Severin Sasso: Curriculum vitae



Education and Research Experience

Since 2017:     Principal investigator (Akademischer Rat) at the Friedrich Schiller University, Jena (Germany); faculty member of the Jena School for Microbial Communication (JSMC) (since 2011) and the Collaborative Research Center 'Chemical Mediators in Complex Biosystems' (SFB 1127) (since 2014)
2011 - 2017:              Junior Professor of Molecular Botany at the Friedrich Schiller University, Jena
2010 - 2011:       Postdoctoral fellow in the laboratories of Prof. Christian Hertweck at the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (HKI) and Prof. Maria Mittag at the Institute of General Botany and Plant Physiology at the Friedrich Schiller University, Jena  
2007 - 2010:      Postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Alison Smith at the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge (UK)  
2002 - 2007:      Ph.D. student and postdoctoral fellow in the laboratories of Prof. Peter Kast and Prof. Donald Hilvert at the ETH Zürich (Switzerland) 
1997 - 2002:      Undergraduate student in chemistry at the ETH Zürich  




2009 - 2011:              Fellowship for advanced researchers from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) 
2007 - 2008:      Fellowship for prospective researchers from the Swiss National Science Foundation



Selected Publications

On algal metabolism and cell biology:

Sasso S., Stibor H., Mittag M., Grossman A.R., The natural history of model organisms: from molecular manipulation of domesticated Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to survival in nature, eLife 7, e39233 (2018)

Heimerl N.1), Hommel E.1), Westermann M., Meichsner D., Lohr M., Hertweck C., Grossman A.R., Mittag M., Sasso S., A giant type I polyketide synthase participates in zygospore maturation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Plant J. 95, 268-281 (2018)

Aiyar P., Schaeme D., García-Altares M., Carrasco-Flores D., Dathe H., Hertweck C., Sasso S.2), Mittag M.2), Antagonistic bacteria disrupt calcium homeostasis and immobilize algal cells, Nat. Commun. 8, 1756 (2017)

Hirth M., Liverani S., Mahlow S., Bouget F.-Y., Pohnert G., Sasso S., Metabolic profiling identifies trehalose as an abundant and diurnally fluctuating metabolite in the microalga Ostreococcus tauri, Metabolomics 13, 68 (2017)

Müller N., Wenzel S., Zou Y., Künzel S., Sasso S., Weiß D., Prager K., Grossman A., Kottke T., Mittag M., A plant cryptochrome controls key features of the Chlamydomonas circadian clock and its life cycle, Plant Physiol. 174, 185-201 (2017)

Helliwell K.E., Lawrence A.D., Holzer A., Kudahl U.J., Sasso S., Kräutler B., Scanlan D.J., Warren M.J., Smith A.G., Cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae use different chemical variants of vitamin B12, Curr. Biol. 26, 999-1008 (2016)

Shelest E., Heimerl N., Fichtner M., Sasso S., Multimodular type I polyketide synthases in algae evolve by module duplications and displacement of AT domains in trans, BMC Genomics 16, 1015 (2015)

Hom E.F.Y., Aiyar P., Schaeme D., Mittag M., Sasso S., A chemical perspective on microalgal-microbial interactions, Trends Plant Sci. 20, 689-693 (2015)

Sasso S., Shelest E., Hoffmeister D., Comments on the distribution and phylogeny of type I polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases in eukaryotes, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 111, E3946 (2014)

Helliwell K.E., Scaife M.A., Sasso S., Araujo A.P.U., Purton S., Smith A.G., Unraveling vitamin B12-responsive gene regulation in algae, Plant Physiol. 165, 388-397 (2014)

Beel B., Prager K., Spexard M., Sasso S., Weiss D., Müller N., Heinnickel M., Dewez D., Ikoma D., Grossman A.R., Kottke T., Mittag M., A flavin-binding cryptochrome photoreceptror responds to both blue and red light in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Plant Cell 24, 2992-3008 (2012)

Sasso S., Pohnert P., Lohr M., Mittag M., Hertweck C., Microalgae in the postgenomic era: a blooming reservoir for new natural products, FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 36, 761-785 (2012) (addendum: FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 37, 284 (2013))

Kazamia E., Czesnick H., Nguyen T.T., Croft M.T., Sherwood E., Sasso S., Hodson S.J., Warren M.J., Smith A.G., Mutualistic interactions between vitamin B12-dependent algae and heterotrophic bacteria exhibit regulation, Environ. Microbiol. 14, 1466-1476 (2012)


On the bacterial shikimate pathway:

Roderer K., Neuenschwander M., Codoni G., Sasso S., Gamper M., Kast P., Functional mapping of protein-protein interactions in an enzyme complex by directed evolution, PLoS ONE 9, e116234 (2014)

Sasso S.1), Ökvist M.1), Roderer K., Gamper M., Codoni G., Krengel U., Kast P., Structure and function of a complex between chorismate mutase and DAHP synthase: efficiency boost for the junior partner, EMBO J. 28, 2128-2142 (2009)

Sasso S., Ramakrishnan C., Gamper M., Hilvert D., Kast P., Characterization of the secreted chorismate mutase from the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, FEBS J. 272, 375-389 (2005)


Theoretical work:

Schuster S., Fichtner M., Sasso S., Use of Fibonacci numbers in lipidomics - Enumerating various classes of fatty acids, Sci. Rep. 7, 39821 (2017)


1) equal contribution

2) joint correspondence



(last updated on 1 November 2018)