Cluster of Excellence –
University of Freiburg

Integrative Signaling Research on Phosphatase Chemistry and Biology

Within intracellular signaling networks, protein phosphatases, like kinases, contribute to reversible changes in phosphorylation, and play crucial roles in health and disease. Chemical tools enable investigating the functions and regulation of phosphatases and their contribution to signaling networks.

One of our research areas is to develop chemical tools that can be used to address phosphatase function in basic research and, in the long run, therapeutically. Furthermore, we investigate biochemical mechanisms and biological roles, pathways and substrates of certain phosphatases using biochemical and molecular cell biological methods. To aid phosphatase studies, we also established and maintain an open access database dedicated to human phosphatases (

The lab consists of an equal number of molecular biologists and organic chemists. The combination of biology and chemistry not only opens up new ways to approach the challenging phosphatase research, but also broadens views and skills of every lab member. The lab started in 2007 at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, and moved in 2016 to the University of Freiburg.

First visit to Freiburg, October 2016
EMBL lab day: 1st prize in poster competition (category video)