Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf


Prof. Dr. Karim Fahmy



+49 351 260 2952, +49 351 260 3601




ORCID: 0000-0002-8752-5824


Bautzner Landstraße 400 - 01328 Dresden
, 801/P403

Scientific career

  • since 2019:    Member of the Cluster of Excellence "Physics of Life"
  • 2016-2018:     Head  of the "Molecular Biophysics" Section of the German Biophysical Society
  • Since 2014:
    Honorary Professor "Structural Dynamics of Biomolecules" at the Biotechnology Center of the Technische Universität Dresden
  • Since 2002:
    Head Biophysics Department at the HZDR
  • 1995-1999:
    DFG-Habilitation-Stipend, Habilitation in Biophysics, University Freiburg
  • 1991-1994:
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellowship, Rockefeller University
  • 1991:
    PhD, University Freiburg
  • 1986:
    Graduations Biology / Physics, Universities of Marburg and Bochum

Research fields

  • Molecular Biophysics of structural dynamics of proteins using Genetic Enigineering, Spectroscopy and Calorimetry
  • calorimetric metabolic monitoring of microbial growth and the assessment of radiotoxicity


  • Quantitative Microbiology using microcalorimetry and mathematical modelling
  • Metal ion-induced structural transitions in soluble and in membrane proteins
  • DNA-based nanoscale biomembrane mimetics
  • Biomolecular dynamics studied by pulsed THz radiation


  • Biophysical Methods, Technische Universität Dresden
  • Biological Thermodynamics, Technische Universität Dresden
  • Vibrational Spectroscopy and Fluorescence Spectroscopy (International Master Programme, BIOTEC, Technische Universität Dresden)

Memberships / Board activities

  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Biophysik / Speaker "Section Molecular Biophysics"
  • HZDR Project Group XFEL / User Consortium European XFEL
  • HZDR Project Group THz Applications in Life Sciences
  • Dresden-International-Graduate-School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering
  • Member of the International Society of Biological Caorimetry ISBC


  • Hans-Griesebach Price of the University of Freiburg



Cold denaturation of DNA origami nanostructures

Dornbusch, D.; Hanke, M.; Tomm, E.; Grundmeier, G.; Keller, A.; Fahmy, K.; Kielar, C.


Large-Scale Formation of DNA Origami Lattices on Silicon

Tapio, K.; Kielar, C.; Parikka, J. M.; Keller, A.; Järvinen, H.; Fahmy, K.; Jussi Toppari, J.

Superstructure-dependent stability of DNA origami nanostructures in the presence of chaotropic denaturants

Hanke, M.; Dornbusch, D.; Tomm, E.; Grundmeier, G.; Fahmy, K.; Keller, A.

Exploring Antibacterial Activity and Bacterial-Mediated Allotropic Transition of Differentially Coated Selenium Nanoparticles

Ruiz-Fresneda, M. A.; Schaefer, S.; Hübner, R.; Fahmy, K.; Merroun, M. L.

Involved research facilities

Related publications

Special Issue “Advances in Monitoring Metabolic Activities of Microorganisms by Calorimetry”

Matulis, D.; Wadsö, L.; Fahmy, K.

Distinct Effects of Chemical Toxicity and Radioactivity on Metabolic Heat of Cultured Cells Revealed by “Isotope-Editing”

Oertel, J.; Sachs, S.; Flemming, K.; Hassan Obeid, M.; Fahmy, K.

Interdisciplinary biophysical studies of membrane proteins bacteriorhodopsin and rhodopsin

Fahmy, K.; Sakmar, T.


Simple Growth–Metabolism Relations Are Revealed by Conserved Patterns of Heat Flow from Cultured Microorganisms

Fahmy, K.

Anion-specific structure and stability of guanidinium-bound DNA origami

Hanke, M.; Dornbusch, D.; Hadlich, C.; Roßberg, A.; Hansen, N.; Grundmeier, G.; Tsushima, S.; Keller, A.; Fahmy, K.

