Marcus Hartmann

Molecular recognition and catalysis

Max Planck Institute for Biology Tübingen
Adjunct faculty in: IMPRS


  • PhD at the MPI for Developmental Biology, 2006-2012
  • Head of the crystallography facility at the MPI since 2009
  • Project leader at the MPI since 2012
  • Temporary chair of biochemistry at Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen since 2021

Research Interest
The function of biomolecules critically depends on specific interactions with other molecules. Therefore, molecular recognition is pivotal in biomolecular evolution and governs all biochemical processes, from ligand-binding to the assembly of macromolecular complexes.
We study biomolecular interactions in different contexts, employing classical biochemistry, X-ray crystallography, and spectroscopic approaches. On one end, we are interested in substrate recognition and biocatalysis. We probe the substrate spectrum and dissect the molecular mechanism of enzymes, with a focus on proteins of yet unknown function and on potential drug targets. On the other end, we are investigating regulatory protein-protein interactions in two different lines of research. In one, we are using natural bifunctional fusion enzymes to investigate how the individual proteins of metabolic pathways are potentially organized for efficient substrate funneling or feedback regulation via allosteric effects. In the other, we aim to probe the druggability of protein-protein interfaces in macromolecular complexes implicated in human disease.



Available PhD Projects

  • Currently not recruiting PhD students

Selected Reading

  • Architecture and functional dynamics of the pentafunctional AROM complex
    Arora Verasztó, H, Logotheti, M, Albrecht, R, Leitner, A, Zhu, H, Hartmann, MD. Nature Chemical Biology (2020)
  • De-Novo Design of Cereblon (CRBN) Effectors Guided by Natural Hydrolysis Products of Thalidomide Derivatives
    Heim C, Pliatsika D, Mousavizadeh F, Bär K, Hernandez Alvarez B, Giannis A, Hartmann MD. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2019)
  • A widespread glutamine-sensing mechanism in the plant kingdom
    Chellamuthu VR, Ermilova E, Lapina T, Lüddecke J, Minaeva E, Herrmann C, Hartmann MD, Forchhammer K. Cell (2014)


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