Kliniken &… Institute Zentrum für… Parasitology Unit Forschung Aktuelle… Frischknecht Lab

Malariaforschung: Frischknecht

Hintere Reihe: Buyuan He (Doktorand), Yvonne Sokolowski (MSc Studentin => Doktorandin), Louisa Schön (BSc Studentin, Alumna), Smilla Steinbrück (med. Doktorarbeit, Alumna), David Lubotsky (med. Doktorarbeit, Alumnus), Freddy Frischknecht (AG-Leiter), Julia Sattler (Postdoc), Monami Chowdhury (Doktorandin); Vordere Reihe: Annika Binder (Doktorandin), Matthias Wagner (Postdoc), Katharina Röver (MSc Studentin, Alumna), Kevin Walz (Doktorand), Lukas Brenner (MSc Student / HiWi), Franziska Hentzschel (AG-Leiterin), Ebenezer Taylor (Gaststudent, Alumnus), Mirko Singer (Postdoc); Nicht auf dem Foto: Marek Cyrklaff, Maren Gehringer (MSc Studentin), Yann Gomez (med. Doktorarbeit), Lena Haaga (MSc-Arbeit), Marzia Matejcek (MSc Studentin), Miriam Reinig (TA)

Die AG Frischknecht im Detail

Prof. Dr. Friedrich Frischknecht (Group leader, 2005 - present)

Marek Cyrklaff, Ph.D. (Free electron)

Dr. Julia Sattler (Postdoc, 2010 - present)

Dr. Mirko Singer (Postdoc, 2022 - present)

Matthias Wagner, Ph.D. (Postdoc, 2023 - present)

Annika Binder (PhD student, 2021 - present)

Monami Chowdhury (PhD student, 2021 - present)

Buyuan He (PhD student, 2021 - present)

Kevin Walz (PhD student, 2021 - present)

Yann Gomez (MD student, 2024)

Miriam Reinig (Technician)

Maren Gehringer (MSc student, 2023 - present)

Lena Haaga (MSc student, 2024)

Marzia Matejcek (MSc student, 2024)

Katharina Röver (MSc student, 2023 - present)

& various BSc students :-)

SPOT: a web-tool enabling swift profiling of transcriptomes

The Frischknecht lab proudly presents SPOT (Swift Profiling Of Transcriptomes), a web tool that allows not only differential expression analysis but also fast ranking of genes fitting transcription profiles of interest.

Farr EB, Sattler JM, Frischknecht F. SPOT: a web-tool enabling swift profiling of transcriptomes. Bioinformatics. 2021 Jul 21:btab541. 

  • Podcast with F. Frischknecht

    Interview with Freddy in which he tells us how he got interested in malaria research and that we are still far a away from a malaria vaccine... Listen in!

    Link to Podcast episode
  • Podcast zum wiss. Nachwuchs in Deutschland

    Prof. Frischknecht berichtet zur Situation in den Biowissenschaften

    Hier geht's zur Podcast Folge (5)
  • Marsilius Podcast zum Thema Fieber

    Prof. Frischknecht und Kollegen diskutieren das „Phänomen Fieber“ und die Wirkung von Malaria in Episode 8 des Marsilius Podcasts

    Hier entlang zum Podcast
Job offers

We normally have open positions for medical doctoral students and master students. If you are interested in working in a highly interactive team within an interdisciplinary environment using reverse genetic approaches, state-of-the-art microscopy techniques and are not afraid of new challenges and biophysical methods, please send us your CV, 2 letters of recommendation and a 1-page statement of motivation within a single pdf. We also usually have some vacancies for short term stays of a minimum of 6 weeks. For those send an informal enquiry to "fratsch(at)gmail.com".

Malaria is transmitted during the blood meal of the Anopheles mosquito, when Plasmodium sporozoites are injected into the skin. These sporozoites are highly motile using a unique type of motility system allowing them to move within the tissue in order to reach the blood circulation. This motility system is also important for the invasion of a variety of cell types at different stages of the Plasmodium life cycle thus being essential for the successful progression of the infectious cycle of the malaria parasite.

Four projects deal with different aspects of sporozoite biology. One project investigates Lyme disease borrelia.

Project 1: Deletion and modification of genes involved in parasite gliding motility

Project 2: Investigating the biophysical basis of gliding by measuring the forces that sporozoites generate on flexible and nano-patterned substrates as well as with laser traps

Project 3: Quantitative in vivo and in vitro imaging of sporozoites and their interaction with cells and substrates

Project 4: Investigation of sporozoite formation in 3D at high resolution using cryo-electron tomography, correlative light and electron microscopy

Project 5: Investigation of Lyme disease Borrelia

Advanced training:

Courses on Microscopy and imaging host pathogen interactions (e.g.: EMBO World Cup course in South Africa), WACCBIP Cell Biology course [Legon, Ghana], Cell Biology of Malaria course [Bahir Dar, Ethiopia], Biology of Parasitism course [Woods Hole, USA])

Science and Society:

Heidelberg Forum on Biosciences and Society.

