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Kathrin Lang

Kathrin Lang

Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zurich

  • Full Professor

About Kathrin Lang

Lang lab’s research is based in the interdisciplinary area between chemistry and biology. The lab is especially excited about developing tools – so to say with the rational approach of an organic chemist – to study and manipulate biological processes. Very much in the spirit of Richard Feynman, who coined the saying “What I cannot create, I cannot understand”, Lang lab strives to design and construct artificial biological pathways and devices to unravel the complex world of biology.

Lang’s research takes a multidisciplinary approach and techniques typically span from chemical synthesis to protein engineering and cell biology. They are especially active in enabling and advancing approaches to expand the genetic code to incorporate non-​canonical amino acids beyond the twenty proteinogenic amino acids into proteins and in developing in vivo chemistries that are amenable to physiological conditions, as they are convinced that such a combined approach is ideally suited to address unmet challenges in studying and manipulating biological processes.

Kathrin Lang studied Chemistry at the University of Innsbruck, Austria where she obtained a PhD in 2008 working on chemically modified RNA to study ribosome catalysis and riboswitch folding. After postdoctoral research in the group of Venki Ramakrishnan on ribosome crystallography and in the lab of Jason Chin on synthetic biology at the MRC-​LMB in Cambridge, UK, she was appointed in 2014 as a Rudolf Mössbauer Tenure Track Professor at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, where she was tenured and promoted to permanent W3 Professor for Synthetic Biochemistry in 2020. Since April 2021, she is Full Professor of Chemical Biology at the ETH Zurich, Switzerland.