CV Friedrich Frischknecht


Freddy Frischknecht studied biochemistry at the Free University of Berlin where he received his PhD in 2000 for work at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg on the movement of poxviruses in cells. Between 2001 and 2005, he did postdoctoral research at the Institut Pasteur in Paris on an EMBO and HFSP grant. During this time, he worked on the movement of the malaria pathogen Plasmodium during transmission from mosquito to mouse.

In 2005, Freddy Frischknecht returned to Germany and led a BMBF-funded BioFuture junior research group at the Center for Infectious Diseases at the University Hospital in Heidelberg, which focused on the mechansims of Plasmodium sporozoite movement. In 2010, he received a research group leader grant from the Chica and Heinz Schaller Foundation and in 2011 an ERC Starting Grant. Between 2010 and 2013, he co-led three EMBO courses on pathogen microscopy in South Africa with two colleagues. In 2011 and 2016, he received an HFSP Research Grant together with colleagues in Australia/UK, USA and France respectively. In 2022 Freddy Frischknecht was elected EMBO member.

In May 2014, he was appointed Professor of Integrative Parasitology at the University of Heidelberg. Freddy Frischknecht's research group investigates protein functions in the mosquito stages of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. The focus is on basic research to understand evolutionarily divergent biology.

Selected Publications:

  1. Ripp J, Smyrnakou X, Neuhoff MT, Hentzschel F, Frischknecht F (2022) Phosphorylation of myosin A regulates gliding motility and is essential for Plasmodium transmission. EMBO Rep 23:e54857.
  2. Kehrer J, Formaglio P, Muthinja JM, Weber S, Baltissen D, Lance C, Ripp J, Grech J, Meissner M, Funaya C, Amino R, Frischknecht F (2022) Plasmodium sporozoite disintegration during skin passage limits malaria parasite transmission. EMBO Rep 23:e54719
  3. Ripp J, Kehrer J, Smyrnakou X, Tisch N, Tavares J, Amino R, Ruiz de Almodovar C, Frischknecht F (2021) Malaria parasites differentially sense environmental elasticity during transmission. EMBO Mol Med 13:e13933.
  4. Klug D, Goellner S, Kehrer J, Sattler JM, Strauss L, Singer M, Lu C, Springer TA, Frischknecht F (2020) Evolutionarily distant I domains can functionally replace the essential ligand-binding domain of Plasmodium TRAP. eLife 9:e57572.
  5. Spreng B, Fleckenstein H, Kübler P, Di Biagio C, Benz M, Patra P, Schwarz US, Cyrklaff M, Frischknecht F (2019) Microtubule number and length determine cellular shape and function in Plasmodium. EMBO J 38:e100984.
  6. Douglas R, Nandekar P, Aktories JE, Kumar H, Weber R, Singer M, Lepper S, Sadiq SK, Wade RC, Frischknecht F (2018) Inter-subunit interactions drive divergent dynamics in mammalian and Plasmodium actin filaments. PLoS Biol 16:e2005345.
  7. Klug D, Frischknecht F (2017) Motility precedes egress of malaria parasites from oocysts. eLife 6:e19157.
  8. Moreau C, Bhargav SP, Kumar H, Quadt K, Piirainen H, Strauss L, Kehrer J, Streichfuss M, Spatz JP, Wade R, Kursula I, Frischknecht F (2017) A unique profilin-actin interface is important for malaria parasite motility, PLoS Pathog 13:e1006412.
  9. Quadt K, Streichfuss M, Moreau C, Spatz JP, Frischknecht F (2016) Coupling of retrograde flow to force production during malaria parasite migration, ACS Nano 10:2091-2102.
  10. Kehrer J, Frischknecht F, Mair GR (2016) Proteomic analysis of the Plasmodium berghei gametocyte egressome and vesicular bioID of osmiophilic body proteins identified MTRAP as an essential factor for parasite transmission. Mol Cell Proteomics 15:2852-2862.