Cramer, Patrick, Prof. Dr.

Professor, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

  • Study of chemistry at the Universities of Stuttgart and Heidelberg, Research student at the University of Bristol (UK) and Cambridge (UK)
  • 1995 Diploma in chemistry at the University of Heidelberg
  • 1998 Doctorate at the University of Heidelberg/EMBL Grenoble (France)
  • 1995 -1998 Predoctoral fellow in Grenoble (France)
  • 1999 - 2000 postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University (USA)
  • 2001 - 2003 Tenure-track professor of biochemistry at the University of Munich
  • 2004 - 2014 Professor of biochemistry at the University of Munich
  • 2004 - 2013 Director at the Gene Center of the University of Munich (LMU)
  • Since 2014 Director of the Department for Molecular Biology at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry

Major Research Interests

Molecular Biology: from molecular movies to regulatory systems

Gene transcription is the first step in the expression of the genetic information and a focal point for cellular regulation. Our goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms of gene transcription and the principles of genomic regulation in eukaryotic cells. We use integrated structural biology and complementary functional studies to unravel the three-dimensional and functional architecture of large macromolecular complexes involved in transcription. We also develop functional genomics methods and computational approaches to unravel the cellular mechanisms of genomic regulation. These efforts led to a first molecular movie of transcription and provided insights into gene-regulatory cellular networks. Together, these efforts shape the emerging fields of genome biology and molecular systems biology. Our aim is to understand the functional genome as a regulatory network based on the underlying structural and molecular mechanisms.

Homepage Department / Research Group

Selected Recent Publications

  • Vos SM, Farnung L, Urlaub H, Cramer P (2018) Structure of paused transcription complex Pol II-DSIF-NELF. Nature 560, 601-606. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0442-2
  • Vos SM et al., Cramer P (2018) Structure of activated transcription complex Pol II-DSIF-PAF-SPT6. Nature 560, 607-612. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0440-4
  • Schilbach S et al., Cramer P (2017) Structures of transcription pre-initiation complex with TFIIH and Mediator. Nature 551, 204-209. doi:10.1038/nature24282
  • Nozawa K, Schneider TR, Cramer P (2017) Core Mediator structure at 3.4 Å extends model of transcription initiation complex. Nature. 2017 May 11;656(7653):248-251. doi: 10.1038/nature22328. Epub 2017 May 3.
  • Kohler R, Mooney RA, Mills DJ, Landick R, Cramer P (2017) Architecture of a transcribing-translating expressome. Science. 2017 Apr 14; 356(6334):194-197. doi: 10.1126/science.aal.3059.
  • Engel C, Gubbey T, Neyer S, Sainsbury S, Oberthuer C, Baejen C, Bernecky C, Cramer P (2017) Structural Basis of RNA Polymerase I Transcription Initiation. Cell. 2017 Mar 23; 169(1):120-131.e22. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.03.003.
  • Schwalb B, Michel M, Zacher B, Frühauf K, Demel C, Tresch A, Gagneur J, Cramer P (2016) TT-seq maps the human transient genome. Science. 2016 Jun 3; 352(6290):1225-8. doi: 10.1126/science.aad9841.
  • Plaschka C, Hantsche M, Dienemann C, Burzinski C, Plitzko J, Cramer P (2016) Transcription initiation complex structures elucidate DNA opening. Nature. 2016 May 19; 533(7603):353-8. doi: 10.1038/nature17990. Epub 2016 May 11.
  • Bernecky C, Herzog F, Baumeister W, Plitzko JM, Cramer P (2016) Structure of transcribing mammalian RNA polymerase II. Nature. 2016 Jan 28; 529(7587):551-4. doi: 10.1038/nature16482. Epub 2016 Jan 20.