Short CV/Education and training

  • 1984 – 1991
    Medical studies at Heidelberg University, Germany

  • 1986
    Preliminary examination

  • 1987
    First state examination

  • 1986 – 1988
    Dissertation at the Institute of Biochemistry II at Heidelberg University

  • 1988 – 1989
    Postdoc at the Institute of Pathology at the University of Sydney, Australia; Clinical work at the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Katherine, NT, Australia

  • 1990
    Second state examination

  • 1990 – 1991
    Practical year at the Canton Hospital in Basel, Switzerland (internal medicine), in the surgical clinic at Heidelberg University (focus on cardiac surgery) and at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK (paediatrics)

  • 1991
    Third state examination

  • 1992 – 1993
    Physician-in-residence at the Children’s Clinic at Heidelberg University. Clinical research topics: tropical paediatrics, oncology, neonatology. Three months of clinical and research work in Nigeria

  • 1993
    Licensed to practice medicine

  • 1993 – 1999
    Research staff member at the Centre for Biochemistry at Heidelberg University

  • 1994
    Six-month research residency at the Institute of Pathology at the University of Sydney, Australia

  • 1996
    Habilitation (postdoctoral qualification) in biochemistry at Heidelberg University

  • 1998
    Specialist examination, “Biochemistry"

  • 1999
    Senior research associate (C2) at the Centre for Biochemistry at Heidelberg University

  • 1999 – 2000
    Junior staff team leader at the Research Centre for Infectious Diseases at the University of Würzburg, Germany

  • Since 2000
    C4 professor of Biochemistry at the University of Giessen, Germany

  • 2005 – 2006
    Research residency at Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA, Proteomic Mass Spectrometry Lab

  • Since 2009
    Vice-President of the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen

  • Since 2014
    Vice President of the German Research Foundation (DFG)

  • Since 2017
    Coordinator of DFG Priority Program 1710, “Dynamics of Thiol-based Redox Switches in Cellular Physiology”

  • Since 2018
    Coordinator of the LOEWE Center DRUID (Novel Drug Targets against Poverty-related and Neglected Tropical Infectious Diseases) as part of the Hessian State Initiative to Fund Academic-Economic Excellence (LandesOffensive zur Entwicklung Wissenschaftlich-ökonomischer Exzellenz – LOEWE)

Selected publications

  • Becker K, Rahlfs S (Forum eds.): Forum Issue on “Redox biology of parasites”. Antiox Redox Signal, in press

    Fritz-Wolf K, Kehr S, Stumpf M, Rahlfs S, Becker K: Crystal structure of the human thioredoxin reductase – thioredoxin complex. In: Nature Communic 2, 2011. 383 | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1382 |

  • Kehr S, Jortzik E, Delahunty C, Yates III JR, Rahlfs S, Becker K: Protein S-glutathionylation in malaria parasites. In: Antiox Redox Signal 15, 2011. S. 2855-2865.

  • Kehr S, Sturm N, Rahlfs S, Przyborski JM, Becker K: Compartmentation of redox metabolism in malaria parasites. In: PLoS Pathogens 6, 2010. e1001242

  • Becker K (vol. ed.): Apicomplexan Parasites – Molecular Approaches toward Targeted Drug Development. Drug Discovery in Infectious Diseases (Vol. 2). (Hrsg. Becker, K) 2011. ISBN-13: 978-3-527-32731-7 – Wiley-VCH, Weinheim

  • Koncarevic, S. et al.: Plasmodium falciparum imports the human protein peroxiredoxin 2 for peroxide detoxification. In: Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106, 2009. S. 13323-13328.

  • Perez-Jimenez, R. et al.: Diversity of chemical mechanisms in thioredoxin catalysis. In. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology 16, 2009. S. 890-896.

  • Sturm, N. et al.: Identification of proteins targeted by the thioredoxin superfamily in Plasmodium falciparum. In: PLoS Pathogens 5(4), 2009. e1000383.

  • Kamerbeek, N.M. et al.: Molecular basis of glutathione reductase deficiency in human blood cells. In: Blood 109, 2007. S. 3560-3566.

  • Urig, S. et al.: Undressing of phosphine gold(I) therapeutic agents as irreversible inhibitors of human disulfide reductases. In: Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 45, 2006. S. 1881-1886.

  • Becker, K., Engelen, E.M., Vec, M. (eds.): Ethisierung – Ethikferne. Wieviel Ethik braucht die Wissenschaft? Berlin, 2003.

  • Fritz-Wolf, K. et al.: X-ray structure of glutathione S-transferase from the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. In: Proc Natl Acad Sci 100, 2003. S. 13821-13826.

  • Kanzok, S. et al.: Substitution of the thioredoxin system for glutathione reductase in Drosophila melanogaster. In: Science 291, 2001. S. 643-646.

  • Becker, K. et al.: Enzyme inactivation through sulfhydryl oxidation by physiologic NO-carriers. In: Nature Struct Biol 5, 1998. S. 267-271.

Selected projects

Patent filings

  • Becker, K., Hopkins, T., Schirmer, R.H.: Antimalarial activity of the ethanol/alcohol oxidase system in vitro. US-patent HBW # 32562, 1990.

  • Keese, M.A. et al.: Microinjected glutathione reductase crystals as indicators of the redox status in living cells. DE # 44 30 719-5, 1999.

  • Becker, K. et al.: Highly potent gold-phosphole inhibitors of human glutathione reductase. International patent WO 2006/024770, 2004.

  • Becker K, Fritz-Wolf K & Zimmermann H: Ellagic acid derivatives as P. falciparum glutathione S-transferase inhibitors and potential antimalarial drugs. Garching Innovations, Munich (PCT/EP2006/060707), 2005.

  • Becker K, Krieg R & Schönecker B: Derivatives of steroid-benzylamines with antiparasitic, antibacterial and antiviral activity (PTC/DE 2011/001829), 2011.

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

  • International Society for Free Radical Research

  • German Society for Parasitology

  • German Society for Tropical Medicine

  • Member of the Junge Akademie (academy of young scientists) of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

  • Member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

  • Expert consultant in the evaluation of institutions at the Leibniz Association (Bernhard Nocht Institute Hamburg), since 2009

  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Centre for International Development and Environmental Research, since 2007

  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Potsdam, since 2006

  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the BlueCQ Study (chloroquine-methylene blue combinational therapy of malaria), Heidelberg University, 2003 – 2005

  • Consultant to the Volkswagen Foundation “Africa Funding Initiative", 2002

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  1. The Global Research Council elects Katja Becker as Chair

    The physician and biochemist is also the current President of the German Research Foundation (DFG).

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