Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schweizer

Group Leader
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Bonn
Nussallee 11
53115 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 228 73 4444
Email: ulrich.schweizer(at)

Research Focus

Our research covers two principal areas of research: hormones and selenoproteins in the brain
In the field of thyroid hormone action and metabolism, we are interested in mechanism that regulate the availability of T3 in the cell before it can bind its nuclear receptor. Hence, we are interested in MCT8, a solute carrier protein, that helps thyroid hormones to cross the plasma membrane. Mutations in MCT8, lead to severe intellectual disability in patients. Another facet of pre-receptor regulation of thyroid hormone action pertains to local adjustment of T3 levels by the action of iodothyronine deiodinases, enzymes that are capable of activation and inactivation of thyroid hormones. We are interested in their structure and function. Deiodinases are selenium-containing proteins, which connects them with our second area of research.
Selenoproteins are proteins containing the rare amino acid selenocysteine (Sec). We are mainly interested in what selenoproteins are doing in the brain and how they are made. Since Sec is encoded by a UGA codon in the mRNA, a mechanism exists which prevents termination and favors elongation at the UGA/Sec codon. We are curious how this works and use the RiboSeq method to study the process on the codon level.
More recently, we became interested in tRNA modification and study microcephaly as a result of impaired tRNA modification processes.
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