REBIRTH Mitglieder

Gerardy-Schahn, Rita

Gerardy-Schahn, Rita, Prof. Dr. rer. nat.

Cellular Chemistry

Medizinische Hochschule Hannover
Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1
30625 Hannover


Biography / About

Date of Birth:March, 1953
Function:Director of Institute of Clinical Biochemistry


1977Diploma Biochemistry
1985Doctor rerum naturalium
1997Post-doctoral lecturing qualification (Habilitation) Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Academic appointments and Research posts:

1990Research Follow in Microbiology, Hannover Medical School (MHH)
2000 – 2004Professor (C3) Institute for Cellular Chemistry, MHH
2005Professor (W3) Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, MHH

Other professional activities:

2014Board of Directors, Society for Glycobiology
2016Editorial Board Journal of Biological Chemistry
2009Editorial Board Glycobiology
2008 – 2016Panel Member “Study Group Molecular Biology” German Research Foundation

Awards and Prizes:

1995Sir Hans Krebs Prize, Society of Friends of the MHH (Sir Hans Krebs-Prize, Gesellschaft der Freunde der MHH)
1999SmithKline Beechem Award

Major research interests:

  • Glycobiochemistry
  • Vaccine development
  • Enzymology and enzyme engineering
  • Lectins
  • Biomaterials


Our research focuses at enzymes along glycosylation pathways. We identified central factors in these pathways and established unique tools to study glycotopes. Mouse models have been generated to analyze glycan functions at systems level. Our multifaceted expertise in glycosciences is, to the best of my knowledge, unique in Germany.

Selected Publications:

  1. Kallolimath S, Castilho A, Strasser R, Grünwald-Gruber C, Altmann F, Strubl S, Galuska CE, Zlatina K, Werner S, Thiesler H, Werneburg S, Hildebrandt H, Gerardy-Schahn R, Steinkellner H. Engineering of complex protein sialylation in plants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., 2016, 113:9498
  2. Fiebig, T. et al. An efficient cell free enzyme-based total synthesis of a meningococcal vaccine candidate. npj Vaccines, 2016, doi10.1038/npjvaccines.
  3. Kiermaier E, Moussion C, Veldkamp CT, Gerardy-Schahn R, de Vries I, Williams LG, et al., Polysialylation controls dendritic cell trafficking by regulating chemokine recognition. Science. 2016, 351:186-90
  4. Kloos A, Woller N, Gürlevik E, Ureche CI, Niemann J, Armbrecht N, Martin NT, Geffers R, Manns MP, Gerardy-Schahn R, Kuhnel F. PolySia-Specific Retargeting of Oncolytic Viruses Triggers Tumor-Specific Immune Responses and Facilitates Therapy of Disseminated Lung Cancer. Cancer Immunol Res., 2015, 3:751-63.
  5. Keys TG, Fuchs HL, Ehrit J, Alves J, Freiberger F, Gerardy-Schahn R.: Engineering the product profile of a polysialyltransferase. Nat. Chem Biol., 2014, 10:437-42.
  6. Romanow A, Keys TG, Stummeyer K, Freiberger F, Henrissat B, Gerardy-Schahn R.: Dissection of hexosyl- and sialyltransferase domains in the bifunctional capsule polymerases from Neisseria meningitidis W and Y defines a new sialyltransferase family. J Biol Chem., 2014, 289:33945-57.
  7. Schnaar RL, Gerardy-Schahn R, Hildebrandt H. Sialic acids in the brain: gangliosides and polysialic acid in nervous system development, stability, disease, and regeneration. Physiol Rev. 2014, 94:461-518. Review
  8. Tsuchiya A, Lu WY, Weinhold B, Boulter L, Stutchfield BM, Williams MJ, Guest RV, Minnis-Lyons SE, MacKinnon AC, Schwaryer D, Ichida T, Nomoto M, Aoyagi Y, Gerardy-Schahn R, Forbes SJ. Polysialic acid/neural cell adhesion molecule modulates the formation of ductular reactions in liver injury. Hepatology. 2014, 60:1727-40.
  9. Fiebig T, Freiberger F, Pinto V, Romano MR, Black A, Litschko C, Bethe A, Yashunsky D, Adamo R, Nikolaev A, Berti F, Gerardy-Schahn R. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of components of the capsule biosynthesis complex of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A: toward in vitro vaccine production. J Biol Chem. 2014, 289:19395.
  10. Führing J, Cramer JT, Routier FH, Lamerz AC, Baruch P, Gerardy-Schahn R et al. Catalytic Mechanism and Allosteric Regulation of UDP-Glucose Pyrophosphorylase from Leishmania major. ACS Catal, 2013, 3:2976-2985.

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