Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie

Christian Hackenberger

2020 Life Sciences

Department Head at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP), and Leibniz Humboldt Professor for Chemical Biology at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Christian Hackenberger studied chemistry in Freiburg, Madison and Aachen. After a postdoc at MIT, he started his group at FU Berlin in 2005 as an Emmy Noether fellow. In 2012, he became Leibniz-Humboldt Professor for chemical biology at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie and the HU Berlin.

Christian Hackenberger has developed new ways to chemically attach proteins to synthetic molecules – an important step forward in tweaking proteins for medical applications. With colleagues in Berlin, Christian Hackenberger recently coupled a protein scaffold from harmless microbes in the human gut with sugar molecules that influenza viruses use as an entry port into lung cells. These artificial sugar-coated protein scaffolds hold promise for new antiviral drugs, as they capture influenza viruses before they can infect lung cells. In another approach, Christian Hackenberger has linked toxic chemotherapeutics with antibodies to target them specifically to tumour cells and thus avoid unwanted side effects on the rest of the body. He recently co-founded the start-up Tubulis with colleagues at LMU München to develop these antibody-drug-conjugates further.

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