Apl. Prof. Dr. Farhah Assaad-Gerbert


Bitotechnology of Natural Products

Academic Career and Research Areas

Our core interest is how plants adapt to multiple stress conditions, especially heat, drought, and low light. At the ecoysytem level, we are looking at forest ecosystems and at successional agroforestry systems. At organism, organ and cellular levels, we are studying growth tradeoffs in Arabidopsis in response to future climate scenarios consisting of multiple stress conditions. At genetic, molecular and biochemical levels we are working on a GSK3 kinase-GEF-Rab GTPase module that mediates adaptive growth decisions in plants.

Prof. Assaad holds a Ph.D in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a qualifier in Genetics. In 1992, she worked on a soil regeneration/ successional agroforestry project with Ernst Götsch in the Atlantic rainforest of Brazil. From 1999 - 2003, she was a research and visiting scientist at the Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution, Stanford. Since 2004, Prof. Assaad is at the TUM, where she habilitated in the field of Molecular Cell Biology in 2010.


  • HSPII Wiedereinstiegsstipendium (1997-2000)
  • European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) long term fellowship (1992-1994) 
  • Lester Wolfe Fellowship (1991-1992) 
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Graduate award (1986-1990)

Wiese C, Abele M, Al B, ...Wang ZY, Ludwig C, Assaad FF. 2024. Regulation of adaptive growth decisions via phosphorylation of the TRAPPII complex in Arabidopsis. J Cell Biol. 223 (5): e202311125.


Kalbfuß N, Kegel M, Le Lien, Grosseholz F, Brunschweiger B…Facher E, Palubicki W, Bolle C, Assaad FF. 2022. A role for Brassinosteroid signaling in decision-making processes in the Arabidopsis seedling. PLoS Genetics, 18(12), e1010541.


X, Steiner A, Meng C, Zheng H, Kuster B, Falter-Braun P, Ludwig C, Moore I, and Assaad FF. 2019. Interactions between Transport Protein Particle (TRAPP) complexes and Rab GTPases in Arabidopsis. Plant J. 100(2):279-297.


Rybak K, Steiner A, Synek L, Klaeger S, Kulich I, Facher E, Wanner G, Kuster B, Zarsky V, Persson S, Assaad FF. 2014. Plant Cytokinesis Is Orchestrated by the Sequential Action of the TRAPPII and Exocyst Tethering Complexes. Dev Cell 29: 607-20.