For previous and current funding we gratefully acknowledge the following institutions:

Alexander von Humboldt foundation (postdoc fellowships to N. Dahan & C. Matos),

Chica and Heinz Schaller Foundation (group leader fellowship for F. Frischknecht),

European Molecular Biology Organization,

EU Network of Excellence EVIMalaR (PhD fellowship to K. Bane),

EU-FP7 (InterMalTraining – joint PhD student with Maria Mota),

European Research Council (ERC starting grant),

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD, PhD fellowships for H. Kumar, M. Muthinja and S. Panda),

German Center for Infection Research (DZIF),

German Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF through Biofuture and NGFN programs),

German Research Foundation (DFG through SFB 544, SFB 1129, SPP 1128, SPP 1464, Coronin, Marsilius Kolleg, SPP 2225, SPP 2332),

Hartmut Hoffmann-Berling International Graduate School of Molecular and Cellular Biology Heidelberg (PhD fellowship to B. Spreng),

Human Frontier Science Program Organization (joint grants with Dave Kovar, Anne Houdusse and Jake Baum),

Klaus-Georg-und-Sigrid-Hengstberger Stiftung,

Marie Curie Action of the EU (postdoc fellowship for S. Egarter),

Ministry of Science, Research and Arts Baden-Württemberg (Health + Life Science Alliance Heidelberg Mannheim)

University of Heidelberg Excellence Cluster CellNetworks (postdoc fellowships for L. Lemgruber and R. Douglas),

University of Heidelberg Frontier Program (joint grants with Ulrich Schwarz, Christian Boehm, Michael Boutros, Carmen Ruiz de Almodovar and Rebekka Wade),

University of Heidelberg Medical School

Volkswagen Stiftung

Wellcome Trust (discovery award with Rob Moon)

Wolfgang Baumeister (Martinsried), Martin Baumgartner  (Zurich), Martin Beck (EMBL), Oliver Billker (Cambridge), Jürgen Bosch (Baltimore), Michael Boutros (Heidelberg), Marek Cyrklaff (Heidelberg), Ulrike Engel (Heidelberg), Oliver Fackler (Heidelberg), Volker Heussler (Bern), Anne Houdusse (Paris), David Kovar (Chicago), Misha Kudryashev (Berlin), Inari Kursula (Bergen and Oulu), Sebastian Lourido (MIT), Julia Mahamid (EMBL), Gunnar Mair (Ames), Matthias Marti (Glasgow), Kai Matuschewski (Berlin), Alex Mayer (Canberra), Markus Meissner (Munich), Maria Mota (Lisboa), Stuart Ralph (Melbourne), Melanie Rug (Canberra), Carmen Ruiz de Almodòvar (Heidelberg), Ulrich Schwarz (Heidelberg), Inga Sidem Kiamos (Heraklion), Photini Sinnis (Baltimore), Dominique Soldati-Favre (Geneva), Joachim Spatz (Stuttgart), Rebecca Wade (Heidelberg), Reinhard Wallich (Heidelberg), Andy Waters (Glasgow)

Selected publications of the Frischknecht group

F. Frischknecht, Parasiten - Insekten, Würmer, Einzeller – verdrängte Plagegeister?, Springer Essentials, 2020

F. Frischknecht, Malaria - Tödliche Parasiten, spannende Forschung und kein ImpfstoffSpringer Essentials, 2018

J. Baum, and F. Frischknecht, Motorizing Pathogens, Semin Cell Dev Biol, 46, 78-81, 2015.

F. Frischknecht, M. M. Mota, A. Scherf and A. P. Waters (eds), Malaria, a special themed issue of Cellular Microbiology, 16 (5), 599-795, 2014.

F. Frischknecht and S.L. Shorte (eds), Imaging host-pathogen interactions, Biotechnology Journal, Wiley-Blackwell, 4 (6), 773-948, 2009.

S. L. Shorte, F. Frischknecht (eds), Imaging Cellular and Molecular Biological Functions, Springer Verlag, 2007.

Singer M, Frischknecht F. Still running fast: Plasmodium ookinetes and sporozoites 125 years after their discovery. Trends Parasitol. 2023 Oct 19:S1471-4922(23)00236-2. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2023.09.015. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37865610.

Ferreira JL, Frischknecht F. Parasite microtubule arrays. Curr Biol. 2023 Aug 21;33(16):R845-R850. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2023.07.001. PMID: 37607476.

Frischknecht F, Enninga J. Actin subversion for productive Plasmodium hepatocyte invasion. Trends Parasitol. 2023 May;39(5):319-320. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2023.03.003. Epub 2023 Mar 15. PMID: 36931922.

F. Hentzschel, and F. Frischknecht, Still enigmatic: Plasmodium oocysts 125 years after their discovery. Trends Parasitol. 2022 Jun 14:S1471-4922(22)00130-1. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2022.05.013. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35715304.

M. De Niz, F. Spadin, M. Marti, J.V. Stein, M. Frenz, F. Frischknecht, Toolbox for In Vivo Imaging of Host-Parasite Interactions at Multiple Scales. Trends Parasitol, doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2019.01.002, 2019.

J. M. Muthinja, J. Ripp, T. Kruger, A. Imle, T. Haraszti, O. T. Fackler, J. P. Spatz, M. Engstler, and F. Frischknecht, Tailored Environments to Study Motile Cells and Pathogens, Cell Microbiol, 20, 2018.

M. Cyrklaff, F. Frischknecht, and M. Kudryashev, Functional Insights into Pathogen Biology from 3d Electron Microscopy, FEMS Microbiol Rev, 41, 828-53,  2017.

M. De Niz, P. C. Burda, G. Kaiser, H. A. Del Portillo, T. Spielmann, F. Frischknecht, and V. T. Heussler, Progress in Imaging Methods: Insights Gained into Plasmodium Biology, Nat Rev Microbiol, 15, 37-54, 2017.

F. Frischknecht, and K. Matuschewski, Plasmodium Sporozoite Biology, Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med, 7, 2017.

M. Singer, and F. Frischknecht, Time for Genome Editing: Next-Generation Attenuated Malaria Parasites, Trends Parasitol, 33, 202-13, 2017.

R. G. Douglas, R. Amino, P. Sinnis, and F. Frischknecht, Active Migration and Passive Transport of Malaria Parasites, Trends Parasitol, 31, 357-62, 2015.

F. Frischknecht, Biological warfare: from history to current affairs, eLS, 2014.

M. Meissner, D. Fergusson and F. Frischknecht, Invasion factors of apicomplexan parasites: Essential or redundant? Current Opinion in Microbiology, 16, 438-444, 2013.

