TUM – Technical University of Munich Menü

Prof. Dr. Kathrin Lang


Synthetic Biochemistry



Academic Career and Research Areas

Professor Lang (b. 1979) conducts research in the interdisciplinary area of chemical biology, applying concepts from organic chemistry to develop new tools to study fundamental biological questions. Her research focuses on the targeted chemical synthesis of new artificial biomolecules (amino acids, proteins, nucleotides, oligonucleotides) tailored to investigate and manipulate complex cellular processes in in vitro and in vivo biological systems.
Professor Lang studied chemistry at the University of Innsbruck where she obtained a PhD in bioorganic chemistry under the supervision of Professor Micura in 2008. She subsequently worked as a postdoctoral and investigator scientist at the Medical Research Council – Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, in the research groups of Dr. Ramakrishnan (ribosome crystallography) and Professor Chin (chemical and synthetic biology). In 2014 she was appointed a Rudolf Mößbauer Professor at TUM. She now heads the synthetic biochemistry research group in the Chemistry Department.


  • Anton Paar Science Award of the Austrian Chemical Society, GÖCH (2012)
  • MRC Centenary Early Career Award, Medical Research Council – Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK (2012)
  • Young Investigator Award of the Zonta Club Bolzano/Bozen, Italy (2010)
  • Karl Schlögl Award of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, ÖAW (2009)
  • Georg and Christine Sosnovsky Award, Innsbruck, Austria (2009)

Key Publications

Lang K, Davis L, Wallace S, Mahesh M, Cox DJ, Blackman ML, Chin JW: „Genetic encoding of bicyclononynes and trans-cyclooctenes for site-specific protein labeling in vitro and in live mammalian cells via rapid fluorogenic Diels-Alder reactions“. Journal Am. Chem. Soc. 2012; 134(25): 10317-10320.


Lang K, Davis L, Torres-Kolbus J, Chou C, Deiters A, Chin JW: „Genetically encoded norbornene directs site-specific cellular protein labelling via a rapid bioorthogonal reaction“. Nature Chemistry. 2012; 4(4): 298-304.


Ng CL, Lang K, Meenan N, Sharma A, Kelley A, Kleanthous C, Ramakrishnan V: „Structural basis for ribosomal 16S rRNA cleavage by the cytotoxic domain of colicin E3“. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. 2010; 17: 1241-1246.


Lang K, Erlacher MD, Wilson DN, Micura R, Polacek N: „The role of 23S ribosomal RNA residue A2451 in peptide bond synthesis revealed by atomic mutagenesis”. Chemistry and Biology. 2008; 15(5): 485-492.


Lang K, Rieder R, Micura R: „Ligand-induced folding of the thiM TPP riboswitch investigated by a structure based fluorescence spectroscopic approach“. Nucleic Acids Research. 2007; 35(16): 5370-5378.