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Leonhardt, Heinrich

Prof. Dr. Heinrich Leonhardt

Human Biology & Bioimaging, Faculty of Biology, LMU Munich


Project A17: Dynamic changes of DNA modifications and chromatin states


Visiting address:
Center for Molecular Biosystems (BioSysM)
Butenandtstr. 1
81377 München

Mailing address:
Biozentrum der LMU München
Großhadernerstrasse 2
82152 Planegg-Martinsried

Room: 3rd floor, BioSysM
Phone: +49 (0)89 2180 - 74232
Fax: +49 (0)89 2180 - 74236

Website: Epigenetics, Human Biology & Bioimaging

Work group

Project A17

Curriculum Vitae

Academic Education

  • 1981 - 1987 Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, Freie Universität Berlin
  • 1987 Diploma in Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, Freie Universität Berlin and Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics, Advisor: Prof. T.A. Trautner

Advanced Professional Degrees

  • 1987 - 1989 PhD thesis work at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin Advisor: Prof. T.A. Trautner 
  • 1989 PhD in Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, Freie Universität Berlin

Positions held

  • 1989 - 1990 Postdoctoral Fellow, Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Genetik, Berlin
  • 1990 - 1993 Research Fellow, Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston (with Prof. T. Bestor)
  • 1993 Research Fellow, Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital, Boston (with Prof. B. Nadal-Ginard)
  • 1993 - 1994 Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston 1994 Assistant in Cardiology (Research), Children's Hospital, Boston
  • 1995 - 1997 Guest Group Leader at the Franz-Volhard-Klinik, Berlin
  • 1997 - 2002 Group Leader at the Max-Delbrück-Center, Berlin
  • since 2002 Professor (C3), Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich
  • since 2004 Faculty of the International Max Planck Research School
  • 2009-2013 Managing director of the Department of Biology II
  • since 2012 Chair of Human Biology & BioImaging, LMU Munich
  • 2013-2017 Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Biocenter, LMU Munich


  • 2008 Innovation Prize of the German Cell Biology Society (DGZ)
  • 2011 Medal of the Medical Faculty of the Charles University of Prague
  • 2017 m4 Award (Tubulis Therapeutics)
  • 2018 Leibniz Gründerpreis (Tubulis Therapeutics)

Other professional activities

  • 1994 DNA Methylation Society
  • 2003 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zellbiologie (DGZ)
  • 2003 Gesellschaft für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie (GBM)
  • 2005 Cofounder of the BioImaging Network (BIN) Munich
  • 2006 Center for NanoScience (CeNS) 2006 Munich Center for Intergrated Protein Science (CIPSM)
  • 2006 Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM)
  • 2007 Area Coordinator in NIM
  • 2007 Board member of the Epigenetics Society
  • 2013 - 2016 Member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Bioprocessing and Analytical Measurement Techniques (iba)
  • since 2016 Speaker of the DFG Coordinated Research Center 1243 “Genetic and Epigenetic Evolution of Hematopoietic Neoplasms”
  • since 2017 Member of the Munich Center for Ethics (MCE)
  • since 2017 Member of the Center for Advanced Studies (CASLMU)
  • since 2018 Member of the Advisory Board of the Insitute for Bioprocessing and Analytical Measurement Techniques (iba)
  • 2020 Co-founder of the spin-off company Tubulis GmbH

Selected CRC project-related publications  

Falk M, Feodorova Y, Naumova N, Imakaev M, Lajoie BR, Leonhardt H, Joffe B, Dekker J, Fudenberg G, Solovei I, Mirny LA (2019) Heterochromatin drives compartmentalization of inverted and conventional nuclei. Nature 570: 395–399.

Andreeva L, Hiller B, Kostrewa D, Lässig C, de Oliveira Mann CC, Jan Drexler D, Maiser A, Gaidt M, Leonhardt H, Hornung V, Hopfner KP (2017) cGAS senses long and HMGB/TFAM-bound Uturn DNA by forming protein-DNA ladders. Nature 549: 394–398.

Spruijt, C.G., Gnerlich, F., Smits, A.H., Pfaffeneder, T., Jansen, P.W., Bauer, C., Münzel, M., Wagner, M., Müller, M., Khan, F., Eberl, H.C., Mensinga, A., Brinkman, A.B., Lephikov, K., Müller, U., Walter, J., Boelens, R., van Ingen, H., Leonhardt, H., Carell, T., and Vermeulen, M. (2013). Dynamic Readers for 5-(Hydroxy)Methylcytosine and Its Oxidized Derivatives. Cell 152, 1146–59.

Solovei I, Wang AS, Thanisch K, Schmidt CS, Krebs S, Zwerger M, Cohen TV, Devys D, Foisner R, Peichl L, Herrmann H, Blum H, Engelkamp D, Stewart CL*, Leonhardt H*, Joffe B* (2013) LBR and Lamin A/C Sequentially Tether Peripheral Heterochromatin and Inversely Regulate Differentiation. Cell 152: 584–598.

Guizetti J, Schermelleh L, Mäntler J, Noser S, Poser I, Leonhardt H, Müller-Reichert T, Gerlich DW (2011) Cortical Constriction During Abscission Involves Helices Of ESCRT-III-Dependent Filaments. Science 331: 1616–20.


Leonhardt H, Helma J, Hackenberger CPR, Schumacher D (2014). Means and methods for site-specific functionalization of polypeptides. Amtliche Anmeldenummer 92588.

Brachmann A, Leonhardt H, Spada F, Szwagierczak A, Schmidt CS, Bultmann S (2011). Novel methods for detecting hydroxymethylcytosine. EP 11001842.

Rothbauer U, Leonhardt H, Zolghadr K, Mortusewicz O (2008). Fluorescent two-hybrid (F2H) assay for direct visualization of protein interactions in living cells. EP 08000297.

Lahaye T, Leonhardt H, Morbitzer R, Bultmann S (2011). Method of activating a target gene in a cell. EP 11161568.

Rothbauer U, Leonhardt H, Zolghadr K, Romer T, Schmidthals K (2009). Detection and visualization of the cell cycle in living cells. EP 09008827.

Rothbauer U, Leonhardt H, Muyldermans S (2005). Targeting and tracing of antigens inliving cells. EP 05024739. European Patent No. 2055718 B1, granted 2012 December 26. (GFP-trap part).