M. Singer and F. Frischknecht, Challenges of imaging parasite transmission, Methods in Enzymology, 506, 19-33, 2012.

F. Frischknecht, Imaging parasites at different scales, Cell Host & Microbe, 8, 16-21, 2010.

F. Frischknecht, M. Gunzer and S.L. Shorte, Birth of the cool: Imaging and microbiology from lbn al-Haytham to Leewenhoek and Comandon, Biotechnology Journal, 4, 787-790, 2009.

S. Lepper, S. Münter, Spotlight on pathogens: Imaging Host-pathogen Interactions, Cellular Microbiology, 11, 855-862, 2009.

F. Frischknecht, The skin as interface in the transmission of arthropod-borne pathogens, Cellular Microbiology, 7, 1630-1640, 2007.

F. Frischknecht, O. Renaud, and S. L. Shorte, Imaging today's infectious animalcules, Current Opinion in Microbiology, 9, 297-306, 2006.

S. Münter, M. Way, and F. Frischknecht, Signaling during pathogen infection, Science STKE, re5, 2006.

R. Amino, R. Menard and F. Frischknecht, In vivo imaging of malaria parasites - recent advances and future perspectives, Current Opinion in Microbiology, 8, 407-414, 2005.

F. Frischknecht, and M. Way, Surfing pathogens and the lessons learned for actin polymerization, Trends in Cell Biology, 11, 30-38, 2001.

Darif N, Albers J, Ronchi P, Duke L, Frischknecht F, Schwab Y. From Organ to Organelle: towards a Multimodal 3D Cell Atlas of the Malaria Parasite Mosquito stages using Correlative Light, X-ray and volume Electron Microscopy. Microsc Microanal. 2023 Jul 22;29(29 Suppl 1):1195-1196. doi: 10.1093/micmic/ozad067.615. PMID: 37613241.

Braumann F, Klug D, Kehrer J, Song G, Feng J, Springer TA, Frischknecht F. Conformational change of Plasmodium TRAP is essential for sporozoite migration and transmission. EMBO Rep. 2023 Jul 5;24(7):e57064. doi: 10.15252/embr.202357064. Epub 2023 Jun 12. PMID: 37306042; PMCID: PMC10328070.

Pashapour S, Seneca S, Schröter M, Frischknecht F, Platzman I, Spatz J. Design and Development of Extracellular Matrix Protein-Based Microcapsules as Tools for Bacteria Investigation. Adv Healthc Mater. 2023 Apr;12(11):e2202789. doi: 10.1002/adhm.202202789. Epub 2023 Jan 16. PMID: 36599129.

Ferreira JL, Pražák V, Vasishtan D, Siggel M, Hentzschel F, Binder AM, Pietsch E, Kosinski J, Frischknecht F, Gilberger TW, Grünewald K. Variable microtubule architecture in the malaria parasite. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 3;14(1):1216. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-36627-5. PMID: 36869034; PMCID: PMC9984467.

Wichers-Misterek JS, Binder AM, Mesén-Ramírez P, Dorner LP, Safavi S, Fuchs G, Lenz TL, Bachmann A, Wilson D, Frischknecht F, Gilberger TW. A Microtubule-Associated Protein Is Essential for Malaria Parasite Transmission. mBio. 2023 Feb 28;14(1):e0331822. doi: 10.1128/mbio.03318-22. Epub 2023 Jan 10. PMID: 36625655; PMCID: PMC9973338.

Kehrer J, Pietsch E, Heinze J, Spielmann T, Frischknecht F. Clearing of hemozoin crystals in malaria parasites enables whole-cell STED microscopy. J Cell Sci. 2023 Jan 1;136(1):jcs260399. doi: 10.1242/jcs.260399. Epub 2023 Jan 9. PMID: 36511329.

Yee M, Walther T, Frischknecht F, Douglas RG. Divergent Plasmodium actin residues are essential for filament localization, mosquito salivary gland invasion and malaria transmission. PLoS Pathog. 2022 Aug 23;18(8):e1010779. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1010779. PMID: 35998188; PMCID: PMC9439217.

Wai CH, Jin J, Cyrklaff M, Genoud C, Funaya C, Sattler J, Maceski A, Meier S, Heiland S, Lanzer M, Frischknecht F, Kuhle J, Bendszus M, Hoffmann A. Neurofilament light chain plasma levels are associated with area of brain damage in experimental cerebral malaria. Sci Rep. 2022 Jun 24;12(1):10726. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-14291-x. PMID: 35750882; PMCID: PMC9232608.

Patra P, Beyer K, Jaiswal A, Battista A, Rohr K, Frischknecht F, Schwarz US. Collective migration reveals mechanical flexibility of malaria parasites. Nature Physics 2022 May 13. doi: 10.1038/s41567-022-01583-2

Ripp J, Smyrnakou X, Neuhoff MT, Hentzschel F, Frischknecht F. Phosphorylation of myosin A regulates gliding motility and is essential for Plasmodium transmission. EMBO Rep. 2022 May 4:e54857. doi: 10.15252/embr.202254857. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35506479.

Kehrer J, Formaglio P, Muthinja JM, Weber S, Baltissen D, Lance C, Ripp J, Grech J, Meissner M, Funaya C, Amino R, Frischknecht F. Plasmodium sporozoite disintegration during skin passage limits malaria parasite transmission. EMBO Rep. 2022 Apr 11:e54719. doi: 10.15252/embr.202254719. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35403820.

Klaus S, Binder P, Kim J, Machado M, Funaya C, Schaaf V, Klaschka D, Kudulyte A, Cyrklaff M, Laketa V, Höfer T, Guizetti J, Becker NB, Frischknecht F, Schwarz US, Ganter M. Asynchronous nuclear cycles in multinucleated Plasmodium falciparum facilitate rapid proliferation. Sci Adv. 2022 Apr;8(13):eabj5362. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abj5362. Epub 2022 Mar 30. PMID: 35353560; PMCID: PMC8967237.

