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Prof. Dr.

Rudolf K. Thauer

Year of election: 1984
Section: Biochemistry and Biophysics
City: Marburg
Country: Germany
CV Rudolf Kurt Thauer - Englisch (pdf)

Research

Rudolf K. Thauer, Professor emeritus for Microbiology, is distinguished for many important contributions to the biochemistry, physiology and ecology of anaerobic microorganism. Most of the work he performed at the Philipps-University Marburg (since 1976) and the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg (since 1991). His group helped unravel the metabolic pathway in methanogenic archaea leading from CO2 and H2 to methane, in the characterization of the involved enzymes and coenzymes and the identification of the sites of energy conservation. The work lead to the discovery of three novel nickel enzymes, a novel hydrogenase, two novel cofactors and a novel mechanism of energy conservation. For his work published in more than 400 papers he received numerous awards.

Career

  • since 2008 Head Emeritus group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg, Germany
  • 1999 Shimizu Visiting Professor, Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, CA, USA
  • 1991-2007 Director at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg, Department of Biochemistry, Germany
  • 1991 Rolf Sammet Visiting Professor, Organic Chemistry, University of Frankfurt, Germany
  • 1976-2005 Full Professor, Microbiology, University of Marburg, Germany
  • 1972-1976 Associate Professor, Plant Biochemistry, Ruhr-University of Bochum, Germany
  • 1972 Visiting Scientist, Biochemistry, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  • 1971-1972 Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • 1971 Habilitation for Biochemistry, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • 1968-1971 Research Associate, Biochemistry, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • 1968 Ph.D., University of Freiburg, in the lab of Karl Decker, Germany
  • 1959-1966 Study of Medicine and Biochemistry at the Universities of Frankfurt and Tübingen, Germany

Projects

  • 1996-2004 Initiator and member of the DFG Sonderforschungsbereich “Interaktion, Anpassung
  • und katalytische Fähigkeiten von Bodenorgenismen”
  • 1989-1994 Coordinator of the BMFT- Förderkonzept “Biologische Wasserstoffgewinnung”
  • 1990-2000 Initiator and first Speaker of the DFG Graduate School “Enzymchemie”
  • 1979-1989 Initiator and first Speaker of the DFG Priority “Methanogene Bakterien”

Functions

  • since 2008 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of LanzaTech, New Zealand
  • 2008-2010 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of GLBRC, Madison, USA
  • 2005-2009 Member of the Presidium of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Halle
  • 2004-2011 Member of the Curatorium for Chemistry
  • 2002 Initiator and first Speaker of the International Max Planck Research School in Marburg, Germany
  • since 2001 Member of the Curatorium of the Marburger University Association, Germany
  • since 2000 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Future Capital AG, Frankfurt, Germany
  • 1998-2003 Member of the Selection Committee of the DFG for the Leibniz Prize
  • 1993-2000 Head of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Biocenter in Würzburg, Germany
  • 1991-1996 Building up of the new Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology as Founding Director (together with Ralf Conrad)
  • 1989 Organization of the joint meeting of the VAAM, DGHM and NVvM in Marburg with 1200 participants (together with Wolfgang Buckel)
  • 1988-1997 Member of the Supervisory Board of the Behringwerke AG Marburg, Germany
  • 1988-1991 Member of the founding committees for the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology and for the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
  • 1986-2006 Member of the board of „Freunde des Bildarchiv Foto Marburg“
  • 1984-1986 Group Chairman for Biology, Society of German Scientest and Medicals (GDNÄ)
  • 1983-1997 Member of the Curatorium of the German Chemical Industries Associations
  • 1983-1987 Vice President of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 1982-1988 Member of a group teaching each summer a one week biotechnology course at the MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  • 1981-1982 Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Philipps University Marburg, Germany
  • 1980-1988 Organization each year of a two days symposium on different aspects of applied microbiology (together with Paul Präve from the Höchst AG)
  • 1977-1981 Member of Selection Committee of the Humboldt Foundation
  • 1975-2007 Member of the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Biochemistry (now FEBS Journal)
  • 1974-2002 Member of the Editorial Board of Archives of Microbiology

Honours and Memberships

  • 2015 Lwoff Award
  • 2013 Medal of Merit of the Leopoldina
  • 2012 American Academy of Microbiology
  • 2010 Maynard and Suzanne Goldman Lecture, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA
  • 2010 Neil Welker Memorial Lecture, Wind River Conference on Prokaryotic Biology, Eastes Park, Colorado, USA
  • 2010 European Academy of Microbiology
  • 2009 Honorary Member of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM)
  • 2008 Carl Friedrich Gauß Medal, Scientific Society of Braunschweig, Germany
  • 2007 Honorary Doctor of the University of Freiburg, Germany
  • 2007 Tsung-Ying Shen Lectures, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
  • 2007 Honorary Doctor of the University of Waterloo, Canada
  • 2006 Nelson J. Leonard Lectures, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA
  • 2005 Roger Y. Stanier Memorial Lecture, UC Berkeley, USA
  • 2003 Stanley Dagley Lectureship, University of Minnesota, USA
  • 2001 Honorary Doctor of the ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2000 Methanobrevibacter thaueri, name given by Terry Miller, Albany, New York, to a novel species of Methanobrevibacter
  • 1998 Marjory Stephenson Prize Lecture, SGM, Nottingham, UK
  • 1998 Peter Hemmerich Vorlesung, Universität Konstanz, Germany
  • 1997 First Albert Neuberger Lecture in Tetrapyrrole Science, London, UK
  • 1996 11th A.J. Kluyver Memorial Lecture, University of Delft, Netherlands
  • 1993 Carus Prize of Schweinfurt, Germany
  • 1993 Thauera, name given by Joan Macy, then UC Davis, to a novel genus of beta-proteobacteria
  • 1992 Carus Medal, German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Halle
  • 1991 Corresp. Member of the North Rhine-Westphalia Academy for Sciences and Art, Düsseldorf , Germany
  • 1990 Member of the Academia Europaea
  • 1989 Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences and Humanities Göttingen, Germany
  • 1989 Member of the Marburger Cientifico Society, Germany
  • 1987 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, German Research Foundation
  • 1986 Dannie Heineman Prize, Academy of Sciences and Humanities Göttingen, Germany
  • 1984 Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • 1984 Otto Warburg Medal, Society of Biological Chemistry

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