Research Prize (Infectiology)
2005-2007: Post-doctoral fellowship from CNRS
2004-2005: Post-doctoral fellowship from Curie Institute
2000:    Scholarship of the “Fonds der Chemischen Industrie”


Selected Publications:

Thuenauer R, Landi A, Trefzer A, Altmann S, Wehrum S, Eierhoff T, Diedrich B, Dengjel J, Nyström A, Imberty A, Römer W. The Pseudomonas aeruginosa Lectin LecB Causes Integrin Internalization and Inhibits Epithelial Wound Healing. mBio. 2020 Mar 10;11(2):e03260-19.  Abstract

Galle JN, Fechtner T, Eierhoff T, Römer W, Hegemann JH. A Chlamydia pneumoniae adhesin induces phosphatidylserine exposure on host cells. Nat Commun. 2019 Oct 11;10(1):4644.  Abstract

Wilhelm I, Levit-Zerdoun E, Jakob J, Villringer S, Frensch M, Übelhart R, Landi A, Müller P, Imberty A, Thuenauer R, Claudinon J, Jumaa H, Reth M, Eibel H, Hobeika E, Römer W. Carbohydrate-dependent B cell activation by fucose-binding bacterial lectins. Sci Signal. 2019 Mar 5;12(571):eaao7194.  Abstract

Arnaud J, Tröndle K, Claudinon J, Audfray A, Varrot A, Römer W, Imberty A. Membrane deformation by neolectins with engineered glycolipid binding sites. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2014 Aug 25;53(35):9267-70.  Abstract

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. A lipid zipper triggers bacterial invasion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Sep 2;111(35):12895-900.  Abstract

Novoa A, Eierhoff T, Topin J, Varrot A, Barluenga S, Imberty A, Römer W, Winssinger N. A LecA ligand identified from a galactoside-conjugate array inhibits host cell invasion by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2014 Aug 18;53(34):8885-9.  Abstract

Römer W, Pontani LL, Sorre B, Rentero C, Berland L, Chambon V, Lamaze C, Bassereau P, Sykes C, Gaus K, Johannes L. Actin dynamics drive membrane reorganization and scission in clathrin-independent endocytosis. Cell. 2010 Feb 19;140(4):540-53.  Abstract

Johannes L, Römer W. Shiga toxins--from cell biology to biomedical applications. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2010 Feb;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. GM1 structure determines SV40-induced membrane invagination and infection. Nat Cell Biol. 2010 Jan;12(1):11-8; sup pp 1-12.  Abstract

Römer W, Berland L, Chambon V, Gaus K, Windschiegl B, Tenza D, Aly MR, Fraisier V, Florent JC, Perrais D, Lamaze C, Raposo G, Steinem C, Sens P, Bassereau P, Johannes L. Shiga toxin induces tubular membrane invaginations for its uptake into cells. Nature. 2007 Nov 29;450(7170):670-5.  Abstract

SGBM PhD students

SGBM PhD students:

Carmen Senin (since July 2021)



Ana Valeria Melendez Mayorga (01/2018 - 12/2022)

Isabel Wilhelm (01/2014 - 01/2018)

Samuel Juillot (01/2013 - 08/2016)

Anita Nieth (01/2012 - 05/2015)

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