Salting-Out of DNA Origami Nanostructures by Ammonium Sulfate

Hanke, M.; Hansen, N.; Ruiping, C.; Grundmeier, G.; Fahmy, K.; Keller, A.


Two Be or Not Two Be: The Nuclear Autoantigen La/SS-B Is able to form Dimers and Oligomers in a Redox Dependent Manner

Berndt, N.; Bippes, C. C.; Michalk, I.; Bachmann, D.; Bachmann, J.; Puentes-Cala, E.; Bartsch, T.; Loureiro, L. R.; Kegler, A.; Bergmann, R.; Gross, J. K.; Gross, T.; Kurien, B. T.; Scofield, R. H.; Farris, A. D.; James, J. A.; Schmitz, M.; Fahmy, K.; Feldmann, A.; Arndt, C.; Bachmann, M.

DNA-Mediated Stack Formation of Nanodiscs

Subramanian, M.; Kielar, C.; Tsushima, S.; Fahmy, K.; Oertel, J.

Related publications


A metabolic switch regulates the transition between growth and diapause in C. elegans

Penkov, S.; Raghuraman, B. K.; Erkut, C.; Oertel, J.; Galli, R.; Ackerman, E. J. M.; Vorkel, D.; Verbavatz, J. M.; Koch, E.; Fahmy, K.; Shevchenko, A.; Kurzchalia, T. V.

Related publications

C. elegans possess a general program to enter cryptobiosis that allows dauer larvae to survive different kinds of abiotic stress

Gade, V. R.; Traikov, S.; Oertel, J.; Fahmy, K.; Kurzchalia, T. V.


Calcium binding to a disordered domain of a type III-secreted protein from a coral pathogen promotes secondary structure formation and catalytic activity

Hoyer, E.; Knöppel, J.; Liebmann, M.; Steppert, M.; Raiwa, M.; Herczynski, O.; Hanspach, E.; Zehner, S.; Göttfert, M.; Tsushima, S.; Fahmy, K.; Oertel, J.

Body size-dependent energy storage causes Kleiber’s law scaling of the metabolic rate in planarians

Thommen, A.; Werner, S.; Frank, O.; Philipp, J.; Knittelfelder, O.; Quek, Y.; Fahmy, K.; Shevchenko, A.; Friedrich, B. M.; Jülicher, F.; Rink, J. C.


DNA-encircled lipid bilayers

Iric, K.; Subramanian, M.; Oertel, J.; Agarwal, N. P.; Matthies, M.; Periole, X.; Sakmar, T. P.; Huber, T.; Fahmy, K.; Schmidt, T.-L.

Layer-by-Layer assembly of heparin and peptide-polyethylene glycol conjugates to form hybrid nanothin films of biomatrices

Thomas, A. K.; Wieduwild, R.; Zimmermann, R.; Lin, W.; Friedrichs, J.; Bickle, M.; Fahmy, K.; Werner, C.; Zhang, Y.

Uranium(VI) complexes with a calix[4]arene-based 8-hydroxyquinoline ligand: Thermodynamic and structural characterization based on calorimetry, spectroscopy, and liquid-liquid extraction

Bauer, A.; Jäschke, A.; Schöne, S.; Barthen, R.; März, J.; Schmeide, K.; Patzschke, M.; Kersting, B.; Fahmy, K.; Oertel, J.; Brendler, V.; Stumpf, T.


Calorimetrically determined U(VI) toxicity in Brassica napus correlates with oxidoreductase activity and U(VI) speciation

Sachs, S.; Geipel, G.; Bok, F.; Oertel, J.; Fahmy, K.

Dipolar Relaxation Dynamics at the Active Site of an ATPase Regulated by Membrane Lateral Pressure

Fischermeier, E.; Pospíšil, P.; Sayed, A.; Hof, M.; Solioz, M.; Fahmy, K.