Jin J, Ba MA, Wai CH, Mohanty S, Sahu PK, Pattnaik R, Pirpamer L, Fischer M, Heiland S, Lanzer M, Frischknecht F, Mueller AK, Pfeil J, Majhi M, Cyrklaff M, Wassmer SC, Bendszus M, Hoffmann A. Transcellular blood-brain barrier disruption in malaria-induced reversible brain edema. Life Sci Alliance. 2022 Mar 8;5(6):e202201402. doi: 10.26508/lsa.202201402. PMID: 35260473; PMCID: PMC8905774.

Kimmel J, Kehrer J, Frischknecht F, Spielmann T. Proximity-dependent biotinylation approaches to study apicomplexan biology. Mol Microbiol. 2022 Mar;117(3):553-568. doi: 10.1111/mmi.14815. Epub 2021 Oct 22. PMID: 34587292.

Miles S, Magnone J, García-Luna J, Ancarola ME, Cucher M, Dematteis S, Frischknecht F, Cyrklaff M, Mourglia-Ettlin G. Ultrastructural characterization of the tegument in protoscoleces of Echinococcus ortleppi. Int J Parasitol. 2021 Nov;51(12):989-997. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2021.05.004. Epub 2021 Jun 30. PMID: 34216624.

Beyer K, Kracht S, Kehrer J, Singer M, Klug D, Frischknecht F. Limited Plasmodium sporozoite gliding motility in the absence of TRAP family adhesins. Malar J. 2021 Oct 30;20(1):430. doi: 10.1186/s12936-021-03960-3. PMID: 34717635; PMCID: PMC8557484.

Kimmel J, Kehrer J, Frischknecht F, Spielmann T. Proximity-dependent biotinylation approaches to study apicomplexan biology. Mol Microbiol. 2021 Sep 29. doi: 10.1111/mmi.14815. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34587292.

Ganter M, Frischknecht F. Illuminating Plasmodium invasion by lattice-light-sheet microscopy. Trends Parasitol. 2021 Sep;37(9):777-779. doi:10.1016/j.pt.2021.07.008. Epub 2021 Jul 28. PMID: 34332896.

Farr EB, Sattler JM, Frischknecht F. SPOT: a web-tool enabling swift profiling of transcriptomes. Bioinformatics. 2021 Jul 21:btab541. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btab541. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34289024; PMCID:PMC8406885.

Miles S, Magnone J, García-Luna J, Ancarola ME, Cucher M, Dematteis S, Frischknecht F, Cyrklaff M, Mourglia-Ettlin G. Ultrastructural characterization of the tegument in protoscoleces of Echinococcus ortleppi. Int J Parasitol. 2021 Nov;51(12):989-997. doi:10.1016/j.ijpara.2021.05.004. Epub 2021 Jun 30. PMID:34216624.

Soni K, Kempf G, Manalastas-Cantos K, Hendricks A, Flemming D, Guizetti J, Simon B, Frischknecht F, Svergun DI, Wild K, Sinning I. Structural analysis of the SRP Alu domain from Plasmodium falciparum reveals a non-canonical open conformation. Commun Biol. 2021 May 20;4(1):600. doi:10.1038/s42003-021-02132-y. PMID: 34017052; PMCID: PMC8137916.

Guizetti J, Frischknecht F. Apicomplexans: A conoid ring unites them all. PLoS Biol. 2021 Mar 11;19(3):e3001105. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001105. PMID:33705378; PMCID: PMC7951970.

Ripp J, Kehrer J, Smyrnakou X, Tisch N, Tavares J, Amino R, Ruiz de Almodovar C, Frischknecht F. Malaria parasites differentially sense environmental elasticity during transmission. EMBO Mol Med. 2021 Apr 9;13(4):e13933. doi:10.15252/emmm.202113933. Epub 2021 Mar 5. PMID: 33666362; PMCID: PMC8033522.

Wack M, Wiegand T, Frischknecht F, Cavalcanti-Adam EA. An in vitro DNA Sensor-based Assay to Measure Receptor-specific Adhesion Forces of Eukaryotic Cells and Pathogens. Bio Protoc. 2020 Sep 5;10(17):e3733. doi: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3733. PMID: 33659394; PMCID: PMC7842386.

Singer M, Frischknecht F. Fluorescent tagging of Plasmodium circumsporozoite protein allows imaging of sporozoite formation but blocks egress from oocysts. Cell Microbiol. 2021 May;23(5):e13321. doi: 10.1111/cmi.13321. Epub 2021 Mar 15. PMID: 33600048.

Egarter S, Santos JM, Kehrer J, Sattler J, Frischknecht F, Mair GR. Gliding motility protein LIMP promotes optimal mosquito midgut traversal and infection by Plasmodium berghei. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2021 Jan;241:111347. doi:10.1016/j.molbiopara.2020.111347. Epub 2020 Dec 24. PMID: 33347893; PMCID:PMC7856051.

Quadt KA, Smyrnakou X, Frischknecht F, Böse G, Ganter M. Plasmodium falciparum parasites exit the infected erythrocyte after haemolysis with saponin and streptolysin O. Parasitol Res. 2020 Dec;119(12):4297-4302. doi:10.1007/s00436-020-06932-9. Epub 2020 Oct 22. PMID: 33089360.

Harding CR, Frischknecht F. The Riveting Cellular Structures of Apicomplexan Parasites. Trends Parasitol. 2020 Dec;36(12):979-991. doi:10.1016/j.pt.2020.09.001. Epub 2020 Sep 30. PMID: 33011071.

De Niz M, Kehrer J, Brancucci NMB, Moalli F, Reynaud EG, Stein JV, Frischknecht F. 3D imaging of undissected optically cleared Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes and midguts infected with Plasmodium parasites. PLoS One. 2020 Sep 16;15(9):e0238134. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0238134. PMID: 32936796; PMCID:PMC7494115.

