Professor Dr. Ulrich Benjamin Kaupp

Center of Advanced European Studies and Research (caesar)
Department of Molecular Sensory Systems
Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 2
D- 53175 Bonn

Phone +49  (0) 228 9656-100
Fax +49  (0) 228 287-9656-111


Curriculum vitae Professor Dr. Ulrich Benjamin Kaupp

Research Interests

The Department of Molecular Sensory Systems (Prof. Dr. U. B. Kaupp) studies the mechanisms of cellular signaling. We want to understand how a stimulus is detected by a cell and converted to a cellular response. A long-term goal is to unravel in quantitative terms selected signaling pathways in photoreceptors, olfactory neurons, and sperm. A unique feature of the Department is the ability to study signaling mechanisms at all levels – from single molecules to the behavorial response. For example, we study the structure of membrane receptors and ion channels that furnish cAMP- and cGMP-regulated pathways – at the molecular or even atomic level. At the same time, a major research area has become cell motitlity.


A panoply of biophysical techniques are employed, including various optical imaging techniques (TIRF, STORM, 2P-microscopy), patch-clamp techniques, electron microscopy and tomography, and ultra-fast hyper-quenching techniques for time-resolved double-electron-electron resonance (DEER) – to name a few. Another emphasis is on the development of various chemical tools, including fluorescent ligands, caged compounds, and novel photo-affinity labels.

5 most important publications

1. Strünker T, Goodwin N, Brenker C, Kashikar ND, Weyand I, Seifert R, Kaupp UB. (2011) The CatSper channel mediates progesterone-induced Ca2+ influx in human sperm. Nature, 471: 382-386.

2. Kaupp UB. (2010) Olfactory signalling in vertebrates and insects: differences and commonalities. Nat Rev Neurosci, 11: 188-200.

3. Schröder-Lang S, Schwärzel M, Seifert R, Strünker T, Kateriya S, Looser J, Watanabe M, Kaupp UB, Hegemann P, Nagel G. (2007) Fast manipulation of cellular cAMP level by light in vivo. Nat Methods, 4: 39-42.

4. Strünker T, Weyand I, Bönigk W, Van Q, Loogen A, Brown JE, Kashikar ND, Hagen V, Krause E, Kaupp UB. (2006) A K+-selective cGMP-gated ion channel controls chemosensation of sperm. Nat Cell Biol, 8: 1149-54.

5. Kaupp UB, Solzin J, Hildebrand E, Brown JE, Helbig A, Hagen V, Beyermann M, Pampaloni F, Weyand I. (2003) The signal flow and motor response controling chemotaxis of sea urchin sperm. Nat Cell Biol, 5: 109-17.