Short CV/Education and training

  • 1989 – 1991
    Undergraduate studies (Vordiplom) at the University of Bonn, Germany

  • 1991 – 1994
    Master of Science in Biology (Diplom) at the Philipps University, Marburg, Germany

  • 1994 – 1997
    PhD student in the laboratory of Prof. R. Thauer at the Max-Planck-Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg

  • 1998
    Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. M.E. Lidstrom at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA

  • 1999 – 2001
    Group leader, Max-Planck-Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Department of Biochemistry (director: Prof. R. Thauer), Marburg

  • 2001 – 2006
    Head of an independent research group (ATIPE CNRS/Max-Planck-Society) at the Laboratoire des Interactions Plantes Microorganismes, Toulouse, France

  • 2006 – 2011
    Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, Switzerland

  • Since 2012
    Full Professor of Microbiology at ETH Zurich

Selected publications

  • Guillaume-Gentil O, Potthoff E, Ossola D, Dörig P, Zambelli T, Vorholt JA (2013) High efficient injection into single cell nuclei. Small 9:1904-1907.

  • Vorholt JA (2012) Microbial life in the phyllosphere. Nature Rev Microbiol. 10:828-840.

  • Elias M, Wellner A, Goldin-Azulay K, Chabriere E, Vorholt JA, Erb TJ, Tawfik DS (2012) The molecular basis of phosphate discrimination in arsenate rich environments. Nature. 491:134-137.

  • Erb TJ, Kiefer P, Hattendorf B, Günther D, Vorholt JA (2012) GFAJ-1 is an arsenate-resistant, yet phosphate-dependent organism. Science 337:467-470.

  • Campagne S, Damberger FF, Kaczmarczyk A, Francez-Charlot A, Allain FH-T, Vorholt JA (2012) Structural basis for sigma factor mimicry in the general stress response of Alphaproteobacteria. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 109:E1405-14.

  • Delmotte N, Knief C, Chaffron S, Innerebner G, Roschitzki B, Schlapbach R, von Mering C, Vorholt JA (2009) Community proteogenomics reveals insights into the physiology of phyllosphere bacteria. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA 106:16428-16433.

  • Peyraud R, Kiefer P, Christen P, Massou S, Portais JC, Vorholt JA (2009) Demonstration of the ethylmalonyl-CoA pathway using 13C metabolomics. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA 106:4846-4851.

  • Francez-Charlot A, Frunzke J, Reichen C, Zingg Ebneter J, Gourion B, Vorholt JA (2009) Sigma factor mimicry involved in regulation of general stress response. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106:3467-3472.

  • Delaspre F, Nieto Penalver CG, Saurel O, Kiefer P, Gras E, Milon A, Boucher C, Genin S, Vorholt JA (2007) The Ralstonia solanacearum pathogenicity regulator HrpB induces 3-hydroxy-oxindole synthesis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA, 104:15870-15875.

  • Gourion B, Rossignol M, Vorholt JA (2006) A proteomic study of Methylobacterium extorquens reveals a novel type of response regulator essential for epiphytic growth. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA, 103:13186-13191.

  • Chistoserdova L, Vorholt JA, Thauer RK, Lidstrom ME (1998) C1 transfer enzymes and coenzymes linking methylotrophic bacteria and methanogenic archaea. Science 281:99-102.



Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • The PhyR-NepR-Sigma EcfG signalling cascade and the general stress response in Alphaproteobacteria (Swiss National Research Foundation, SNSF)

  • Nature and function of phyllosphere associated bacteria (Vontobel Foundation)

  • Engineering methylotrophy using a synthetic biology approach (EU FP7, ESF)

  • FluidFM technology for single cell approaches (Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation KTI/CTI)

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Editorial Board Member Microbiology, since 2006

  • Editorial Board Member Environmental Microbiology, since 2011

  • Editorial Board Member Applied and Environmental Microbiology, since 2013

  • Editorial Board Member ISME J, since 2013

  • Member of Scientific Advisory Board, German Collection for Microorganisms and Cell Cultures (DSMZ), Braunschweig, Germany, since 2008

  • Member of Scientific Advisory Board, German Research Foundation (DFG); Priority program "Biological Transformations of Hydrocarbons in the Absence of Oxygen", since 2008

  • Member of Scientific Advisory Board, Cytosurge AG, Zurich, Switzerland, since 2010

  • Member of Scientific Advisory Board, Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany, since 2012

  • Member of Scientific Advisory Board, AgBiome, North Carolina, USA, since 2013

  • Member of Scientific Advisory Board, Loewe Center for Synthetic Microbiology, Marburg, Germany, since 2013

  • Member of the American Society of Microbiology (ASM), the German Society for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM), the Swiss Society for Microbiology (SGM/SSM), the General Society for Microbiology-UK (SGM), the International Society for Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions (MPMI), the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME), the Plant Science Center Zurich-Basel (PSC)

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Other activities and achievements/family

  • Mother of two children (*2000, 2004)


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