Prof. Dr. Franz Hagn



Academic Career and Research Areas

Prof. Hagn's (*1977) research is focused on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of membrane proteins. This protein class is essential for signal transduction and the transfer of proteins and small molecules across the biological membrane barrier. The key to understanding these processes is to study these systems in a native environment provided by a phospholipid bilayer. Biologically relevant systems of interest are membrane proteins in mitochondria and chloroplasts, characterization of the dynamical aspects of intramembrane proteolysis, and G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and their associated G-proteins, which are involved in metabolic diseases, neurological disorders and cancer.

Prof. Hagn studied biochemistry at Bayreuth and Stockholm and received his doctorate from TUM for a thesis on structural and functional studies of molecular chaperones, tumorsuppressor and spider silk proteins. After a short postdoctoral stay at TUM, he went to Harvard Medical School in 2010. In 2014, he accepted a Rudolf Mößbauer assistant professorship at the TUM Institute for Advanced Study and has been a group leader in structural biology at the Helmholtz Zentrum München since 2015.


  • Helmholtz Young Investigators‘ Group (2015)
  • Arnold Sommerfeld of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (2012)
  • Friedrich-Weygand Award oft he Max-Bergmann Kreis for Peptide Chemistry (2011)
  • Hans-Fischer Award of the Hans-Fischer Society (2011)
  • Human Frontier Science Program Long-Term Fellowship (2011)

Miehling J, Goricanec D, and Hagn F: “A split-intein-based method for the efficient production of circularized nanodiscs for structural studies of membrane proteins”. ChemBioChem. 2018; 19(18): 1927-1933. 


Goricanec D, Stehle R, Egloff P, Grigoriu S, Plückthun A, Wagner G and Hagn F: ”Conformational dynamics of a G-protein alpha subunit is tightly regulated by nucleotide binding”. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2016; 113(26): E3629–E3638. 


Hagn F, Etzkorn M, Raschle T, Wagner G: „Optimized phospholipid bilayer nanodiscs facilitate high-resolution structure determination of membrane proteins". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013; 135(5): 1919-1925.


Hagn F, Lagleder S, Retzlaff M, Rohrberg J, Demmer O, Richter K, Buchner J, Kessler H: "Structural analysis of the interaction between Hsp90 and the tumor suppressor protein p53". Nat. Struc. Mol. Biol. 2011; 18(10): 1086-1093.


Hagn F, Eisoldt L, Hardy JG, Vendrely C, Coles M, Scheibel T, Kessler H: "A conserved spider silk domain acts as a molecular switch that controls fibre assembly". Nature. 2010; 465(7295): 239-242.