Prof. Dr. Gil Westmeyer

Academic Career and Research Areas

The work of Professor Westmeyer’s laboratory focuses on bioengineering of next-generation molecular sensors and actuators for functional imaging and remote spatiotemporal control of cellular processes with whole organ(ism) coverage. To this end, mammalian cell engineering, nanotechnological and synthetic techniques are combined with non-invasive imaging methods such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography (MSOT), complemented with fast fluorescence imaging. The new molecular imaging agents and actuators are applied for dynamic analyses of organoids and neurobehavioral imaging of preclinical model organisms to dissect cellular network function and contribute to future imaging-controlled tissue engineering as well as regenerative and cell therapies.

Professor Westmeyer studied medicine and philosophy in Munich and conducted his doctoral work on the molecular basis of Alzheimer’s disease in Professor Christian Haass’ laboratory in Munich before receiving a part of his clinical education at Harvard Medical School. Starting in 2005 he worked with Professor Alan Jasanoff as a postdoctoral fellow at M.I.T before he was appointed to TUM School of Medicine in 2012. Professor Westmeyer also leads the research group “Cell-Circuit-Control” at the Helmholtz Center Munich.


    • ERC Consolidator Grant "EMcapsulins" (2019) and ERC Starting Grant „MagnetoGenetics“ (2013)
    • Helmholtz Young Investigator's Group (2011)
    • Innovative Research Award for Biomedical Technology “Stiftung Familie Klee” (2005)
    • Scholarship of the Munich-Harvard Alliance for Medical Education (2004)
    • Scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung) (2002-2004)

    Key Publications

    Sigmund F, Massner C, Erdmann P, Stelzl A, Rolbieski H, Fuchs H, de Angelis M H, Desai M, Bricault S, Jasanoff A, Ntziachristos V, Plitzko J, Westmeyer GG: "Bacterial encapsulins as orthogonal compartments for mammalian cell engineering". Nat Commun. 2018; 9: 1990.


    Myklatun A, Lauri A, Eder S H K, Cappetta M, Shcherbakov D, Wurst W, Winklhofer M, Westmeyer, GG: “Zebrafish and medaka offer insights into the neurobehavioral correlates of vertebrate magnetoreception.” Nat Commun. 2018; 9: 802.


    Massner C, Sigmund F, Pettinger S, Seeger M, Hartmann C, Ivleva N P, Niessner R, Fuchs H, de Angelis, M H, Stelzl A, Koonakampully N L, Rolbieski H, Wiedwald U, Spasova M, Wurst W, Ntziachristos V, Winklhofer M, Westmeyer GG: "Genetically Controlled Lysosomal Entrapment of Superparamagnetic Ferritin for Multimodal and Multiscale Imaging and Actuation with Low Tissue Attenuation". Adv. Funct. Mater. 2018; 11: 1706793.


    Symvoulidis P, Lauri A, Stefanoiu A, Cappetta M, Schneider S, Jia H, Stelzl A, Koch M, Perez C C, Myklatun A, Renninger S, Chmyrov A, Lasser T, Wurst W, Ntziachristos V, Westmeyer, GG: "NeuBtracker - imaging neurobehavioral dynamics in freely behaving fish". Nat Methods. 2017; 14: 1079–1082.


    Roberts S, Seeger M, Jiang Y, Mishra A, Sigmund F, Stelzl A, Lauri A, Symvoulidis P, Rolbieski H, Preller M, Deán-Ben X L, Razansky D, Orschmann T, Desbordes S C, Vetschera P, Bach T, Ntziachristos V, Westmeyer GG: "Calcium Sensor for Photoacoustic Imaging". J Am Chem Soc. 2017; 140: 2718–2721.