Georg Hochberg

Georg Hochberg

Dr. Georg Hochberg

Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
Evolutionary Biochemistry Group
Hans-Meerwein-Straße 4
35032 Marburg
+49-6421 28 25623

Research Area

Cells are filled with a dazzling diversity of proteins that can seem exquisitely tuned to their functions. How did evolution produce this diversity? Is it the result millions of years of fine-tuning, or does it reflect a more erratic process that tends to produce Rube Goldberg-like machines replete with gratuitous complexity? Our lab tackles these questions using the evolution of protein complexes as our model system. We use ancestral sequence reconstruction to resurrect long extinct protein complexes and characterize their structure and function using a combination of high-resolution biophysical techniques and high-throughput characterization of protein libraries.


Evolutionary biology
Protein complexes
Ancestral sequence reconstruction

Recent Publications, Last 3 Years

1. Malay, A.D., Miyazaki N., Biela, A., Chakraborti, S., Majsterkiewicz, K., Stupka, I., Kaplan, C.S., Kowalczky, A., Piette, B.M.A, Hochberg, G.K.A., Wu, D., Wrobel , T.P., Fineber, A., Kuwask, M.S., Kelemen, M., Vavpetic, P., Pelicon, P., Kukura, P., Benesch, J.L.P., Iwasaki, Heddle, J.G. (2019)
An ultra-stable gold-coordinated protein cage displaying reversible assembly. Nature, 569, 438-44

2. Hochberg G.K.A.*, Shepherd, D.A. *, Marklund, E.G. *, Santhanagoplan, I., Degiacomi, M.T., Laganowksy, A., Allison, T.M., Basha, E., Marty, M.T., Galpin, M.R., Struwe, W.B., Baldwin, A.J., Vierling, E., Benesch, J L.P. (2018)
Structural principles that enable oligomeric small heat-shock protein paralogs to evolve distinct functions. Science (2018), 359: 930-935. * Equal contribution

3. Hochberg, G.K.A., Thornton, J.W. (2017)
Reconstructing Ancient Proteins to Understand the Causes of Structure and Function. Annu.Rev.Biophys., 22: 247-269. F1000 recommended. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-biophys-070816-033631

SYNMIKRO Young Researchers Groups

Almost all scientific members of SYNMIKRO are actively involved in DFG’s Collaborative Research Centers (Sonderforschungsbereiche), Research Training Groups (Graduiertenkollegs), or other Cooperative Research projects. Alongside performing adventurous experiments, and reporting excellent science, SYNMIKRO substantially promotes potential Young Research Group Leaders by constantly keeping its doors open to welcome and support Young Researchers planning to set up an Independent Research Group.
Our Young Research Groups