zum Inhalt springen

Key Profile Area: Aging-associated Diseases

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Brandt

Member of the Global Faculty

Ulrich Brandt graduated in Biochemistry from the Eberhard-Karls University in Tübingen and obtained his PhD from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich for his research on specific inhibitors of the mitochondrial cytochrome bc1 complex and functional aspects of cytochrome c oxidase. 

In 2012 he was appointed Full Professor for Mitochondrial Molecular Medicine at the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, The Netherlands and since 2014 he is also Adjunct Professor for Biochemistry at the Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. From 1997-2012 he served as Secretary General of the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM). He is founding member of the Cluster of Excellence “Macromolecular Complexes” of the Goethe-University. Since 2012 he is Editor-in-Chief of the BBA and from 2005-2013 he was Executive Editor of BBA Bioenergetics.

Ulrich Brandt’s research interest focuses on the structure and function of respiratory chain complexes. His group established the strictly aerobic yeast Yarrowia lipolytica as a powerful model to study mitochondrial complex I leading to a series of discoveries especially on the ubiquinone and inhibitor binding domain. In recent years, he published the X-ray structure of this giant membrane integral multiprotein complex shedding light on the still enigmatic molecular mechanism of energy conversion by this redox driven proton pump. In 2012 his group established complexome profiling and has now developed this method into a powerful proteomics approach to study the composition and dynamics of multiprotein complexes. This allowed deciphering the pathway by which the 44 different subunits of mitochondrial complex I are assembled and led to the discovery of several assembly factors supporting this process. Ulrich Brandt has also studied numerous other aspects of mitochondria biology bridging classical bioenergetics and the exciting recent developments that featuring mitochondria as key players in apoptosis, degenerative disorders and ageing. 

Latest publications

Guerrero-Castillo, S., Baertling, F., Kownatzki, D., Wessels, H.J., Arnold, S., Brandt, U., and Nijtmans, L. (2017) The assembly pathway of mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I. Cell Metabolism 25, 128-139.

Zickermann, V., Wirth, C., Nasiri, H., Siegmund, K., Schwalbe, H., Hunte, C., and Brandt, U. (2015). Mechanistic insight from the crystal structure of mitochondrial complex I. Science, 347:44-49.

Contribution to the KPA I:

Brandt is an associated member of the Collaborative Research Centre 1218 Mitochondrial regulation of cellular function, wherein scientists from the University of Cologne, the University Hospital Cologne, the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing and the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne have teamed up to study how mitochondria influence activity, differentiation and survival of the cell. 

The Collaborative Research Centre (CRC)/Sonderforschungsbereich (SFB) 1218 on Mitochondrial regulation of cellular function has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since July 2016 for an initial four-year period.