Klug D, Goellner S, Kehrer J, Sattler J, Strauss L, Singer M, Lu C, Springer TA, Frischknecht F., Evolutionarily distant I domains can functionally replace the essential ligand-binding domain of Plasmodium TRAP. Elife. 9:e57572, 2020. (for the interested public: see also the respecitve elife digest article as well as the UKHD press release (the latter in German))

Miles S, Magnone J, Cyrklaff M, Arbildi P, Frischknecht F, Dematteis S, Mourglia-Ettlin G. Linking murine resistance to secondary cystic echinococcosis with antibody responses targeting Echinococcus granulosus tegumental antigens. Immunobiology. 225(3):151916, 2020.

C. A. Moreau, K. A. Quadt, H. Piirainen, H. Kumar, S. P. Bhargav, L. Strauss, N. H. Tolja, R. C. Wade, J. P. Spatz, I. Kursula and F. Frischknecht, A function of profilin in force generation during malaria parasite motility independent of actin binding. Journal of Cell Science, 134, jcs233775, 2020.

H. Kumar, J. Kehrer, M. Singer, M. Reinig, J. M. Santos, J. Gomes, G. R. Mair and F. Frischknecht, Functional genetic evaluation of DNA house-cleaning enzymes as malaria drug targets: dUTPase and Ap4AH are essential in Plasmodium berghei but ITPase and NDH are not, Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets, 23, 251-261, 2019.

S. Miles, M. Portela, M. Cyrklaff, M. E. Ancarola, F. Frischknecht, R. Duran, S. Dematteis and G. Mourglia-Ettlin, Combining proteomics and bioinformatics to explore novel tegumental antigens as vaccine candidates against Echinococcus granulosus infection, Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 120, 15320-15336, 2019. 

B. Spreng, H. Fleckenstein, P. Kübler, C. Di Biagio, M. Benz, P. Partra, U. S. Schwarz, M. Cyrklaff and F. Frischknecht, Microtubule length and number determine shape and infectivity in Plasmodium, EMBO Journal, 38, e100984, 2019. (=> see also the YouTube video summarizing the results)

D. Klug, J. Kehrer, F. Frischknecht, M. Singer, A synthetic promoter for multi-stage expression to probe complementary functions of PlasmodiumadhesinsJournal of Cell Science 131, 20, 2018.

R.G. Douglas, M. Reinig, M. Neale, F. Frischknecht, Screening for potential prophylactics targeting sporozoite motility through the skinMalaria Journal. 17, 319, 2018.

R.G. Douglas, P. Nandekar, J.E. Aktories, H. Kumar, R. Weber, J.M. Sattler, M. Singer, S. Lepper, S.K. Sadiq, R.C. Wade, F. Frischknecht, Inter-subunit interactions drive divergent dynamics in mammalian and Plasmodium actin filamentsPLoS Biology 16, e2005345, 2018.

H. Prinz, J.M. Sattler, A. Roth, J. Ripp, J.H. Adams, F. Frischknecht, Immunization efficacy of cryopreserved genetically attenuated Plasmodium berghei sporozoitesParasitology Research117, 2487-249, 2018.

C. A. Moreau, S. P. Bhargav, H. Kumar, K. A. Quadt, H. Piirainen, L. Strauss, J. Kehrer, M. Streichfuss, J.P. Spatz, R. C. Wade, I. Kursula, and F. Frischknecht, A Unique Profilin-Actin Interface Is Important for Malaria Parasite Motility, PLoS Pathog, 13 e1006412, 2017. (=> see also the YouTube video summarizing the results)

J. M. Santos, S. Egarter, V. Zuzarte-Luis, H. Kumar, C. A. Moreau, J. Kehrer, A. Pinto, M. D. Costa, B. Franke-Fayard, C. J. Janse, F. Frischknecht, and G. R. Mair, Malaria Parasite Limp Protein Regulates Sporozoite Gliding Motility and Infectivity in Mosquito and Mammalian Hosts, Elife, 6, 2017.

D. Klug, and F. Frischknecht, Motility Precedes Egress of Malaria Parasites from Oocysts, Elife, 6, 2017.

M. J. Muthinja, J. Ripp, J. K. Hellmann, T. Haraszti, N. Dahan, L. Lemgruber, A. Battista, L. Schutz, O. T. Fackler, U. S. Schwarz, J. P. Spatz, and F. Frischknecht, Microstructured Blood Vessel Surrogates Reveal Structural Tropism of Motile Malaria Parasites, Adv Healthc Mater, 6, 2017.

K. S. Bane, S. Lepper, J. Kehrer, J. M. Sattler, M. Singer, M. Reinig, D. Klug, K. Heiss, J. Baum, A. K. Mueller, and F. Frischknecht, The Actin Filament-Binding Protein Coronin Regulates Motility in Plasmodium Sporozoites, PLoS Pathog, 12, 2016.

J. Kehrer, M. Singer, L. Lemgruber, P. A. Silva, F. Frischknecht, and G. R. Mair, A Putative Small SoluteTransporter Is Responsible for the Secretion of G377 and Trap-Containing Secretory Vesicles During Plasmodium Gamete Egress and Sporozoite Motility, PLoS Pathog, 12 (2016), e1005734.

J.Kehrer, F. Frischknecht and G. R. Mair, Proteomic analysis of the Plasmodium berghei gametocyte egressome and vesicular bioID of osmiophilic body proteins identifies MTRAP as an essential factor for parasite transmission, Mol Cell Proteomics, 2016.

H.Kumar, J.M. Sattler, M. Singer, K. Heiss, M. Reinig, C. Hammerschmidt-Kamper, V. Heussler, A.K. Mueller and F. Frischknecht, Protective efficacy and safety of liver stage attenuated malaria parasites, Sci Reports, 6, 2016.

