The
Plückthun
Lab

Biography

Andreas Plückthun
Prof. Dr. Andreas Plückthun
Director
Dept. of Biochemistry
University of Zurich
Winterthurerstr. 190
8057 Zurich, Switzerland

Email: plueckthun'at'bioc.uzh.ch
Tel. +41-44-635-5570
Fax +41-44-635-5712

Andreas Plückthun (born 7. May 1956) studied chemistry at the University of Heidelberg and received his graduate education at the University of California at San Diego, where he obtained a Ph.D. in 1982 with Prof. Edward Dennis. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Chemistry Department of Harvard University (1982-85) where he worked with Prof. Jeremy Knowles. From 1985 until 1993, he was group leader at the Genzentrum and Max-Planck-Institut for Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. He was appointed to the faculty of the University of Zurich as a Full Professor of Biochemistry in 1993.

He received the Young Investigator's Award of the German Chemical Industry Trust and was elected member of EMBO. In 2000, he received the Karl-Heinz-Beckurts Award (Munich, Germany) and in 2001 he became a finalist in the World Technology Award in the Biotechnology category (London, UK). In 2002 he received the J. P. Morgan Chase Health Award (San Jose, CA, USA), the Wilhelm-Exner Medal (Vienna, Austria) and The Jury's Grand Prix (European Grand Prix for Innovation, Monaco). In 2003 he became an elected member of the German National Academy of Science. In 2011 he received a Senior Investigator Grant of the European Research Council and in 2016, he received the Christian B. Anfinsen award of the Protein Society Org. (Baltimore, MA, USA)

In 1992, he co-founded the Munich biotech company MorphoSys AG (listed on the Frankfurt TecDAX) and he served as a member of the supervisory board and as Chief Scientific Advisor until 2007.

In 2004 he co-founded the Biotech Company Molecular Partners AG which is located in Zurich-Schlieren, where he serves on the Supervisory board. Together with the other founders he was awarded the Swiss Technology Award and the De Vigier Award in 2005.

His research achievements include fundamental contributions enabling the emergence of antibody engineering, notably by the use of E. coli as an engineering platform, studies on synthetic antibodies which lead to the first fully synthetic antibody library, the development of ribosome display — a true in vitro protein evolution technology—, and the development of the Designed Ankyrin Repeat Protein (DARPin) technology. More recently his laboratory developed technologies for evolving stable G-protein coupled receptors for advancing their detailed study.

His current research is centered on protein engineering, combining protein design, directed evolution and applications. While protein engineering is always in the center, his research is very interdisciplinary.