Prof. Dr. Volker Müller




Professor and Head of the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Bioenergetics

at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany



  •         Diplom (Biology), Georg-August-University Göttingen, 1985
  •         Dr. rer. nat. (Microbiology), Georg-August-University Göttingen, 1987



  •         Postdoc, Microbiology, Georg-August-University Göttingen, 1987 - 1988
  •         Postdoc, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, 1989-1990
  •         Group leader (Habilitand), Microbiology, Georg-August-University Göttingen, 1991 – 1995
  •         Habilitation (Microbiology), Georg-August-University Göttingen, 1995
  •         Heisenberg Fellow of the German Science Foundation (DFG),   1995-1997
  •         Associate Professor (Microbial Biochemistry), Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, 1997 – 2002
  •         Professor of Microbiology & Bioenergetics, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, 2003



  • Editor, Environmental Microbiology (2016)
  • Editor, Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2015 - )
  • Minireview-Editor, Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2009 - 2014)
  • Editorial Board: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology, Aquatic Systems, Archaea, Frontiers in Microbiology, Extremophiles
  • Scientific advisory board, ZuvaSyntha Ltd (2015 - 2016)
  • Director, Institute of Molecular Biosciences (2005 - 2007)
  • Director, Center of Membrane Proteomics (2007 - 2009)
  • Dean, Faculty of Biosciences (2007 - 2009)
  • Vice Dean, Faculty of Biosciences (2006 - 2007, 2009 - 2010)
  • Board of Trustees (Chair), Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology (2007 - )
  • Board of Trustees, Frankfurt Bio Tech Alliance (2007 - )
  • Advisory Board, German Society for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM) (2013 - 2017)
  • Member, Faculty of 1000 (Chemical Biology) (2013 - 2016)
  • Director, Research Unit 2251: Adaptation and Persistance of the emerging pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii (2014 - )


  •         Ph. D. thesis award, German Society for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM), 1988
  •         Postdoctoral fellowship, German Science Foundation (DFG), 1989
  •         Young Investigator Award (Förderpreis), German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM), 1995
  •         Heisenberg Fellowship, German Science Foundation, 1996
  •       ERC Advanced Investigator Grant, 2017



  •         Member of the Society for General and Applied Microbiology (Germany)
  •         Member of the Society for Microbiology and Hygiene (Germany)
  •         Member of the Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Germany)
  •         Member of the Society for Applied Microbiology (UK)
  •         Member of the American Society for Microbiology (USA)
  •         Member of the International Society for Extremophiles (Germany)




Metabolism and biochemistry of anaerobic microorganisms: Physiology of anaerobic acetogenic bacteria and methanogenic archaea; Bioenergetics of acetogenesis  and methanogenesis; Structure, function and evolution of ATP synthases; ion-motive membrane proteins linked to acetogenesis or methanogenesis; Structure and function of the ion-motive Rnf complex (ferredoxin:NAD+oxidoreductase); Electron bifurcation: a new paradigm in microbial energy conservation; Hydrogenase; Caffeyl-CoA-Reduktase; Biochemistry of acetogenesis and caffeate respiration; Regulation of carbon and electron flow in acetogenic bacteria


Biotechnology/Metabolic engineering: Anaerobic microbes in biotechnological applications: Synthesis of biocommodities via synthesis gas fermentation; genetic engineering and rationale metabolic design; synthetic microbiology; Synthesis and application of organic osmolytes, carotenoids and exoenzymes


Molecular basis of salt adaptation in halotolerant and halophilic microorganisms: Transport and biosynthesis of compatible solutes; Ion homoeostasis; Signalperception and signal transduction chains; Gene activation; Functional genome analyses


Role of chloride in microorganisms: Chloride, a new signal molecule for microbes; Identification of chloride induced genes and proteins; Analyses of the chloride regulon; gene expression; enzyme activation