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Prof. Dr.

Reinhard Jahn

Year of election: 2004
Section: Biochemistry and Biophysics
City: Göttingen
Country: Germany


Main research interests: Membrane fusion, fusion proteins, exocytosis of synaptic vesicles

Reinhard Jahn is known for his research on the molecular mechanisms of membrane fusion, with special emphasis on exocytosis of synaptic vesicles in neurons.

In his work he dealt with both the calcium receptor for exocytosis and the fusion proteins. Important contributions include the identification and initial characterization of the calcium receptor synaptotagmin, the identification of SNARE proteins as targets for botulinum neurotoxins, and the structural characterization of SNARE complexes, which led to the development of a mechanistic model for membrane fusion that is presently largely accepted.

Furthermore, Reinhard Jahn has contributed to the structural characterization of synaptic vesicles including the first description of several components of this organelle.


  • seit 1997 Direktor und Wissenschaftliches Mitglied am Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen
  • seit 1995 Professor für Pharmakologie und Zellbiologie an der Yale University
  • seit 1991 Associate Investigator am Howard Hughes Medical Institute und außerordentlicher Professor für Pharmakologie und Zellbiologie an der Yale University
  • ab 1986 Nachwuchsgruppenleiter am Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie, München
  • 1985 Assistant Professor, Rockefeller University
  • 1983-1985 Postdoc an der Yale University und der Rockefeller University, USA
  • 1981 Promotion an der Universität Göttingen
  • Studium der Biologie und Chemie

Auszeichnungen und Mitgliedschaften

  • 2016 Balzan-Preis für Molekulare und zelluläre Neurowissenschaften
  • 2010 Niedersächsischer Wissenschaftspreis
  • 2006 Ernst Jung-Preis für Medizin
  • seit 2004 Mitglied der Nationalen Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina
  • 2000 Gottfried Wilhelm-Leibniz‑Preis der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft
  • 1990 Max‑Planck‑Forschungspreis




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

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