Andreas Engel

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See Andreas Angelus for the 16th-century chronicler.
Andreas Engel
Andreas Engel 2009.jpg
Andreas Engel (2009)
Nationality Swiss
Scientific career
Fields Structural biology
Institutions Johns Hopkins University, Biozentrum University of Basel

Andreas Engel is a Swiss structural biologist and co-founder of the Maurice E. Müller Institute for Structural Biology at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel.


Engel studied physics and mathematics in Bern (PhD 1972) and at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. In 1974 he joined the Biozentrum Basel. In 1986, after work in industry, he became Professor for Structural Biology. Engel and Ueli Aebi established the Maurice E. Müller Institute for Structural Biology.[1] After becoming professor emeritus in 2010,[2] Engel joined the Case Western Reserve University, to build up the Cleveland Center for Membrane and Structural Biology.[3] He now works at the Bionanoscience Department[4] of the TU Delft. Engel loves to ski, climb, and sketch.


Engel pioneered the application of scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) to image biomolecular complexes. Mass measurements using STEM, 2-dimensional crystallization of membrane proteins, cryo-electron crystallography and AFM were applied to study the structure of supramolecular assemblies [5]. Gram negative and positive pathogens, as well as bacterial envelopes were analyzed. Fujiyoshi and Engel solved the structure of Aquaporin-1 in collaboration with Agre.[5] Together with Palczewski Engel’s team discovered the packing arrangement of rhodopsin in the retina.[6] Engel developed the first curriculum in nanoscale sciences that attracted many young talents to the University of Basel. Similar programs have since been implemented in many top universities.

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 1996 Elected Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization
  • 1999 Max Gruber Lecture, Groningen
  • 2006 Karl Friederich Bonhoeffer Lecture, Göttingen
  • 2006 Edmund de Rothschild Lecture, Paris
  • 2012 Doctor Medicinae Honoris Causa, Aarhus University[7]


  1. ^ Müller SA, Engel A (January 2012). "Looking back at a quarter-century of research at the Maurice E. Müller Institute for Structural Biology". J. Struct. Biol. 177 (1): 3–13. doi:10.1016/j.jsb.2011.11.013. PMID 22115996. 
  2. ^ "Farewell Symposium for Andreas Engel". Retrieved 2015-10-15. 
  3. ^ "Case Western Reserve University, Department of Pharmacology". Archived from the original on 2014-02-28. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  4. ^ "TU Delft, People Bionanoscience Department". Archived from the original on 2014-02-23. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  5. ^ "Aquaporin water channels – from atomic structure to clinical medicine". The Journal of Physiology. 542 (1): 3–16. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2002.020818. PMC 2290382Freely accessible. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  6. ^ "Structure of the rhodopsin dimer: a working model for G-protein-coupled receptors" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  7. ^ "Honorary Doctor Andreas Engel". Archived from the original on 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 

External links[edit]