Analysis of self‑assembly of S‑layer protein slp‑B53 from Lysinibacillus sphaericus

Liu, J.; Falke, S.; Drobot, B.; Oberthuer, D.; Kikhney, A.; Guenther, T.; Fahmy, K.; Svergun, D.; Betzel, C.; Raff, J.


The molecular switching mechanism at the conserved D(E)RY motif in class-A GPCRs

Sandoval, A.; Eichler, S.; Madathil, S.; Reeves, P. J.; Fahmy, K.; Boeckmann, R. A.

Rational Structure-Based Rescaffolding Approach to de Novo Design of Interleukin 10 (IL-10) Receptor-1 Mimetics

Ruiz-Gómez, G.; Hawkins, J. C.; Philipp, J.; Künze, G.; Wodtke, R.; Löser, R.; Fahmy, K.; Pisabarro, M. T.

Mechanism of attenuation of uranyl toxicity by glutathione in Lactococcus lactis

Obeid, M. H.; Oertel, J.; Solioz, M.; Fahmy, K.

Anisotropic metal growth on phospholipid nanodiscs via lipid bilayer expansion

Oertel, J.; Keller, A.; Prinz, J.; Schreiber, B.; Hübner, R.; Kerbusch, J.; Bald, I.; Fahmy, K.


A single-strand annealing protein clamps DNA to detect and secure homology

Ander, M.; Subramaniam, S.; Fahmy, K.; Stewart, F.; Schäffer, E.


The Role of Phospholipid Headgroup Composition and Trehalose in the Desiccation Tolerance of Caenorhabditis elegans

Abusharkh, S. E.; Erkut, C.; Oertel, J.; Kurzchalia, T. V.; Fahmy, K.

Filament formation by metabolic enzymes is a specific adaptation to an advanced state of cellular starvation

Petrovska, I.; Nüske, E.; Munder, M. C.; Kulasegaran, G.; Malinovska, L.; Kroschwald, S.; Richter, D.; Fahmy, K.; Gibson, K.; Verbavatz, J.-M.; Alberti, S.

Paramagnetic Decoration of DNA origami Nanostructures by Eu3+ Coordination

Opherden, L.; Oertel, J.; Barkleit, A.; Fahmy, K.; Keller, K.


Formic acid interaction with uranyl(VI) ion: structural and photochemical characterization

Lucks, C.; Roßberg, A.; Tsushima, S.; Foerstendorf, H.; Fahmy, K.; Bernhard, G.

Involved research facilities

Related publications


3D Profile-Based Approach to Proteome-Wide Discovery of Novel Human Chemokines

Tomczak, A.; Sontheimer, J.; Drechsel, D.; Hausdorf, R.; Gentzel, M.; Shevchenko, A.; Eichler, S.; Fahmy, K.; Buchholz, F.; Pisabarro, M. T.

How worms survive desiccation: Trehalose pro water

Erkut, C.; Penkov, S.; Fahmy, K.; Kurzchalia, T. V.


Trehalose renders dauer larva of Caenorhabditis elegans resistant to extreme desiccation

Erkut, C.; Penkov, S.; Khesbak, H.; Vorkel, D.; Verbavatz, J. M.; Fahmy, K.; Kurzchalia, T. V.

  • Current Biology 21(2011)15, 1331-1336

The role of water H-bond imbalances in B-DNA substate transitions and peptide recognition revealed by time-resolved FTIR spectroscopy

Khesbak, H.; Savchuk, O.; Tsushima, S.; Fahmy, K.

  • Journal of the American Chemical Society 133(2011), 5834-5842

Eu3+-Mediated Polymerization of Benzenetetracarboxylic Acid Studied by Spectroscopy, Temperature-Dependent Calorimetry, and Density Functional Theory

Barkleit, A.; Tsushima, S.; Savchuk, O.; Philipp, J.; Heim, K.; Acker, M.; Taut, S.; Fahmy, K.


