Short CV/Education and training

  • 1981 – 1987
    Studied chemistry at the University of Marburg, Germany, and the University of Bristol, UK

  • 1987 – 1990
    Doctorate at the University of Marburg

  • 1990
    Doctor of Natural Science (Dr. rer. nat.)

  • 1990 – 1992
    Postdoctoral fellow, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany

  • 1992 – 1998
    Postdoctoral fellow, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA

  • 1998 – 2004
    Group leader, Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany

  • 2004 – 2008
    Full Professor, Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Göttingen

  • Since 2008
    Full Professor, Molecular Biology, Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie der Universität Heidelberg (ZMBH)

  • 2010 – 2015
    Prodean for research, Faculty of Biosciences, University of Heidelberg

  • 2016 – 2018
    Dean, Faculty of Biosciences, University of Heidelberg

Selected publications

  • Stankovic-Valentin, N., Drzewicka, K., König, C., Schiebel, E. and Melchior, F. (2016) Redox-regulation of SUMO enzymes is required for ATM activity and survival in oxidative stress. In: EMBO J. 35, S. 1312-1329.

  • Ritterhoff, T., Das, H., Hofhaus, G., Schröder, R.R., Flotho, A. and Melchior, F. (2016) The RanBP2/RanGAP1*SUMO1/Ubc9 SUMO E3 ligase is a disassembly machine for Crm1-dependent nuclear export complexes. In: Nat. Commun. 7, 11482, doi: 10.1038/ncomms11482

  • Becker, J. et al. Detecting endogenous SUMO targets in mammalian cells and tissues. In: Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 2013, 20, S. 525-31.

  • Flotho, F. and Melchior, F. SUMOylation – a regulatory protein modification in health and disease. In: Annu. Rev. Biochem. 2013, 82, S. 357-385.

  • Werner, A. et al. SCFFbxw5 mediates transient degradation of actin remodeler Eps8 to allow proper migration through mitosis. In: Nat. Cell Biol. 15, 2013. S. 179-188.

  • Werner, A. et al. Two functionally non-equivalent Ubc9 molecules are required for sumoylation by the RanBP2/RanGAP1*SUMO1/Ubc9 E3 ligase complex. In: Mol. Cell 46, 2012. S. 287-298.

  • Bossis, G. and Melchior, F. (2006) Regulation of SUMOylation by reversible oxidation of SUMO conjugating enzymes. In: Mol. Cell 21, S. 349-357.

  • Pichler, A. et al.: The nucleoporin RanBP2 is a SUMO1 E3 Ligase. In: Cell 108, 2002. S. 109-120.

  • Mahajan, R. et al.: A small ubiquitin related polypeptide involved in targeting RanGAP1 to nuclear pore complex protein RanBP2. In: Cell 88, 1997. S. 97-107.

  • Melchior, F. et al.: Inhibition of nuclear protein import by nonhydrolyzable analogues of GTP and identification of the small GTPase Ran/TC4 as an essential transport factor. In: J. Cell Biol. 123, 1993. S. 1649-1659.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Research in our group centers on posttranslational modification with small ubiquitin-related proteins of the SUMO family. Like ubiquitin, these proteins can be covalently and reversibly linked to other proteins. Attachment of SUMO serves to regulate protein-protein interactions, subcellular localization, enzymatic activity and stability.

    Projects in the lab aim at understanding mechanisms, regulation and function of SUMOylation in mammalian cells. We are interested in basic principles of reversible sumoylation (enzymes, targets and acceptor sites), connections between SUMOylation and nucleocytoplasmic transport (focusing, e.g., on the nucleoporin and E3 Ligase RanBP2/Nup358), links between SUMO- and ubiquitin-conjugation pathways, and regulation of sumoylation by redox-signalling.

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of the Senate, German Research Foundation (DFG), 2012 – 2016

  • Member of the Senate and grants committee for Research Training Groups, German Research Foundation (DFG), 2008 – 2013

  • Selection committee for postdoctoral fellowships, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 2007 – 2010

  • Advisory board member, Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP), Berlin, 2005 – 2012

  • Scientific Advisory board, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), 2012 – 2015

  • Steering Committee, Excellence Cluster CellNetworks, Heidelberg, since 2012

  • Faculty member, The Hartmut Hoffmann-Berling International Graduate School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (HBIGS), since 2009

  • Member of the DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance Directorate, 2009 – 2017

Additional qualifications

  • Organizer (2008) and co-organizer (2006, 2010, 2012) of EMBO practical courses on ubiquitin and SUMO.

  • Organizer (2017) and co-organizer (2015, 2013) of EMBO Conferences on ubiquitin and ubiquitin-related modifiers

  • Speaker, Collaborative Research Centre SFB 523, Protein and Membrane transport between cellular compartments, Göttingen, 2005 – 2008

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Other activities and achievements/family

  • 1 son, born 1989


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  1. AcademiaNet member Prof Frauke Melchior receives 2018 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award

    The prize honours Prof. Melchior's outstanding achievements in the life sciences. In addition, winners of the award are role models who inspire future generations of scientists.

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