D. Klug, G. R. Mair, F. Frischknecht, and R. G. Douglas, A Small Mitochondrial Protein Present in Myzozoans Is Essential for Malaria Transmission, Open Biol, 6, 2016.

K. A. Quadt, M. Streichfuss, C. A. Moreau, J. P. Spatz, and F. Frischknecht, Coupling of Retrograde Flow to Force Production During Malaria Parasite Migration, ACS Nano, 10, 2091-102, 2016. (=> see also the YouTube video summarizing the results)

M. Singer, J. Marshall, K. Heiss, G. R. Mair, D. Grimm, A. K. Mueller, and F. Frischknecht, Zinc Finger Nuclease-Based Double-Strand Breaks Attenuate Malaria Parasites and Reveal Rare Microhomology-Mediated End Joining, Genome Biol, 16, 249, 2015. (=> see also the YouTube video summarizing the results)

A.C. Carey, M. Singer, D. Barigieri, F. Frischknecht, R. Menard and R. Amino, Calcium dynamics of Plasmodium berghei sporozoite motility, Cellular Microbiology, 16, 768-783, 2014.

J. K. Hellmann, N. Perschmann, J. P. Spatz and F. Frischknecht, Tunable substrates unveil chemical complementation of a genetic cell migration defect, Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2, 1162-1169, 2013.

L. Lemgruber, M. Kudryashev, C. Dekiwadia, D. Riglar, J. Baum, H. Stahlberg, S. A. Ralph and F. Frischknecht, Cryo-electron tomography reveals four membrane architecture of the Plasmodium apicoplast. Malaria Journal 12, 25, 2013.

K. Kühni, M. Ma, L. Lemgruber, M. Cyrklaff, F. Frischknecht, V. Gaschen, M. Stoffel and M. Baumgartner, Actin-mediated plasma membrane plasticity of the intracellular parasite Theileria annulata, Cellular Microbiology, 14, 1867-1879, 2012.

M. Kudryashev, S. Münter, L. Lemgruber, G. Montagna, K. Matuschewski, H. Stahlberg, M. Meissner, M. Cyrklaff, F. Frischknecht, Structural basis for chirality and directed Plasmodium sporozoite migration, Cellular Microbiology, 14, 1757-1768, 2012.

S. Hegge, K. Uhrig, M. Streichfuss, G. Kynast-Wolf, K. Matuschewski, J.P. Spatz and F. Frischknecht, Direct manipulation of malaria parasites with optical tweezers reveals distinct functions of Plasmodium surface proteins, ACS Nano, 6. 4648-4662, 2012. (see also the YouTube video summarizing the results)

C. S. S. Gomes-Santos, M. A. Itoe, C. Afonso, R. Henriques, R. Gardner, P. D. Simoes, H. Raquel, P. Almeida, L. F. Moita, F. Frischknecht and M. M. Mota, Heptocyte actin polymerization around developing Plasmodium, PLoS One e29408, 2012.

M. Cyrklaff, J. Simpore, C. P. Sanchez, C. Biseye, F. Frischknecht, and M. Lanzer, Hemoglobins S and C interfere with actin remodeling in Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Science334, 1283-1286, 2011.

N. Perschmann, J.K. Hellmann, F. Frischknecht, and J.P. Spatz, Induction of malaria parasite migration by synthetically tunable microenvironments, Nano Letters, 11, 4468-4474, 2011.

J. K. Hellmann, S. Münter, M. Kudryashev, S. Schulz, K. Heiss, A. K. Müller, K. Matuschewski, J. P. Spatz, U. S. Schwarz and F. Frischknecht, Environental constraints guide migration of malaria parasites during transmission, PLoS Pathogens, 7, e1002080, 2011.

M. Kudryashev, M. Cyrklaff, B. Alex, L. Lemgruber, W. Baumeister, R. Wallich and F. Frischknecht, Evidence of direct cell-cell fusion in Borrelia by cryogenic electron tomography, Cellular Microbiology, 13, 731-741, 2011.

S. Hegge, M. Kudryashev, A. Smith and F. Frischknecht, Key factors regulating Plasmodium berghei sporozoite survival and transformation revealed by an automated visual assay, FASEB Journal, 24, 5003-5012, 2010.

S. Hegge, S. Münter, M. Steinbrüchel, K. Heiss, U. Engel, K. Matuschewski and F. Frischknecht, Multi-step adhesion of Plasmodium sporozoites, FASEB Journal, 24, 2222-2234, 2010.

M. Kudryashev, S. Lepper, R. Stanway, S. Bohn, W. Baumeister, M. Cyrklaff and F. Frischknecht, Positioning of large organelles by a membrane associated cytoskeleton in Plasmodium sporozoites, Cellular Microbiology, 12, 362-371, 2010.

M. Kudryashev, M. Cyrklaff, R. Wallich, W. Baumeister and F. Frischknecht, Distinct in situstructures of the Borrelia flagella motor, Journal of Structural Biology, 169, 54-61, 2010.

S. Münter, B. Sabass, C. Selhuber-Unkel, M. Kudryashev, S. Hegge, U. Engel, J. P. Spatz, K. Matuschewski, U. S. Schwarz and F. Frischknecht, Plasmodium sporozoite motility is modulated by the turnover of discrete adhesion sites, Cell Host & Microbe, 6, 551-562, 2009.

S. Hegge, M. Kudryashev, A. Smith, F. Frischknecht, Automated classification of Plasmodiumsporozoite movement patterns reveals a shift towards productive motility during salivary gland infection, Biotechnology Journal, 4, 903-913, 2009.

M. Kudryashev, M. Cyrklaff, W. Baumeister, M.M. Simon, R. Wallich, F. Frischknecht, Comparative cryo-electron tomography of pathogenic Lyme disease spirochetes, Molecular Microbiology, 71, 1415- 1434, 2009.