S-Layer protein from Lysinibacillus sphaericus JG-A12 as matrix for Au-III sorption and Au-nanoparticle formation

Jankowski, U.; Merroun, M.; Selenska-Pobell, S.; Fahmy, K.

Aqueous coordination chemistry and photochemistry of uranyl(VI) oxalate revisited: a density functional theory study

Tsushima, S.; Brendler, V.; Fahmy, K.

Photoluminescence of uranium(VI): quenching mechanism and role of uranium(V)

Tsushima, S.; Götz, C.; Fahmy, K.

Heterologous expression of the S-layer-like protein SllB induces the formation of long filaments of E. coli consisting of protein stabilized outer membrane

Lederer, F.; Günther, T.; Flemming, K.; Raff, J.; Fahmy, K.; Springer, A.; Pollmann, K.


Lipid Protein Interactions Couple Protonation to Conformation in a Conserved Cytosolic Domain of G-Protein-Coupled Receptors

Madathil, S.; Fahmy, K.

  • Journal of Biological Chemistry 284(2009)42, 28801-28809


Secondary Structure and Compliance of a Predicted Flexible Domain in Kinesin-1 Necessary for Co-operation of Motors

Crevenna, A. H.; Madathil, S.; Cohen, D. N.; Wagenbach, M.; Fahmy, K.; Howard, J.


Flavonoids affect actin functions in cytoplasm and nucleus

Boehl, M.; Tietze, S.; Sokoll, A.; Madathil, S.; Pfennig, F.; Apostolakis, J.; Fahmy, K.; Gutzeit, H. O.

Linkage between the intramembrane H-bond network around aspartic acid 83 and the cytosolic environment of helix 8 in photoactivated rhodopsin

Lehmann, N.; Alexiev, U.; Fahmy, K.

Synthesis and biological evaluation of a new type of 99mTechnetium-labeled fatty acid for myocardial metabolism imaging

Walther, M.; Jung, C.; Bergmann, R.; Pietzsch, J.; Rode, K.; Fahmy, K.; Mirtschink, P.; Stehr, S.; Heintz, A.; Wunderlich, G.; Kraus, W.; Pietzsch, H.-J.; Kropp, J.; Deussen, A.; Spies, H.

  • Bioconjugate Chemistry 18(2007), 216-230
    ISSN: 10.1021/bc0601222


Secondary structure and Pd(II) coordination in S-layer proteins from Bacillus sphaericus studied by infrared and X-ray absorption spectroscopy

Fahmy, K.; Merroun, M.; Pollmann, K.; Raff, J.; Savchuk, O.; Hennig, C.; Selenska-Pobell, S.

Structure and pH-Sensitivity of the Transmembrane Segment 3 of Rhodopsin

Madathil, S.; Furlinski, G.; Fahmy, K.

Metal binding by bacteria from uranium mining waste piles and its technological applications

Pollmann, K.; Raff, J.; Merroun, M.; Fahmy, K.; Selenska-Pobell, S.


Conserved high-affinity ligand binding and membrane association in the native and refolded extracellular domain of the human glycine receptor alpha 1 subunit

Breitinger, U.; Breitinger, H.-G.; Bauer, F.; Fahmy, K.; Glockenhammer, D.; Becker, C.-M.

  • Journal of Biological Chemistry 279(2004)4, 1627-1636


Properties and planned use of the intense THz radiation from ELBE at Dresden-Rossendorf

Fahmy, K.; Furlinski, G.; Gippner, P.; Grosse, E.; Seidel, W.; Sczepan, M.; Wohlfahrt, D.; Wolf, A.; Wünsch, R.

  • Journal of Biological Physics 29:303 -307, 2003
  • Poster
    THz-Bridge Workshop, 29.09.-01.10.2002, Capri, Italy


FTIR- and Fluorescence-Spectroscopic Analyses of Receptor G-Protein Coupling in Photoreception Curr. Org. Chem. 2002, 6, 1259-1284.

Fahmy, K.

  • Curr. Org. Chem. 2002, 6, 1259-1284.