Prof. Kai Johnsson

Director at MPImF, Department of Chemical Biology

Supervisor of ESR4 & ESR5, co-supervisor of ESR 2 & 11; lead of WP1

“We aim at the development of conceptually new biosensors for applications in point-of-care diagnostics and patient self-testing.”

Kai Johnsson is Executive Editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. He is co-founder of Covalys Biosciences, Quartet Medicine and Spirochrome, all based on technologies developed in his laboratory. He received the Prix APLE for the invention of the year 2003 of EPFL, the Novartis Lectureship Award 2012/13, the Karl-Heinz Beckurts Prize 2016 and is elected member of EMBO.

Kai Johnsson is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Department of Chemical Biology since 2017. He was appointed after being Full Professor at the Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and co-director of the NCCR Chemical Biology. His current research interests are the development and application of chemical approaches to study and manipulate protein function. His past achievements include the introduction of different approaches to specifically label proteins in living cells; among these the SNAP-tag and CLIP-tag have become popular in the biological community.

“Semisynthetic sensor proteins enable metabolic assays at the point of care” Yu, Q.; Xue, L.; Hiblot, J.; Griss, R.; Fabritz, S.; Roux, C.; Binz, P. A.; Haas, D.; Okun, J. G.; Johnsson, K.. Science 2018, 361, 1122-1126

“Semisynthetic biosensors for mapping cellular concentrations of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotides“ Sallin, O.; Reymond, L.; Gondrand, C.; Raith, F.; Koch, B.; Johnsson, K. eLife 2018, 7

Fluorogenic probes for live-cell imaging of the cytoskeleton” Lukinavicius, G.; Reymond, L.; D’Este, E.; Masharina, A.; Gottfert, F.; Ta, H.; Guther, A.; Fournier, M.; Rizzo, S.; Waldmann, H.; Blaukopf, C.; Sommer, C.; Gerlich, D. W.; Arndt, H. D.; Hell, S. W.; Johnsson, K. Nature Methods 2014, 11, 731

“Tetrahydrobiopterin biosynthesis as an off-target of sulfa drugs” Haruki, H.; Pedersen, M. G.; Gorska, K. I.; Pojer, F.; Johnsson, K. Science 2013, 340, 987

“A near-infrared fluorophore for live-cell super-resolution microscopy of cellular proteins” Lukinavicius, G.; Umezawa, K.; Olivier, N.; Honigmann, A.; Yang, G.; Plass, T.; Mueller, V.; Reymond, L.; Correa, I. R., Jr.; Luo, Z. G.; Schultz, C.; Lemke, E. A.; Heppenstall, P.; Eggeling, C.; Manley, S.; Johnsson, K. Nature Chemistry 2013, 5, 132

“An engineered protein tag for multiprotein labeling in living cells” Gautier, A.; Juillerat, A.; Heinis, C.; Correa, I. R.; Kindermann, M.; Beaufils, F.; Johnsson, K. Chem&Biol 2008, 15, 128

“A general method for the covalent labeling of fusion proteins with small molecules in vivo”, Keppler, A.; Gendreizig, S.; Gronemeyer, T.; Pick, H.; Vogel, H.; Johnsson, K., Nat Biotechnol 2003, 21, 86