Tobias Giessen

Tobias Giessen is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He grew up in Germany and attended Philipps-University Marburg in Hesse to study chemistry. Winning an Erasmus Fellowship, he spent two semester at Imperial College London, UK in the group of Alan Armstrong working on the total synthesis of bioactive marine natural products before graduating with a M.Sc. His Ph.D. training was with Mohamed A. Marahiel where he focused on the discovery and biosynthesis of novel antibiotics, graduating in 2013. As a Leopoldina Fellow, he completed his postdoctoral training with Pamela Silver at Harvard Medical School working on the discovery and engineering of microbial protein organelles before joining the University of Michigan in 2019. His lab is currently focused on mining microbial genomes for novel protein organelle systems involved in various cellular functions including stress resistance, detoxification and pathogenicity. By utilizing these newly discovered protein compartments and organelles he aims to design and build functional protein assemblies and integrate them with advanced genetic circuits to tackle real world problems in biomedicine, catalysis and sustainability. These efforts will result in novel living diagnostics and therapeutics, programmable nanomaterials and intracellular nanoreactors. In 2017, he was awarded the Leopoldina Prize from the German National Academy of Sciences.