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Alexander von Humboldt Professor

Wolf B. Frommer

Universitätsstr. 1


Phone:  +49 211 81-​12779
E-​mail: frommew @ hhu.de

Curriculum vitae

Professional Work Experience Germany

  • Alexander von Humboldt Professor, Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf (2017-)
  • Guest Professor, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Köln (2017-)
  • Principal Investigator, Visiting Professor, Institute for Transformative Biomolecules, Nagoya University, 2016-
  • Full Professor, Chair of Plant Physiology, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen (department with 5 professors and 80 employees; 1996-2003)
  • Cofounder and Director of Center for Plant Molecular Biology Tübingen (ZMBP, supported by Ministry for Science & Education, Baden-Württemberg; 150 employees); 1997–2001
  • Head of an Independent Young Investigator Group at the Genzentrum Berlin funded by BMBF, Institut für Genbiologische Forschung, Berlin; 1992–1996
  • Head of a research group in the department of Prof. Dr. Lothar Willmitzer, Institut für Genbiologische Forschung, Berlin; 1990–1991
  • Postdoctoral fellow at the Institut für Genbiologische Forschung, Berlin, (Prof. Dr. Lothar Willmitzer); 1988–1989

Professional Work Experience USA

  • Short postdoctoral fellowship at the Shanghai Institute for Plant Physiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China (Prof. Dr. Men Ming Hong); 10–12/1987
  • Staff Member, Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science; 2003-2018
  • Adjunct Professor, Biology Department, Stanford University; 2004-2011, 2016-2018
  • Director, Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science; 2009-2016
  • Full Professor, Biology Department, Stanford University; 2011-2016
  • Acting Director, Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science; 2007-2009
  • Vice President, Feedstocks Division, JBEI (Joint Bioenergy Institute; www.jbei.org), Emeryville, CA; 2007-2009
  • Visiting Faculty, Laurence Berkeley National Laboratories, Berkeley, CA; 2007-2017
  • Bio-X affiliated Faculty, Stanford University; 2006-2017

University Education

  • Habilitation and venia legendi for Plant Physiology, Faculty for Biology, Free University of Berlin, Germany; 1994
  • Dissertation (Dr. rer. nat.) at the Institute for Genetics (Prof. Dr. Peter Starlinger), University of Köln; 1983-1987
  • Masters thesis (Dipl. Biol.) at the Institute for Genetics (Prof. Dr. Peter Starlinger), University of Köln; 1982-1983
  • Study of Biology at the University of Köln, (Genetics, Botany and Biochemistry); 1977-1981


o   over 300 publications (see https://www.molecular-physiology.hhu.de/en/publications)


  • Young Investigator Award; 1992-1996 (Nachwuchsgruppe am Genzentrum Berlin, Institut für Genbiologische Forschung)
  • Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Award from Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft; 1998, www.dfg.de/en/news/scientific_prizes/leibniz_preis/
  • Körber Award for European Science; 2001, www.koerber-stiftung.de/
  • Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS; 2003
  • ISI Highly Cited; 2009
  • Laurence Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology, 2012 (American Society of Plant Biologists)
  • German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, 2015
  • Alexander von Humboldt Professorship 2016 – International Prize for Research in Germany Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung
  • Clarivate-Web of Science Highly Cited 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Tsungming Tu - Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, Taiwan; 2018 TAIPEI TIMES
  • Henriette Herz Scout, Alexnader von Humboldt Foundation
  • Diversity Award 2022, Heinrich Heine University


  • Current program supported by grants from Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, DFG (CRC1208)
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • National Science Foundation, USA (see Table at end of resumé),
  • ERC Synergy
  • CRC1208

Graduate Education and Undergraduate Honors Education

  • Graduate classes: Cell Biology of Physiological Processes (MCP221), Stanford University; 2005-2009, 2011; BIOS 200: Foundations in Experimental Biology 2014;
  • Supervision of >40 Ph.D. dissertations; 1993-
  • Supervision of >40 M.Sc. theses (diploma); 1989-
  • Supervision of 7 theses for teachership (Staatsexamensarbeiten); 1997-2003
  • Responsible for teaching Plant Physiology, University Tübingen; 1996-2003

Service Tasks

o   Various service tasks at the University of Tübingen (Faculty Board, Selection Committees) and Stanford University (Tenure and Promotion Committees)

o   Member of Wissenschaftliche Kommission “Forschungsevaluation an Niedersächsischen Hochschulen und Forschungseinrichtungen” 2000/2001 (Commission for the Evaluation of Biological Research at Universities of the State of Niedersachsen, Germany)

o   Editorial Boards: Advisory Board, The Plant Journal (1998-2003), Trends in Plant Science (1998-2002); Guest Editor: Curr. Opin. Plant Biotechnol., Annu. Rev. Plant Biol. (2003-2004); Co-Editor J. Plant Physiol. (1996-1998); Co-Editor The Plant Cell (1998-2006); Section Editor Plant Biology (2000-2003); Co-Editor J. Biol. Chem. (2004-2006); Editorial Board: Plant Methods (2004-2008); Editorial Board Annual Rev. Plant Biol. (2007-2012); Editorial Board BMC Biol. (since 2009); Editor-in-Chief Frontiers in Plant Physiology (2009-2012); Guest Editor Curr. Opin. Plant Biology (2010). Editor-in-Chief Frontiers in Plant Science (2010-2012); Section Head, “Plant Physiology and Biochemistry” of Faculty of 1000 (since 2001; www.facultyof1000.com)

o   Organizer 4th Pan American Plant Membrane Biology Workshop, Asilomar 2012; Org. Committees: 5th Pan American Plant Membrane Biology Workshop 2015; XVII International Workshop on Plant Membrane Biology 2016; Cold Spring Harbor Asia Meeting 2016; Advisory Board, The International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR)

o   Reviewer for international journals (Nature, Cell, Science, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, EMBO J., Plant Cell, Planta, Plant Mol. Biol., Plant Physiology etc.)

o   Reviewer for research foundations (e.g. NIH ad hoc panel CDF3, 2004; NIH panel MDCN-K (54) 2005, 2006; DOE panel 2006; NIH EUREKA-Review Committee 2009; NSF panels IOS, MCB 2011); German Research Foundation including SFB panels; Volkswagenstiftung, Germany; Swiss National Fund; ULB Bruxelles, Belgium; Czech Science Foundation; Israel; Finland; Danish Research Agency; AFRC/BBSRC UK; NSF, USDA, DOE - USA; ARC Australia; New Zealand, various tenure evaluations (Stanford, ETHZ, etc.), Head Review Committee, Sainsbury Lab, Cambridge

o   Scientific Advisory Board of the Joint Bioenergy Institute, Emeryville (2009); Board of Directors JBEI (2009-15); Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen; www.eb.tuebingen.mpg.de/ (2003-2008); Advisory Committee Academia Sinica, Taipei (2006); Advisory Board of Metacyc, SRI, Stanford; http://metacyc.org/ (2004-2010); Member of Plant Metabolic Network (PMN)’s editorial board (since 2007); Keystone Conferences, Adv. Board (2010); North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee (NAASC 2009-2014); Award committee member of ASPB 2014; Head Award Committee for ASPB 2015-2020.

o   Curator, Art Exhibitions, Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution, Stanford (2010-2016)


o  American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

o  American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB)

o  Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft