Sebastian Suerbaum - Biography#

Curriculum vitae(info) (Source:

Sebastian Suerbaum studied medicine and philosophy at the Ruhr-University Bochum and received his Dr. med. degree in 1988 with a thesis performed with W. Opferkuch about “The influence of subinhibitorical concentrations of antibiotics on the immunity of the outer membrane of Escherichia coli”.

He worked as an assistant physician in the clinical division of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg in 1988. Between 1989 and 1995 he was research assistant at the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Immunology of the Ruhr-University Bochum. He went as a visiting researcher to Institut Pasteur between 1991 and 1993 and worked in the laboratory of A. Labigne. There he was introduced into the field of molecular biology of the pathogenicity of Helicobacter pylori. After returning to the University Bochum his research was focused on molecular biology and structure biology of flagella/motility of Helicobacter pylori. He finished his habilitation in 1995 at the Medical department of Ruhr-University Bochum about “Molecular investigations on the virulence factors of Helicobacter pylori and Helicobacter mustelae”. He worked as a senior physician and deputy head of the department Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at Ruhr-University Bochum and as a professor and deputy chairman at the Institute for Hygiene and Microbiology Julius-Maximilians-University Wuerzburg between 1999 and 2003. The breakthrough of his Helicobacter research became evident with seminal papers on the mechanism and consequences of DNA horizontal exchange and free recombination within Helicobacter pylori. In close cooperation with Mark Achtman he approached international leadership in the field of Helicobacter pylori clonal structure, ethnic and geographic differentiation of Helicobacter pylori, associated with human migration. Since 2003 he is professor for medical microbiology and head of the institute for Medical Microbiology and Hospital Hygiene at Hannover Medical School.

He is member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and received numerous awards, for instance the Gerhard-Hess-Award of the German Research Foundation, the Eva and Klaus Grohe-Award of the Berlin-Brandenburg-Academy of Sciences and the Heinz Seeliger-Award.
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