Ralf Baumeister is a Professor of Bioinformatics & Molecular Genetics (Biology) and of Molecular Medicine & Cell Biology (Medicine) at the University of Freiburg and is acting director of the newly established Freiburg Center for Systems Biology (ZBSA). His research interests are the development and exploitation of disease models using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans for target identification, validation, and drug screenings. In order to exploit the superb genetics and neurobiology of C. elegans for drug discovery, he cofounded in 1999 EleGene AG, (Martinsried, Germany).
Baumeister received his diploma in Microbiology, Human Genetics, Biochemistry and Computer Sciences in 1987 and his PhD from Erlangen University in 1992. Work for this doctoral thesis included research visits at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, and at the Institute of Crystallography, Berlin. During his postdoc research until 1995 at Harvard Medical School /Mass. General Hospital, Boston, USA, he studied nervous system development in C. elegans in the lab of Gary Ruvkun. Starting 1996, Baumeister became group leader in Neurogenetics at the Genzentrum and in 2000 Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Munich. He accepted a position at the University of Freiburg in September 2003 as a recipient of the “Qualitätsoffensive” Program donated by the State of Baden-Württemberg.
In October 2006, Baumeister declined the offer for the Chair for Systems Biology at Imperial College, London and as Director of CISBIC (Center of Integrative Systems Biology at Imperial College) to continue his work as Director of the Center of Systems Biology at Freiburg. He is affiliated today with both the Faculty of Biology and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Freiburg. Since 2007 he is Director of the Institute of Biology 3 and of the section LIFENET of FRIAS – Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies.
Baumeister is a recipient of the VAAM (Vereinigung für Allgemeine und Angewandte Mikrobiologie, Deutschland) research prize 1993, the Philip-Morris research prize 2001 for automated high-throughput models, and the Familie-Hansen-Preis of BAYER AG in 2002 for his research on Alzheimer’s Disease. He has served as a consultant for a number of companies with a focus on human and animal health, and is scientific advisor of the private foundation “National Contest for Life”- NCL.
Research focus (shortlist):
Insulin signalling, stress response and aging, genes associated with (neuro-) degenerative diseases and protein turnover (Alzheimer, Parkinson, muscular dystrophies), transcriptional regulation.
Systems biology of aging and age-related diseases, functional genomics of human disorders (Parkinson, Alzheimer, muscular dystrophies, insulin signaling) using C. elegans and cellular models, regulatory protein networks, pharmacological and genetic assay development
- C. Fatouros, G.J. Pir, J. Biernat, S.P. Koushika, E. Mandelkow, E.M. Mandelkow, E. Schmidt, R. Baumeister: Inhibition of Tau aggregation in a novel C. elegans model of Tauopathy mitigates proteotoxicity. Hum Mol Genet, 2012.
- S. Liu, E. Schulze, R. Baumeister: Temperature- and Touch-Sensitive Neurons Couple CNG and TRPV Channel Activities to Control Heat Avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Plos One, 2012; 7 (3): e32360.
