Martin Pilhofer named Professor of Cryo-Electron Microscopy at ETH Zurich

Martin Pilhofer (photo: Marco Blessano)

Martin Pilhofer has been appointed Professor of Cryo-Electron Microscopy (Cryo-EM) at ETH Zurich, effective June 1, 2019. Prior to this appointment, Pilhofer held the position of assistant professor in the Department of Biology, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics at ETH.

The Pilhofer lab will investigate macromolecular machines mediating cell-cell interactions across different scales of resolution. Cryo-electron tomography will play a key role in imaging these systems in their cellular context and in a native state, enabling integration of data from other research disciplines. The development of cutting-edge cryo-EM methods will keep ETH at the forefront of structural biology and enable us to better understand diseases and develop new drugs to treat diseases.

Pilhofer received a PhD from the Institute of Microbiology, Technical University of Munich, Germany, in 2008. Following his studies, he was a Postdoc at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) until 2013. He is the recipient of the EMBO Young Investigator Award and a European Research Council Starting Grant.

Funded by the NOMIS Foundation, in cooperation with the Monique Dornonville de la Cour Foundation, the cryo-EM professorship is associated with the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics in the Department of Biology at ETH. The role is integrated into the research activities of the department and encourages new collaborations and interdisciplinary projects. In particular, the professorship  strengthens the link between structural biology and the fields of biochemistry, molecular health sciences, infection biology and systems biology.