IFIB – Interfakultäres Institut für Biochemie

Prof. Dr. Robert Feil


email: robert.feilspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

tel: (+49) 7071 29-73350

fax: (+49) 7071 29-3332

room: 453 (second floor)

Dr. rer. nat. Robert Feil is Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He is head of the Department of Signal Transduction & Transgenic Models at the Interfaculty Institute for Biochemistry, which is devoted to interdisciplinary biochemical and biomedical research. For more than 20 years Dr. Feil develops state-of-the-art transgenic mouse technology and investigates cGMP downstream signalling via cGMP-dependent protein kinases (cGKs, also known as PKG). He is also interested to find new applications of existing cGMP-elevating drugs, such as Viagra, to treat important human diseases. Dr. Feil received his doctoral degree in Biochemistry and Pharmacology at the Technische Universität München with Franz Hofmann, where he was the first to express and purify functional recombinant cGKs for biochemical studies. Supported by EMBO and HFSPO long-term fellowships he did his post-doc in Pierre Chambon’s laboratory in Strasbourg, France. There he obtained a strong background in transgenic mouse methods and contributed to the development of so-called Tamoxifen-dependent Cre recombinases including CreERT2, which is now widely used for the generation of inducible knockout mice as well as for genetic cell fate mapping in mice. In 2002 the Feil group has published the first cardiomyocyte-specific cGK knockout mouse model and by now has generated a “mouse zoo” with several inducible, tissue-specific and rescue mouse mutants. The in vivo phenotypes of these mouse models combined with analyses at the cellular and molecular level demonstrated that the cGKs are major players of cGMP signalling. Surprisingly, the cGMP-cGK axis turned out to promote the growth of multiple cell types in the context of cardiovascular and neuronal disorders as well as cancer. More recently, the Feil lab has established new Cre/lox-switchable mouse models for real-time imaging of cGMP and, more broadly, tracking the behaviour of any specific cell type in vivo. Using these new technologies, they could show that atherosclerotic plaques contain previously unknown macrophage-like cells that are derived by clonal growth and transdifferentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells. Dr. Feil’s work is supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and others, and it receives considerable attention as reflected by a survey that ranked him on position 14 among the most-cited pharmacologists in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Laborjournal 7-8/2009, corrected online version). Since 2013, Dr. Feil is speaker of the DFG-funded research centre “cGMP signalling in cell growth and survival” (FOR 2060). Since 2019, he is speaker of the DFG research training group "cGMP: from bedside to bench" (GRK 2381).