Dr Bertram Daum

Dr Bertram Daum

Research Fellow, (CEMPS), Living Systems Institute

‘I am tremendously excited about being a part of the LSI, and working together with great scientists from multiple disciplines and different parts of the world.’


I undertook my PhD in biological sciences at the University of Frankfurt, specialising in the electron cryo-tomography of bioenergetic membranes. I then became a Postdoctoral Fellow and Project Leader at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in 2014.

Highlights of my career to date:

My PhD research at the MPI of Biophysics in Frankfurt revealed the macromolecular organisation of cristae within whole mitochondria, as well as well as of the chloroplast thylakoid membrane. This research has important implications for our understanding of energy conversion in chloroplasts and mitochondria.

I was honoured to receive the Otto Hahn medal from the Max-Planck Society, as well as the Young Investigator’s Award from the Heinz-Bethge Foundation for Electron Microscopy. In 2013, I was able to investigate the entire infectious cycle of an archaeal virus by cryoEM for the first time. This project sparked my fascination for archaea and was the starting point for my independent career. 

What excites me most about joining the LSI? 

I am looking forward to establishing my own cryoEM research group in this vibrant and interdisciplinary research environment. 

The research work I will be undertaking in the LSI: 

My research focuses on the structural biology of archaea and the molecular mechanisms that determine cell shape, surface attachment, biofilm formation and cellular movement. Using of state-of-the-art electron cryo-microscopy, I am investigating the structure and function of protein complexes that form archaeal cell walls (S-layers) as well as the macromolecular machines that drive the assembly and movement of flagella and pili. This research will help us to understand how archaea thrive in and proliferate through their habitats that range from the most extreme to the ambient, including the human microbiome.   

Something about me that you can’t google! 

I am a very sociable person and enjoy the company of people. I enjoy going out with friends and colleagues and having a good chat and a laugh over a pint of real ale in the pub. I love travelling, to experience the wonders of nature, be it on foot in the countryside, at the sea or on skis in the mountains, and have a passion for nature and wildlife photography. I am really looking forward to moving from my urban home in Germany to the beautiful southwest of the UK.