Tobias Giessen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Biological Chemistry

Office: 3301A MSRB III
Lab: 3323 MSRB III
1150 W. Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5606


(734) 647-3706

Areas of Interest

We are interested in the structure, function, and engineering of large protein assemblies. Our current focus lies on microbial protein organelles and compartments involved in detoxification, nutrient utilization, and natural product biosynthesis, as well as on the discovery and characterization of novel enzymatic transformations and bioactive compounds, specifically antibiotics.

Our interdisciplinary work utilizes techniques and approaches spanning the fields of biochemistry, structural biology (cryo-EM and x-ray crystallography), microbiology, and synthetic biology. It is our mission to discover the molecular principles Nature uses to build living systems and to harness these insights for creating innovations for human health and a more sustainable world.

Some of the questions we are currently pursuing are:

  • What are the roles protein-based organelles play in microbial metabolism?
  • How do protein organelles influence microbial virulence, host-microbe interactions, and subsequently human health and disease?
  • How can we design protein assemblies as functional nanomaterials, nanoreactors, and research tools for cell and structural biology?
  • How can we discover novel antibiotics and enzymes with biomedically and industrially relevant activities from microbial dark matter?

Published Articles or Reviews

Recent Publications

Exploring the Extreme Acid Tolerance of a Dynamic Protein Nanocage.
Jones JA, Andreas MP, Giessen TW.
Biomacromolecules. 2023; 24: 1388–99.

Engineered Protein Nanocages for Concurrent RNA and Protein Packaging In Vivo.
Kwon S, Giessen TW.
ACS Synth Biol. 2022; 11: 3504–15.

Heterologous expression and purification of encapsulins in Streptomyces coelicolor.
Andreas MP, Giessen TW.
MethodsX. 2022; 9: 101787.

In Vitro Synthesis and Reconstitution Using Mammalian Cell-Free Lysates Enables the Systematic Study of the Regulation of LINC Complex Assembly.
Majumder S, Hsu YY, Moghimianavval H, Andreas M, Giessen TW, Luxton GWG, Liu AP.
Biochemistry. 2022; 61: 1495–1507.

Giessen TW.
Annu Rev Biochem. 2022; 91: 353–80.

Pore structure controls stability and molecular flux in engineered protein cages.
Adamson LSR, Tasneem N, Andreas MP, Close W, Jenner EN, Szyszka TN, Young R, Cheah LC, Norman A, MacDermott-Opeskin HI, O'Mara ML, Sainsbury F, Giessen TW, Lau YH.
Sci Adv. 2022; 8: eabl7346.

Triggered Reversible Disassembly of an Engineered Protein Nanocage.
Jones JA, Cristie-David AS, Andreas MP, Giessen TW.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2021; 60: 25034–41.

Large-scale computational discovery and analysis of virus-derived microbial nanocompartments.
Andreas MP, Giessen TW.
Nat Commun. 2021; 12: 4748.

For a list of publications from Pubmed, click HERE

Web Sites