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August 30, 2021

Farewell Symposium for Prof. Tilman Schirmer

At the Biozentrum, Professor Tilman Schirmer studied structure - function relationships of bacterial proteins and their communication at the molecular level for many years. In addition, he contributed to the Structural Biology Curriculum on all levels. With a scientific symposium, the Biozentrum recognizes his achievements and bids the dedicated scientist farewell.

Professor emeritus Tilman Schirmer.

In honor of Prof. Tilman Schirmer, the Biozentrum of the University of Basel will hold a festive Farewell Symposium on September 17, 2021. Internationally renowned scientists including Prof. David Ron from the University of Cambridge, Prof. Holger Sondermann from DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron) in Hamburg along with the Proffessor Urs Jenal, Timm Maier and Christoph Dehio, former colleagues from the Biozentrum, will acknowledge Schirmer’s scientific achievements with lectures and a laudation. With his farewell lecture entitled “All about structure?” the emeritus professor will conclude the symposium (PDF Flyer).

Prof. em. Tilman Schirmer was active in research and teaching at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel as Professor of Structural Biology from 1992 to 2020, but joined the institute as research associate already in 1989. The trained physicist obtained his PhD in 1987 for his work on light-harvesting proteins performed at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Munich. This was followed by a post-doctoral stay at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, where he worked on the regulation of phosphofructokinase. 

In his research, Schirmer combined X-ray structure analysis with functional characterization by various methods in order to elucidate the relationship between the atomic structure and the mode of action of bacterial proteins. In particular, he worked on outer-membrane pore forming porins, AMP-transferases, as well as enzymes involved in c-di-GMP mediated signaling in bacteria. Using the three-dimensional structure of the proteins, he was able to demonstrate how chemical signals regulate protein activity and how molecules and proteins interact at the molecular level and so transmit signals within the cell. His achievements not only provided new fundamental knowledge, but also form an important basis for combating bacterial pathogens.

The Farewell Symposium for Prof. Tilman Schirmer will take place at the Maurice E. Müller Lecture Hall of the Biozentrum, Spitalstrasse 41, as well as online via zoom, on Friday, September 17, from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. All those interested to participate at this hybrid-event are kindly asked to register via LINK by September 3, 2021. Onsite attendance is restricted to a reduced number of people and a valid Covid-Certificate will be required.

Contact: Communications, Katrin Bühler