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Prof. Dr.

Michael Reth

Year of election: 2006
Section: Microbiology and Immunology
City: Freiburg (Br.)
Country: Germany
CV Michael Reth - Deutsch (pdf)
CV Michael Reth - Englisch (PDF)


My group works on differentiation and activation mechanisms of B lymphocytes of the mammalian immune system. Our work resulted in a better description of the B cell antigen receptor and we discovered several critical signal elements in B lymphocytes. Since 1998 we are applying synthetic biology approaches for a better study of signaling processes in lymphocytes. With this approach we made several key discoveries that resulted in a new hypothesis for B cell activation, namely the dissociation-activation model (DAM). In our signaling studies we are currently combining biochemical, genetic, molecular biology and synthetic biology techniques. We also have developed a modification of the proximity ligation assay (PLA) which allows us to study the molecular interactions around receptors of lymphocytes at the 10-20 nanometer range. With this technique we discover a new world of nanoscale molecular interaction in and at the membrane and open a venue to the field of Nanobiology.


  • since 2007 Scientific director of BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies, funded by the excellence programme of the German government
  • since 1996 Professor of Molecular Immunology, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • 1996-1998 Associate Professor (C3), MPI for Immunobiology, Freiburg, Germany
  • 1988 Habilitation, University of Cologne, Germany
  • 1985-1988 Group Leader, Institute of Genetics, University of Cologne, Germany
  • 1982-1985 Visiting Research Fellow, Columbia University, New York, USA
  • 1981 Ph.D. University of Cologne, Germany
  • 1971-1977 Diploma, University of Cologne, Germany



  • 2014-2017 TRR130 The resting state of B lymphocytes
  • 2007-2014 CRC746, Modifications and adaptor function of the B cell signalling proteins Syk and SHP-1 (P7)
  • 2007-2012 BMBF, Freiburg Initiative for Systems Biology (FRISYS)
  • 2007-2017 BIOSS EXC294, Center for Biological Signalling Studies (BIOSS): from analysis to synthesis
  • 2002-2013 CRC620, Production and analysis of B-cell mutant mice with the Cre/loxP method (B5)



  • 2008 Honorary Member of the American Association of Immunologists
  • since 2005 Member of the Advisory Board of the of the IDI Institute, Harvard University, USA
  • since 2003 Editorial Board, Annual Review of Immunology
  • 1992-2007 Editorial Board, European Journal of Immunology
  • since 1990 Transmitting Editor, International Immunology

Honours and Memberships


  • 2014 Paul Ehrlich Prize
  • 2012-2017 ERC Advanced Grant
  • 2009 Schering-Plough Prize
  • 1995 Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 1995 Elected as EMBO-member
  • 1988 Heinz Maier Leibnitz Prize for Immunogenetics
  • 1982 German Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship




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

Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 122
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 139
E-Mail archiv @leopoldina.org