CV Thomas Gutsmann


Thomas Gutsmann studied physics at the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel. In 2000, he received his doctorate in biophysics. In his PhD thesis he investigated the interaction between lipid membranes, the lipopolysaccharide-binding protein LBP and lipopolysaccharides in the activation of immune cells in Gram-negative sepsis. Furthermore, he already dealt with the mechanisms of action of antimicrobial peptides. From 2002 to 2003 he was at the University of California at Santa Barbara in the research group of Paul Hansma. Here he focused on the development and application of atomic force microscopy to characterize the structure of collagen fibrils.

Since returning to Germany, Thomas Gutsmann has been working at the Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center. In 2006, Thomas Gutsmann habilitated in biophysics at the Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel and has been a research group leader since 2008. The research group Biophysics is dedicated to the structure-function analysis of bacterial and human membranes, their interaction with natural and synthetic antimicrobial peptides and membrane-active substances of pathogens. The focus is on mycobacteria and Gram-negative bacteria. In particular, lung-relevant pathogens are characterized by low susceptibility to various AMPs. Based on the new findings, the development and characterization of new peptide-based antimicrobial and anti-septic agents will be advanced to first clinical trials. For this purpose, a whole range of biological and biophysical techniques are applied.

Thomas Gutsmann first taught at the Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel and has been W3 Professor of Biophysics at the University of Lübeck since 2010. He was also spokesperson of the Membrane Biophysics Section in the German Society for Biophysics, initially from 2008-2012, and has been Secretary of the Society since 2015.

Selected Publications:

  1. Paulowski L, Donoghue A, Nehls C, Groth S, Koistinen M, Hagge SO, Böhling A, Winterhalter M, Gutsmann T (2020) The Beauty of Asymmetric Membranes: Reconstitution of the Outer Membrane of Gram-Negative Bacteria. Front Cell Dev Biol 8:586.
  2. Pfrommer E, Dreier C, Gabriel G, Dallenga T, Reimer R, Schepanski K, Scherließ R, Schaible UE, Gutsmann T (2020) Enhanced tenacity of mycobacterial aerosols from necrotic neutrophils. Sci Rep 10:9159.
  3. Nehls C, Böhling A, Podschun R, Schubert S, Grötzinger J, Schromm A, Fedders H, Leippe M, Harder J, Kaconis Y, Gronow S, Gutsmann T (2020) Influence of disulfide bonds in human beta defensin-3 on its strain specific activity against Gram-negative bacteria. Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr 1862:183273.
  4. Correa W, Brandenburg J, Behrends J, Heinbockel L, Reiling N, Paulowski L, Schwudke D, Stephan K, Martinez-de-Tejada G, Brandenburg K, Gutsmann T (2019) 'Inactivation of Bacteria by γ-Irradiation to Investigate the Interaction with Antimicrobial Peptides', Biophys J 117:1805-1819.
  5. von Bargen K, Scraba M, Krämer I, Ketterer M, Nehls C, Krokowski S, Repnik U, Wittlich M, Maaser A, Zapka P, Bunge M, Schlesinger M, Huth G, Klees A, Hansen P, Jeschke A, Bendas G, Utermöhlen O, Griffiths G, Gutsmann T, Wohlmann J, Haas A (2019) 'Virulence-associated protein A from Rhodococcus equi is an intercompartmental pH-neutralising virulence factor. Cell Microbiol 21:e12958.
  6. Heinbockel L, Weindl G, Martinez-de-Tejada G, Correa W, Sanchez-Gomez S, Bárcena-Varela S, Goldmann T, Garidel P, Gutsmann T, Brandenburg K (2018) Inhibition of Lipopolysaccharide- and Lipoprotein-Induced Inflammation by Antitoxin Peptide Pep19-2.5. Front Immunol 9:1704.
  7. Sommer A, Kordowski F, Büch J, Maretzky T, Evers A, Andrä J, Düsterhöft S, Michalek M, Lorenzen I, Somasundaram P, Tholey A, Sönnichsen FD, Kunzelmann K, Heinbockel L, Nehls C, Gutsmann T, Grötzinger J, Bhakdi S, Reiss K (2016) Phosphatidylserine exposure is required for ADAM17 sheddase function. Nat Commun 7:11523.
  8. Moyes DL, Wilson D, Richardson JP, Mogavero S, Tang SX, Wernecke J, Höfs S, Gratacap RL, Robbins J, Runglall M, Murciano C, Blagojevic M, Thavaraj S, Förster TM, Hebecker B, Kasper L, Vizcay G, Iancu SI, Kichik N, Häder A, Kurzai O, Luo T, Krüger T, Kniemeyer O, Cota E, Bader O, Wheeler RT, Gutsmann T, Hube B, Naglik JR (2016) Candidalysin is a fungal peptide toxin critical for mucosal infection. Nature 532:64-68.
  9. Gutsmann T, Heimburg T, Keyser U, Mahendran KR, Winterhalter M. Protein reconstitution into freestanding planar lipid membranes for electrophysiological characterization. Nat Protoc. 2015 Jan;10(1):188-98.
  10. de Tejada GM, Heinbockel L, Ferrer-Espada R, Heine H, Alexander C, Bárcena-Varela S, Goldmann T, Correa W, Wiesmüller KH, Gisch N, Sánchez-Gómez S, Fukuoka S, Schürholz T, Gutsmann T, Brandenburg K (2015) Lipoproteins/peptides are sepsis-inducing toxins from bacteria that can be neutralized by synthetic anti-endotoxin peptides. Sci Rep 5:14292.