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Image: Vincent Leifer

Professor Dr

Bärbel Friedrich

Member of the Leopoldina Presidium

Year of election: 1994
Section: Microbiology and Immunology
City: Berlin
Country: Germany
Member in Focus, 17 April 2013
CV Bärbel Friedrich - Deutsch (PDF)
CV Bärbel Friedrich - Englisch (PDF)


Main research interests: Synthesis, structure and function of hydrogenase enzymes; Protein-catalyzed assembly of metal co-factors; Biological hydrogen production; Functional genome research of lithoautotropic bacteria


  • 2015-2021 Co-speaker of the Joint Committee on the Handling of Security-Relevant Research, DFG and Leopoldina
  • since 2013 Member of the University Council of the University of Vienna, Austria
  • 2008-2018 Scientific director of the Alfried Krupp Institute of Advanced Studies in Greifswald, Germany
  • 1994-2013 Full Professor (C4) in Microbiology at the Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany
  • 1985-1994 Full Professor (C4) in Microbiology at the Free University Berlin, Germany
  • 1983 Habilitation in Microbiology at the Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany
  • 1977-1984 Research Associate at the Institute of Microbiology, Göttingen, Germany
  • 1975-1976 Postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA
  • 1973 Doctorate in Microbiology, University of Göttingen, Germany
  • 1965-1970 Study of Biology at the Georg-August-University Göttingen (Diploma in Biology), Germany



  • 2009-2012 Evaluation Board, Polish-German Scientific Award Copernicus
  • 2007-2010 Joint Committee for the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion, German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 2007-2010 Member of the Scientific Advisory Council at the Robert Koch Foundation
  • 2005-2015 Vice President of German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • 2004-2008 Member of the Scientific Advisory board at the Center of infections diseases, University of Würzburg, Germany
  • 2004-2008 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board at the Foundation “Alfried Krupp Kolleg Greifswald”
  • 2003-2009 Nomination Committee for the Leibniz Award
  • 2003-2005 Member of the German Federal Parliament Enquete Committee “Ethical and legal aspects of modern medicine”
  • 2001-2004 Member of the Foundation Council “Max-Delbrück-Centre for molecular medicine”
  • 2001-2004 Member of presidential committee “Gesellschaft Deutscher Naturforscher und Ärzte”
  • 1997-2003 Vice President of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 1997-1999 Member of the Federal Science Council
  • 1991-2001 Member of the Heisenberg Committee, German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 1985-1989 Vice President of the Association of General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM)



  • 2009-2013 GenoMik-Transfer – Application-oriented Research on Non-Pathogenic microorganisms for Health, Nutrition and Ressource-Efficient Industry Production, “Autotrophic production of fine chemicals and specifically labeled biocompounds in Ralstonia eutropha”, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
  • 2009-2012 BMBF project „Design of Natural Light-driven H2-Production from molecular to Mass-Fermentation“
  • 2007-2012 DFG Cluster of Excellence “Unifying Concepts of Catalysis”, TP B1 “Structure-function analysis of oxygen tolerant hydrogenases”
  • 2006-2009 BMBF project “Metabolic engineering of the hydrogen bacterium Ralstonia eutropha H16: Production of biomolecules using hydrogen”
  • 2005-2008 BMBF project “Molecular basis for a biotechnological and biomimetic approach of H2 production”
  • 2000-2009 DFG collaborative research project “Protein-Cofactor Interactions in Biological Processes”
  • “Bacterial [NiFe]-hydrogenases: key reactions of the biological activation of molecular hydrogen”
  • 1999-2003 COST Action 841 (EC) “Biological and Biochemical Diversity of Hydrogen Metabolism”
  • 1994-2000 Coordinator of the DFG priority program “Molecular analysis of regulatory networks in bacteria”
  • 1990-1999 Collaborative research project on regulatory structures of nucleic acids and proteins

Honours and Memberships


  • 2021 Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art
  • since 2019 Honorary Member of the Vereinigung für Allgemeine und Angewandte Mikrobiologie (VAAM)
  • 2016 Leopoldina Medal of Merit
  • 2013 Arthur Burkhardt Prize
  • 2013 Order of Merit (Verdienstkreuz am Bande) of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 2010 Guest Lecture Award „Frontiers in Biological Chemistry“, Max-Planck-Society
  • since 2000 Corresponding member of the Academy of Science in Göttingen, Germany
  • since 1997 Corresponding member of the North Rhine-Westphalia Academy of Science
  • since 1994 Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • since 1994 Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, Germany
  • 1975 Research fellowship awarded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)




Emil-Abderhalden-Str. 35
06108 Halle (Saale)

Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 122
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 139
E-Mail archiv (at)leopoldina.org

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