This image shows Stephan Nussberger

Stephan Nussberger

Professor Dr.

Head of Department


Office Hours

Please note: Appointments with Prof. Nussberger are currently only possible by prior arrangement by e-mail. In matters concerning the examination board Technical Biology, please contact the new chairperson of the examination board apl. Prof. Dr. Christina Wege or in urgent cases the manager of our study program, Dr. Gisela Fritz.


Biochemistry / Biophysics / Proteintranslocation into Mitochondria

Key Publications: 

  • Two conformations of the Tom20 preprotein receptor in the TOM holo complex. Ornelas, P., Bausewein, T., Martin, J., Morgner, N., Nussberger, S. & Kühlbrandt, W.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 120, e23014471 (2023) (Journal cover)
  • Spatiotemporal stop-and-go dynamics of the mitochondrial TOM core complex correlates with three-state channel activity Wang, S., Findeisen, L., Leptihn, S., Wallace, M.I., Hörning, M. & Nussberger, S.  Communications Biology 5, 1-11 (2022) 
  • Cryo-EM structure of the TOM core complex from Neurospora crassa. Bausewein,T., Mills,D.J., Langer, J.D., Nitschke, B.,  Nussberger, S. & Kühlbrandt, W. Cell 170, 693–700 (2017)
  • S-palmitoylation represents a novel mechanism regulating the mitochondrial targeting of BAX and initiation of apoptosis. Fröhlich, M., Dejanovic, B., Kashkar, H., Schwarz, G. & Nussberger, S. Cell Death & Disease 5,  e1057:1-9 (2014)
  • Tom40, the main component of the protein conducting TOM channel in the outer membrane of mitochondria. Ahting, U., Thieffry, M., Engelhardt, H., Hegerl, R., Neupert, W. & Nussberger, S.  J. Cell Biol. 153, 1151-1160 (2001)
  • The TOM core complex: The general protein import pore of the outer membrane of mitochondria. Ahting, U., Thun, C., Hegerl, R., Typke, D., Nargang, F.E., Neupert, W., & Nussberger, S.  J. Cell Biol. 147, 959-968 (1999) (Journal cover)
  • The preprotein translocation channel of the outer membrane of mitochondria. Künkele, K.P., Heins, S., Dembowski, M., Nargang, F.E., Benz, R., Thieffry, M., Lill, R., Nussberger, S., & Neupert, W.  Cell 93, 1009-1019 (1998)
  • Cloning and characterization of a proton-coupled mammalian metal ion transporter. Gunshin, H., Mackenzie, B., Berger, U.V., Gunshin, Y., Romero, M.F., Boron, W.F., Nussberger, S., Gollan, L., & Hediger, M.A. Nature 388, 482-488 (1997)
  • Expression cloning of a mammalian proton-coupled oligopeptide transporter. Fei, Y.J., Kanai, Y., Nussberger, S., Ganapathy, V., Leibach, F.H., Romero, M.F., Singh, S.K., Boron, W.F., & Hediger, M.A.  Nature 368, 563-566 (1994)

Stephan Nussberger took over the professorship for biophysics at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomolecular Systems of the Faculty of Energy, Process and Biotechnology in June 2003. He is a member of the Stuttgart Research Center Systems Biology. Born in Munich in 1962, the scientist graduated in physics at the Technical University of Munich. After one year in sleep research at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich, he did his doctorate from 1989 to 1993 at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg in the field of structural biology and high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy. The work was supervised by Professor Dr. Werner Kühlbrandt. After defending his PhD in physics at the Technical University of Munich in 1993 Nussberger held a post-doctoral research fellow position at Harvard University in Cambridge, USA. With a research grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG) he was invited to work under Professor Dr. Matthias Hediger at the Harvard Medical School on structure-function relationships of ion-coupled transport proteins in mammals and humans. A major result of the research group in Boston was the identification of the metal-ion and iron transporter DCT1 and the peptide transporter PepT1. From 1996 onwards, the scientist worked in the laboratory of Professor Dr. Dr. Walter Neupert at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. There, he headed a research group that focused on the question of how proteins are transported across biological membranes, particularly in mitochondria. The scientific focus of Stephan Nussberger's work is the biochemistry of membrane proteins and membrane protein complexes and their biophysical and structural characterization. From 2013 to 2022, he served as chair of the Bachelor's and Master's Examination Committee in Technical Biology. Since 2024, he has been a member of the study commission for the Bachelor's degree programme in Biochemistry. From 2001 to 2003 he was a visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Munich and from 2009 to 2014 at the University of Cologne.

Scholarships: Pre-Doctoral Fellowship of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) 1989-1993, Post-Doctoral Fellowship of the German Research Foundation (DFG) 1994-1995.



Biophysics Group, Institute of Biomaterials and biomolecular Systems, University of Stuttgart

Pfaffenwaldring 57 , D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany

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