A. Herm-Götz, C. Agop-Nersesian, S. Münter, J. S. Grimley, T. J. Wandless, F. Frischknecht & M. Meissner, Rapid control of protein level in the apicomplexan Toxoplasma gondiiNature Methods, 4, 1003 - 1005, 2007.1

M. Cyrklaff, M. Kudryashev, A. Leis, K. Leonard, W. Baumeister, R. Menard, M. Meissner, F. Frischknecht, Cryoelectron tomography reveals periodic material at the inner side of subpellicular microtubules in apicomplexan parasites, Journal of Experimental Medicine, 204, 1281-1287, 2007.

R. Amino, S. Thiberge, B. Martin, S. Celli, S. L. Shorte, F. Frischknecht and R. Ménard, Quantitative imaging of malaria parasite transmission to the mammalian host, Nature Medicine12, 220-224, 2006.

F. Valderrama, J. V. Cordeiro, S. Schleich, F. Frischknecht and M. Way, Vaccinia induced migration and viral morphogenesis requires F11L-mediated inhibition of RhoA signalling, Science 311, 377-381, 2006.

F. Frischknecht, P. Baldacci, B. Martin, C. Zimmer, S. Thiberge, J.-C. Olivo-Marin, S. L. Shorte, and R. Ménard, Imaging movement of malaria parasites during transmission by Anopheles mosquitoes, Cellular Microbiology 6, 687-694, 2004.

F. Frischknecht, V. Moreau, S. Röttger, S. Gonfloni, I. Reckmann, G. Superti-Furga, and M. Way, Actin-based motility of vaccinia virus mimics receptor tyrosine kinase signalling, Nature, 401, 926-929, 1999.

F. Frischknecht, and A. Randall, Voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels in floor plate neuroepithelia of the rat, Neuroscience, 85, 1135-1149, 1998.

Cell Bio Virtual Conference 2020

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Talk by Jessica Kehrer from the Frischknecht lab at the Cell Bio Virtual Conference (ASCB / EMBO Meeting) in December 2020.

EMBO Journal 2019

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Microtubule length and number determine shape and infectivity in Plasmodium

Genome Biol 2015

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Zinc Finger Nuclease-Based Double-Strand Breaks Attenuate Malaria Parasites and Reveal Rare Microhomology-Mediated End Joining

PLoS Pathog 2017

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A Unique Profilin-Actin Interface Is Important for Malaria Parasite Motility

ACS Nano 2016

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Coupling of Retrograde Flow to Force Production During Malaria Parasite Migration

ACS Nano 2012

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Direct Manipulation of Malaria Parasites With Optical Tweezers Reveals Distinct Functions of Plasmodium Surface Proteins

F. Frischknecht, Infectious entertainment, Biotechnology Journal, 4, 944-946, 2009.

F. Frischknecht, Small countries are unexpected winners in ERC grant tables, Nature, 454, 690, 2008.

F. Frischknecht, The history of biological warfare, EMBO Reports, 4, 47-52, 2003.

==> Conference EMBL 2002: Infectious Diseases; Session IV, F. Frischknecht, Biological Weapons: Uses and Abuses of Infectious Agents.

Pubmed - publications to date

Correlative microscopy

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How Mosquitoes Bite

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Nathália Ferreira Lima, 2022 - 2024 (Infectotest project)

Juliane Kutzner, 2020 - 2021

Carolina Matos, 2018 - 2021

Ross Douglas, 2013 - 2019, now: Group leader, Justus-Liebig University Gießen

Saskia Egarter, 2014 - 2017, now: Scientific writer

Gunnar Mair, 2012 - 2016, now: PI at University of Iowa, Ames

Noa Dahan, 2014 - 2015, now: Postdoc at Weitzmann Institute Rehovot

Martin Streichfuss, 2013 – 2014, now: Robert Bosch, Reutlingen

Leandro Lemgruber, 2010 – 2012, then: Rockefeller University, now: Head of EM unit, Glasgow University

Claudia Kuss, 2010 – 2012: now: Clinical study analyst, Berlin

Kai Uhrig, 2009, now: Consultant at McKinsey

Sylvia Münter, 2005 – 2009, then: Carl Zeiss München, now: Microscope Facility, Heidelberg University Hospital

Simran Panda, 2021 - 2023

Johanna Ripp, 2016 - 2020

Benjamin Spreng, 2014 – 2018, now with Johnson and Johnson, Switzerland

Katharina Quadt, 2013 – 2018, then: Application specialist, Zendia, Heidelberg, now: Labor Limbach, Heidelberg

Julianne Mendi Muthinja, 2013 – 2017

Konrad Beyer, 2013 – 2016, now: Consultant with Catenion, Berlin

Hirdesh Kumar, 2012 - 2016, now: Postdoc with Tolja Niraj at NIH, USA

Dennis Klug, 2012 – 2017, now: Postdoc with Stephanie Blandin in Strasbourg

Kartik Bane, 2011 – 2016, then Postdoc at Yale, now: Scientific editor, Mumbai

Janina Hellmann (Master, PhD student and Postdoc) 2007 – 2012, now: Teacher at Gymnasium Bruchsal

Simone Lepper, 2007 –2011, then: Arithmeum Museum for Mathematics, Bonn, now: Nikon, Heidelberg

Mikhail Kudryashev, 2005 –2009, then: Group leader at MPI Frankfurt, now: Group leader at MDC Berlin

Stephan Hegge, 2005 –2010 and (Postdoc) 2010 – 2011, now: Associate with consulting company Catenion, Berlin

Carrie Anderson, 2021 - 2024 (Infectotest project) 

