Interfakultäres Institut für Mikrobiologie und Infektionsmedizin

Prof. Dr. Forchhammer

Short CV - Prof. Dr. Karl Forchhammer

Study of Chemistry and Biology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (scholarship from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes)

Diploma Thesis in Microbiology on Escherichia coli Formiat-Dehydrogenase biochemistry

PhD Thesis in Microbiology at the Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie, LMU München (with Prof. Dr. August Böck) on “Biosynthesis and incorporation of selenocysteine in proteins of Escherichia coli. Thesis award „VAAM Promotionspreis“ in 1992

In 1992-1993, Postdoc (DFG postdoctoral fellowship) at the Institut Pasteur, Unité de Physiologie Microbienne, Paris in the group of Dr. Nicole Tandeau de Marsac. Discovery of Synechococcus PII protein serine phosphorylation

Scientific assistant at the Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie, LMU München and “habilitation” in Microbiology, projects on PII signalling and nitrogen regulation in cyanobacteria

In 1999, appointed as Associate Professor for Microbiology at the Institute for Microbiology and Molecular Biology, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen

Since 2007, Chair of the “Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie/Organismische Interaktionen “ at the Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen

Scientific interests, projects:
Nitrogen regulation in bacteria; PII signal transduction; Nitrogen acclimation processes in cyanobacteria; Developmental processes and multicellularity in cyanobacteria

Link to ResearchGate (Profile)


  • Member of the VAAM (German Society for microbiology)
  • Speaker of the VAAM Special Group (Fachgruppe) "Cyanobakterien"
  • Editor for FEBS Journal
  • Member of the DFG panel 204 (Fachkollegium Mikrobiologie, Virologie Immunologie)
  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the MPI terrestrial Microbiology Marburg
  • Spokesman of the Research training group (GRK1708) “Molecular principles in bacterial survival strategies"


  • Journal Artilces (PubMed)
  • Journal Articles (ResearchGate)
  • Book chapters:
    • Forchhammer, K. 1999. The PII protein in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 senses and signals 2-oxoglutarate under ATP replete conditions. In : The Phototrophic Prokaryotes (Eds: G. Peschek, W. Löffelhardt und G. Schmetterer) Kluver Academic. p. 549-553
    • Forchhammer, K. 2000. Heterotrimerization of PII-like signalling proteins: lessons from a comparative analysis between a cyanobacterial PII homologue and its proteobacterial counterparts. In: Nitrogen Fixation: From Molecules to Crop Productivity (Eds: F.O. Pedrosa, et al.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, NL. p. 103- 104
    • Forchhammer, K. 2002. Nitrogen-starvation in non-diazotrophic cyanobacteria: survival through chlorosis.. In: Recent Research Developments in Microbiology Vol. 6. Research Signpost. p. 45-54
    • Forchhammer, K. 2005. PII signal transduction in cyanobacteria: novel mechanisms of global nitrogen control. In: Current Plant Science and Biotechnology in Agriculture Vol. 41: Biological nitrogen fixation, sustainable agriculture and the environment. Spriner, Dordrecht, NL p. 73-74
    • Masepohl, B. and Forchhammer, K. 2007. Regulatory cascades to express nitrogenase. In: Molecular biology, biochemistry and applied aspects of the nitrogen cycle (Eds: H. Bothe, S.Ferguson, W.E. Newton) Elsevier B.V. 131-145
    • Luque, I. and Forchhammer, K. 2007. Nitrogen assimilation and C/N balance sensing. In: The Cyanobacteria: Molecular Biology, Genomics and Evolution (Eds: Herrero, A. and Flores, E.) Horizon Scientific Press 335-382
    • Forchhammer, K. 2014. Von der Entstehung des Lebens zur Evolution der Cyanobakterien. In: Schlüsselereignisse der organismischen Makroevolution. Eds: Maier W. & Werneburg, I. Scidinge Hall Verlag Zürich.
    • Maldener, I and Forchhammer, K. 2015. Requirement of Cell Wall Remodeling for Cell-Cell Communication and Cell Differentiation in Filamentous Cyanobacteria of the Order Nostocales. In:Biological Nitrogen Fixation Vol. 2 (Ed. DeBruijn, F.) Wiley Blackwell p. 873-889