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We are interested in understanding the biogenesis of the archaeal cell envelope including processes like N-glycosylation, the assembly of macromolecular structures like pili and the archaellum, and celldivision and regulatory processes depending on protein phosphorylation. We study these processes in two model archaea: the thermoacidophilic crenarchaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius and the extremely halophilic euryarchaeon Haloferax volcanii.


We use genetic approaches to identify systems in Sulfolobus and Haloferax that are involved in the assembly of cell surface appendages and biochemically characterize the subunits and their interplay in the assembly process.


Our group is located at the Institute of Biology at the University of Freiburg in Southern Germany.


January 2024

Phillip Nußbaum`s work on the PRC proteins in H. volcanii was published in Nature Microbiology!

April 2023

Sonjaa was elected as fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology!

August 2022

Tessa Quax left the lab to start her own lab at the University of Groningen, NL, as an assistant professor!

July 2022

Solenne Ithurbide left the lab to start a new position with Yves Brun (Canada).

April 2022

Sonja was elected into the Leopoldina, the National Academy of Science!

March 2022

Nuno de Sousa Machado defends his thesis about the analysis of components of the archaellum motor complex.

August 2021

Xing Ye leaves the lab for a Postdoctoral position in the lab of Martin Loose in Austria. All the best Xing!

February 2021

Frank Braun defends his PhD thesis about second messengers in Haloferax volcanii

December 2020

Closed this year with an online Christmas party and pub quizz !

October 2020

As numbers were going down, more people were allowed back into the lab. Work discussions still held online only.

July 2020

Getting used to the online format: Phillip Nußbaum defends succesfully his PhD thesis !

May/June 2020

Two new Postdocs, Solenne Ithurbide and Alejandra Recalde, started in the lab. We wish them all the best !

May 2020

First online PhD defense with Zhengqun Li! Congrats !

May/June 2020

People were allowed back into the lab in shifts, from this point on, wearing masks was (is) mandatory.

March 2020

Due to the rise of the Corona virus, the lab closed down for three month and we only held online meetings.

January 2020

Our paper on the structure and function of FlaF and FlaG in archaellum assembly and function was published in Nature Microbiology.

July 2019

We received two grants from the Volkswagen-Foundation: the "Momentum" grant to work on cell division in archaea and the Life? consortium to work on the evolution of vesicle trafficking from archaea to eukaryotes.

June 2019

Sonja Albers was elected as an EMBO member. See press release here.

March 2019

We showed the existence of c-di-AMP and discuss its possible function in Haloferax volcanii in Franks's article.

January 2019

We congratulate Tessa Quax, who got an Emmy-Noether-Fellowship to start her own lab on halophilic viruses of archaea! See her lab webpage here.





Older news can be found under the tab"Old news"





We gratefully acknowledge funding by:

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