- L. Rizzini, J.J. Favory, C. Cloix, D. Faggionato, A. O'Hara, E. Kaiserli, R. Baumeister, E. Schafer, F. Nagy, G.I. Jenkins, R. Ulm: Perception of UV-B by the Arabidopsis UVR8 Protein Science, 2011; 332 (6025): 103-106
- T.O. Lankisch, J. Metzger, J. Siwy, T.J.Weismuller, A.S. Schneider, K. Thedieck, R. Baumeister, J. Wedemeyer: Bile Proteomic Profiles Differentiate Cholangiocarcinoma from Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and Choledocholithiasis Hepatology, 2011; 53 (3): 875-884
- D. Fusco, M. Vargiolu, M. Vidone, E. Mariani, L.F. Pennisi, E. Bonora, S. Capellari, D. Dirnberger, R. Baumeister, P. Martinelli, G. Romeo: The RET51/FKBP52 complex and its involvement in Parkinson disease Human Molecular Genetics, 2010; 19 (14): 2804-2816
- E. Neumann-Haefelin, A. Kramer-Zucker, K. Slanchev, B. Hartleben, F. Noutsou, K. Martin, N. Wanner, A. Ritter, M. Godel, P. Pagel, X. Fu, A. Muller, R. Baumeister, G. Walz, T.B. Huber: A model organism approach: defining the role of Neph proteins as regulators of neuron and kidney morphogenesis Human Molecular Genetics, 2010; 19 (12): 2347-2359
- U. Schäffer, A. Schlosser, K.M. Müller, A. Schäfer, N. Katava, R. Baumeister, E. Schulze: SnAvi - a new tandem tag for high-affinity protein-complex purification Nucleic Acids Research, 2010; 38 (6): e91
- J. Sarmann, J. Hegermann, E. von Gromoff, S. Eimer, R. Baumeister, E. Schmidt: Caenorhabditis elegans LRK-1 and PINK-1 Act Antagonistically in Stress Response and Neurite Outgrowth Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2009; 284 (24): 16482-16491
- M. Vargiolu, D. Fusco, I. Kurelac, D. Dirnberger, R. Baumeister, I. Morra, A. Melcarne, R. Rimondini, G. Romeo, E. Bonora: The Tyrosine Kinase Receptor RET Interacts in Vivo with Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor-Interacting Protein to Alter Survivin Availability Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2009; 94 (7): 2571-2578
- E. Neumann-Haefelin, W. Qi, E. Finkbeiner, G. Walz, R. Baumeister, M. Hertweck: SHC-1/p52Shc targets the insulin/IGF-1 and JNK signaling pathways to modulate life span and stress response in C-elegans Gene Dev, 2008; 22 (19): 2721-2735
- J. Tullet, M. Hertweck, J. An, J. Baker, J.Y. Hwang, S. Liu, R.P. Oliveira, R. Baumeister, T. Blackwell: Direct inhibition of the longevity-promoting factor SKN-1 by insulin-like signaling in C. elegans Cell, 2008; 132 (6): 1025-1038
- S. Schobel, S. Neumann, M. Hertweck, B. Dislich, P. Kuhn, E. Kremmer, B. Seed, R. Baumeister, C. Haass, S. Lichtenthaler: A novel sorting nexin modulates endocytic traffiicking and alpha-secretase cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein J Biol Chem, 2008; 283 (21): 14257-14268
- Springer, W., Hoppe, T., Schmidt, E., Baumeister R. (2005) A Caenorhabditis elegans Parkin mutant with altered solubility couples a-synuclein aggregation to proteotoxic stress, Human Mol. Genet. 14, 3407-3423.
- Hoppe, T., Cassata, G., Barral, J.M., Springer, W., Epstein, H.F., and Baumeister, R. (2004) Regulation of the Myosin-Directed Chaperone UNC-45 by a Novel E3/E4-Multiubiquitylation Complex in C. elegans. Cell, 118, 337-349
- Hertweck, M., Göbel, C., and Baumeister, R. (2004) sgk-1 is the critical component in the Akt/PKB kinase couples to control stress response and life span. Dev. Cell, 6, 577-587.
- Croce, A., Cassata, G., Disanza, A., Gagliani, M.C., Tacchetti, C., Malabarba, M.G., Carlier, M.-F., Scita.G., Baumeister, R. and Di Fiore, P.P. A novel actin barbed end-capping activity in EPS-8 regulates apical morphogenesis in intestinal cells of Caenorhabditis elegans. Nature Cell Biol., 6, 1173-1179.
- Meissner, B., Boll, M., Daniel, H. and Baumeister, R. (2004) Deletion of the intestinal peptide transporter affects insulin and TOR signaling in C. elegans, J. Biol. Chem., 279, 36739-45.