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Maja Köhn Profile Page
Maja Köhn


Lab: Prof. Maja Köhn
Department: BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies
Institute of Biology III
Address: Schänzlestr. 18
79104 Freiburg
Phone: +49-761 203 67900
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
PhD positions available: NO
Research Area: Protein Structure and Function
Research Interests: -Elucidation of the functions and molecular mechanisms of the cancer-promoting phosphatase PRL-3 and the ubiquitous phosphatase PP1
-Development of inhibitors and activators for phosphatases


Education & Training: 2002–2005: Dr. rer. nat. in Organic Chemistry, Technical University Dortmund and MPI for Molecular Physiology (supervisor: Prof. H. Waldmann)
1996–2001: Diploma in Chemistry, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany
Employment & Experience: Since 2016: Full Professor (W3) for Integrative Signaling Studies, University of Freiburg
2007–2016: Group leader, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg
2005–2007: Postdoctoral researcher, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA (supervisor: Prof. G. L. Verdine)
Scientific Activities: Since 2021: Speaker, BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies
Since 2020: Associate Editor of Chemical Science
Since 2020: Editorial Advisory Board of RSC Chemical Biology
Since 2019: Member of the Steering Committee of the Excellence Cluster CIBSS
Since 2018: Vice Dean of the Faculty of Biology
2018–2024: Vice-Speaker of the Joint Working Group Chemical Biology of the Dechema, GDCh, DPhG, GBM
2018–2020: Co-Speaker, BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies
2008,10,12,14,16: EMBO conference series: Chemical Biology, Heidelberg, Organizer
Since 2016: Editorial Advisory Board of Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Since 2016: Editorial Advisory Board of ACS Chemical Biology
2015: Guest Editor: ‘Chemistry and biology of protein and inositol phosphorylation’, Bioorg. Med. Chem. 23, 12.
2013: External reviewer for the Peptide Synthesis Facility at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute
2011: EMBO Practical Course: Methods in Chemical Biology, Heidelberg, Organizer


Honors and Awards:

2021: Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
2020–2025: ERC consolidator grant
2016: Miklos Bodanszky Award of the European Peptide Society
2015: Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Bioorg. and Med. Chemistry
2014-2018: Investigator of the ERC (starting grant)
2014: Friedmund Neumann Prize of the Schering Foundation
2010–2015: DFG “Emmy Noether Research Group” Leader
2008: Friedrich-Weygand-Price of the Max-Bergmann-Society
2007: AACR-GlaxoSmithKline Scholar-In-Training-Award
2005–2007: Postdoctoral fellowship, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)


Selected Publications:

Rubio T, Weyershaeuser J, Montero MG, Hoffmann A, Lujan P, Jechlinger M, Sotillo R, Köhn M. The phosphatase PRL-3 affects intestinal homeostasis by altering the crypt cell composition. J Mol Med (Berl). 2021 Oct;99(10):1413-1426.  Abstract

Hoermann B, Kokot T, Helm D, Heinzlmeir S, Chojnacki JE, Schubert T, Ludwig C, Berteotti A, Kurzawa N, Kuster B, Savitski MM, Köhn M. Dissecting the sequence determinants for dephosphorylation by the catalytic subunits of phosphatases PP1 and PP2A. Nat Commun. 2020 Jul 17;11(1):3583.  Abstract

Köhn M. Turn and Face the Strange: A New View on Phosphatases. ACS Cent Sci. 2020 Apr 22;6(4):467-477.  Abstract

Marasco M, Berteotti A, Weyershaeuser J, Thorausch N, Sikorska J, Krausze J, Brandt HJ, Kirkpatrick J, Rios P, Schamel WW, Köhn M, Carlomagno T. Molecular mechanism of SHP2 activation by PD-1 stimulation. Sci Adv. 2020 Jan 31;6(5):eaay4458.  Abstract

Damle NP, Köhn M. The human DEPhOsphorylation Database DEPOD: 2019 update. Database (Oxford). 2019 Jan 1;2019:baz133. Abstract

Fischer TH, Eiringhaus J, Dybkova N, Saadatmand A, Pabel S, Weber S, Wang Y, Köhn M, Tirilomis T, Ljubojevic S, Renner A, Gummert J, Maier LS, Hasenfuß G, El-Armouche A, Sossalla S. Activation of protein phosphatase 1 by a selective phosphatase disrupting peptide reduces sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ leak in human heart failure. Eur J Heart Fail. 2018 Dec;20(12):1673-1685. Abstract

Luján P, Varsano G, Rubio T, Hennrich ML, Sachsenheimer T, Gálvez-Santisteban M, Martín-Belmonte F, Gavin AC, Brügger B, Köhn M. PRL-3 disrupts epithelial architecture by altering the post-mitotic midbody position. J Cell Sci. 2016 Nov 1;129(21):4130-4142.  Abstract

Fontanillo M, Zemskov I, Häfner M, Uhrig U, Salvi F, Simon B, Wittmann V, Köhn M. Synthesis of Highly Selective Submicromolar Microcystin-Based Inhibitors of Protein Phosphatase (PP)2A over PP1. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2016 Nov 2;55(45):13985-13989.  Abstract

Li X, Wilmanns M, Thornton J, Köhn M. Elucidating human phosphatase-substrate networks. Sci Signal. 2013 May 14;6(275):rs10. Abstract

Chatterjee J, Beullens M, Sukackaite R, Qian J, Lesage B, Hart DJ, Bollen M, Köhn M. Development of a peptide that selectively activates protein phosphatase-1 in living cells. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2012 Oct 1;51(40):10054-9.  Abstract

SGBM PhD students

SGBM PhD students:

Laura Scheinost (since August 2019)

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