Prof. Dr. Michael Brunner


Biochemie-Zentrum der Universität Heidelberg (BZH)
Im Neuenheimer Feld 328
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 (6221) 54 – 4207

Research Area


Position and Status

Professor (W3)

Scholarships and awards

2018 - Leopoldina membership
2012 - Heidelberg Molecular Life Science Award
2004 - EMBO membership
1990 - 1991 - EMBO fellowship
1989 - 1990 - DAAD fellowship

University training and degree

1984 - Diploma in Biology (“mit Auszeichnung”), University of Heidelberg


Advanced academic qualifications

1998 - Habilitation with Walter Neupert, Physiological Chemistry, LMU, Munich 1989 PhD “summa cum laude” with Hermann Bujard, University of Heidelberg


Postgraduate professional career

2008 - present - Full professor (W3) at Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center
2008 - Offer for full professorship at the University of Munich, declined
2000 - 2008 - Full professor (C4), at Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center
1999 - Offer for full professorship at the University of Innsbruck, declined
1998 - 2000 - Professor (C3, interim) LMU, Munich
1992 - 1998 - Group leader, Physiological Chemistry, LMU, Munich
1989 - 1991 - Postdoctoral fellow with Dr. J. E. Rothman, Princeton University and Sloan-Kettering Institute, New York

Coordinating Functions 

2019 - present - Managing Director of the BZH
2011 - 2014 - Dean of Study of Bachelor Biochemistry Program
2010 - 2019 - Deep Sequencing Facility Steering Committee
2010 - 2013 - Managing Director of the BZH
2010 - 2012 - EMBO Young Investigator Selection Committee
2007 - 2019 - CellNetworks Steering Committee
2006 - 2010 - FEBS Advanced Course Committee
2003 - 2005 - Dean of the Faculty of Biosciences

Most important publications

  1. Li C, Cesbron F, Oehler M, Brunner M*, Höfer T* (2018) Frequency Modulation of Transcription Bursting Enables Sensitive and Rapid Gene Regulation. Cell Systems 6: 409-423
  2. Lauinger L, Li J, Shostak A, Cemel IA, Ha N, Zhang Y, Merkl PE, Obermeyer S, Stankovic-Valentin N, Schafmeier T, Wever WJ, Bowers AA, Carter KP, Palmer AE, Tschochner H, Melchior F, Deshaies RJ, Brunner M*, Diernfellner A* (2017) Thiolutin is a zinc chelator that inhibits the Rpn11 and other JAMM metalloproteases. Nat Chem Biol. 13:709-714

  3. Shostak A, Ruppert B, Ha N, Bruns P, Toprak UH; ICGC MMML-Seq Project, Eils R, Schlesner M, Diernfellner A, Brunner M (2016) MYC/MIZ1-dependent gene repression inversely coordinates the circadian clock with cell cycle and proliferation. Nat Commun. 7:11807

  4. Cesbron F, Oehler M, Ha N, Sancar G, Brunner M. (2015) Transcriptional refractoriness is dependent on core promoter architecture. Nat Commun. 6:6753

  5. Lauinger L, Diernfellner ACR, Falk S and Brunner M. (2014) The RNA helicase FRH is an ATP- dependent regulator of CK1a in the circadian clock of Neurospora crassa. Nat. Commun. 5:3598

  6. Querfurth C, Diernfellner A, Gin E, Höfer T and Brunner M. (2011) Circadian conformational change of the Neurospora clock protein FREQUENCY triggered by clustered hyperphosphorylation of a basic domain. Mol Cell 43:713-722

  7. Malzahn E, Ciprianidis S, Kaldi K, Schafmeier T and Brunner M. (2010) Photoadaptation in Neurospora by competitive interaction of activating and inhibitory LOV domains. Cell 142:762-772

  8. Diernfellner A, Querfurth C, Salazar C, Höfer T and Brunner M. (2009) Phosphorylation modulates rapid nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling and cytoplasmic accumulation of Neurospora clock protein FRQ on a circadian time scale. Genes Dev. 23:2192-2200

  9. Schafmeier T, Káldi K, Diernfellner A, Mohr CA, Brunner M. (2006) Phosphorylation dependent maturation of Neurospora circadian clock protein from a nuclear repressor towards a cytoplasmic activator. Genes Dev. 20:297-306

  10. Schafmeier T, Haase A, Káldi K, Scholz J, Fuchs, M, Brunner M. (2005) Transcriptional feedback of Neurospora circadian clock gene by phosphorylation-dependent inactivation of its transcription factor. Cell 122:235-246