Prof. Dr. Christof Niehrs


German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
Division of Molecular Embryology
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg





Scientific CV

Academic education and professional career

since 2010
since 2010
since 1994



Founding and Scientific Director of the Institute for Molecular Biology (IMB) Mainz, Germany
Chair of Developmental Biology (W3) at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
Co-Director of the DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance, Heidelberg, Germany
Chair of the Scientific Council (Wissenschaftlicher Rat) at DKFZ
Coordinator of the Research Program Cell and Tumor Biology, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
Chair of Molecular Embryology (C4), DKFZ and Heidelberg University, Germany
Head of division of Molecular Embryology, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
Postdoctoral research with E.M. De Robertis, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Habilitation and venia legendi, Faculty of Biology (Zoology), Heidelberg University, Germany
PhD, EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany, Advisor: Dr. W.B. Huttner

Diploma in Biochemistry, Free University of Berlin, Germany

Other achievements & Awards


ERC Advanced Grant II
Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Member of the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz
ERC Advanced Grant I
Member of the Heidelberg Academy of the Sciences
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Award (German Research Foundation)
Member of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina Halle
Research Award of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg
Otto Mangold Award of the German Society of Developmental Biology
EMBO Gold Medal Award
Biology Award of the Academy of Sciences, Göttingen
EMBO Member


  1. Sun R, He L, Lee H, Glinka A, Andresen C, Hübschmann D, Jeremias I, Müller-Decker K, Pabst C, Niehrs C. RSPO2 inhibits BMP signaling to promote self-renewal in acute myeloid leukemia. Cell Rep. 2021 Aug 17;36(7):109559. PMID: 34407399
  2. Lee, H., C. Seidl, R. Sun, A. Glinka, and C. Niehrs. 2020. R-spondins are BMP receptor antagonists in Xenopus early embryonic development. Nat Commun 11:5570. PMID: 33149137
  3. Chang, L.S., M. Kim, A. Glinka, C. Reinhard, and C. Niehrs. 2020. The tumor suppressor PTPRK promotes ZNRF3 internalization and is required for Wnt inhibition in the Spemann organizer. eLIFE. 51248. PMID: 31934854
  4. Koch, S., S.P. Acebron, J. Herbst, G. Hatiboglu, and C. Niehrs. 2015. Post-transcriptional Wnt Signaling Governs Epididymal Sperm Maturation. Cell. 163, 1225-36. PMID: 26590424
  5. Cruciat, C.M., C. Dolde, R.E. de Groot, B. Ohkawara, C. Reinhard, H.C. Korswagen, and C. Niehrs. 2013. RNA helicase DDX3 is a regulatory subunit of casein kinase 1 in Wnt-β-catenin signaling. Science 339. 1436-1441. PMID: 23413191
  6. Cruciat, C.M., B. Ohkawara, S. P. Acebron, E. Karaulanov, C. Reinhard, D. Ingelfinger, M. Boutros, and C. Niehrs. 2010. Requirement of prorenin receptor and vacuolar H+-ATPase mediated acidification for Wnt signalling. Science. 327: 459-463. PMID: 20093472
  7. Bilic, J., Y. L. Huang, G. Davidson, T. Zimmermann, C. M. Cruciat, M. Bienz, and C. Niehrs. 2007. Wnt induces LRP6 signalosomes and promotes dishevelled-dependent LRP6 phosphorylation. Science.
    316: 1619-1622. PMID: 17569865
  8. Barreto, G., A. Schafer, J. Marhold, D. Stach, S.K. Swaminathan, V. Handa, G. Doderlein, N. Maltry, W. Wu, F. Lyko, and C. Niehrs. 2007. Gadd45a promotes epigenetic gene activation by repair-mediated DNA demethylation. Nature. 445: 671-675. PMID: 17268471
  9. Davidson, G., W. Wu, J. Shen, J. Bilic, U. Fenger, P. Stannek, A. Glinka, and C. Niehrs. 2005. Casein kinase 1 couples Wnt receptor activation to the cytoplasmic signal transduction. Nature. 438: 867-72. PMID: 16341016
  10. Mao, B., W. Wu, Y. Li, D. Hoppe, P. Stannek, A. Glinka, and C. Niehrs. 2001. LDL receptor related protein 6 is a receptor for Dickkopf proteins. Nature. 411: 321-325. PMID: 11357136
  11. Glinka, A., W. Wu, H. Delius, P. Monaghan, C. Blumenstock, and C. Niehrs. 1998. Dickkopf-1 is a member of a new family of secreted proteins and functions in head induction. Nature. 391: 357-362. PMID: 9450748