Katarina Abramovic, 2010 –2011

Iris Arnold, 2009 –2010

Aurore Guiet, 2008

Diana Scheppan, 2005 –2009

Andrea Hecker, 2005

David Lubotsky, 2022 - 2024

Smilla Steinbrück, 2023 - 2024

Luisa Zechel, 2022 - 2023

Aiman Abdelrahim, 2021 - 2022 (see also his report on his time in Sudan)

Joshua Leutiger, 2021 - 2022 (see also his report on his time in Tanzania)

Martin Jäcklin, 2021 - 2022

Cindy Zheng, 2021 - 2022

Bastian Löhning, 2020 - 2021

Friedrich Braumann, 2020 - 2021 (see also his report on his time in Rwanda)

Lukas Keiber, 2020 - 2021

Leon Mühlsteffen, 2020 - 2021

Simon Kracht, 2019 - 2020

Maurizio Wack, 2017 – 2018

Henriette Prinz, 2016 – 2017

Julia Aktories, 2015 – 2016

Katja Haßler, (joint student with Jake Baum) 2015 – 2016

Ulrike Amelung, 2011

Björn Alex, 2008 - 2010

Natalia Lüsebrink 2008 - 2009

Yvonne Sokolowski, 2022 - 2024

Pratika Agarwal, 2022 - 2023

Shafaq Riaz, 2022

Nathan Ribot, 2021 - 2022

Kevin Walz, 2020 - 2021

Juyeop Kim, 2020 - 2021

Felix Mikus, 2020 - 2021

Philip Ehmann, 2020

Dominic Schwarz, 2019 - 2020

Manuela Aguirre Botero, 2019

Michelle Yee, 2019

Annika Binder, 2019

Xanthoula Smyrnakou, 2019

Martina Nieß, 2019

Emma Pietsch, 2018 - 2019

Nadine Renner, 2018

Claudia Di Biagio, 2017

Hannah Fleckenstein, 2016

Rebekka Weber, 2016

Johanna Kratzer, 2015 -2016

Madlen Konert, 2013 –2014

Jennifer Marschall, 2012 –2013

Conny Bernecker, 2010 –2011

Mirko Singer, 2009

Oliver Mazodze (research student) 2008 –2009

Janina Hellmann, 2007-2008

Luis Barniol, 2007 – 2008

Marion Hliscs (research student), 2006 – 2007

Louisa Schön, 2023 - 2024

Madleen Piegsa, 2023

David Jewanski, 2023

Nina Droste, 2023

Sina Kühnel, 2023

Lukas Radtke, 2022

Roberta Malamud, 2022

Sina Heineken, 2021

Yvonne Sokolowski, 2021

Meret Hopf, 2021

Christan Simon, 2021

Marilena Wittmaack, 2020

Konstantin Fischer, 2020

Marzia Matejcek, 2020

Elias Farr, 2020

Tobias Walther, 2018

Lisa Nechyporenko, 2018

Nadine Klingberg, 2018

Marie Neuhoff, 2018

Paul Rothhaar, 2018

Dominik Ricken, 2017

Patrick Kübler, 2017

Jaqueline Hammer, 2017

Christian Sommerauer, 2016

Benjamin Lang, 2016

Leanne Strauss, 2016

Sarah Goellner, 2015

Paul Ott, 2014

Michael Staniek, 2014

Polina Mantaj, 2013

Samantha Ebersol, 2013

Elisabeth Singer, 2013

Tony Völtzke, 2013

Dietmar Mehlhorn, 2013

Lucas Schütz, 2011

Andreas Balz, 2010

Jenny Pestl, 2008

Jan-Peter Röderer, 2008

The following students enriched our lab for 3 months during summer visits paid by the US-German or Canadian-Baden-Würrtemberg exchange programmes.

Ashley Smith, 2007

Christiana Baloescu, 2008

Carmen Bayly, 2010

Alice Nasto, 2010

Loren Chan, 2011

Olivia Ramsey, 2012

Steven Mee, 2013

Kristina Kelly, 2014

Frea Mehta, 2015

Serina Khater, 2016

Sydney Sparanese, 2017


For EMBL Alumni Association see: 


to the left: Brochure (put together by Maj Britt Hansen, Freddy Frischknecht and Mehrnoosh Rayner) on poster exhibition as part of the staff-alumni reunion in 2010.

News - Frischknecht Group

~ Para goes BUGA ~

(1st October 2023)

Members of the Health + Life Science Alliance Heidelberg Mannheim (HLS) joined the BUGA 2023 in Mannheim with a booth on 29 September & 1 October. They gave various talks on their current research approaches, informed through hands-on offers and were available for chats with interested BUGA visitors. On Sunday, 2 of our group leaders, namely Freddy Frischknecht and Markus Ganter, inspired their audience with a talk on the question "Malaria in Mannheim - impossible?" They also had an info booth on malaria with among other things literature (overview article, malaria comic, This is Ann) and some mosquitoes (safely kept in a cage) and they very much enjoyed sharing their knowledge with young and old.

~ EMBO Membership ~

F. Frischknecht one of 67 new EMBO members

(c) EMBO

6 July 2022 – EMBO announces that 67 researchers have been elected to its membership. Through this lifelong honour, new EMBO Members and Associate Members are recognized for their outstanding achievements in the life sciences.

The EMBO Membership consists of more than 1,900 of the leading researchers in Europe and around the world. Election as EMBO Member recognizes a scientist’s research excellence and outstanding achievements. EMBO Members guide the execution the of EMBO Programmes and activities by serving on EMBO Council, Committees and Advisory Editorial Boards. Collectively, they influence the direction of European science and strengthen research communities across Europe.

~ Cover Gallery ~

by F. Frischknecht

How to get in touch:

Detailed Address:


Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg
Zentrum für Infektiologie, Parasitologie
AG Frischknecht
Im Neuenheimer Feld 324
69120 Heidelberg

For on-site visits:

Please note that we are located in building 344, 2nd floor (rooms 202, 206 & 209).

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