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Herzlich Willkommen in der AG Drews


CV Gerhart Drews

Karl Ludwig Gerhart Drews

Place of Birth: Berlin, Germany
Citizenship: German

1931-1935: Elementary School: 

1935-1943: Schiller- Real-Gymnasium, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Schillerstrasse

Academic career

  • 1946-1951: Studies of Biology, Geography, Chemistry at the Martin-Luther University Halle a.S. 
  • 1953: Thesis work on Phototaxis of Cyanobacteria at the University of Halle, Botany Department, Dr rer. nat.; Thesis Advisor: Prof. Johannes Buder.
  • 1953-1960: Postdoctoral Position, Institute of Microbiology and
    Experimental Therapy in Jena. Discovery of intracytoplasmic membranes in Cyanobacteria and photosynthetic bacteria by electron microscopy.
    Polyphosphate metabolism of Mycobacteria .
  • 1960: Dr. rer. nat. habil. Habilitation (teaching quilification at the university). 
  • 1961-1964: Dozent (Assistance Professor) at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg i.Br.
  • 1963: The offered position of the Professorship for Microbiology at the University Tuebingen was declined.
  • 1964: The professorship (full Profesor) for the newly founded chair for Microbiology at the University of Freiburg Department of Biology was accepted.
    • I served as dean oft he faculty of natural sciences and of the faculty of biology, was member oft the senate of the university.
    • I was member of the grant selection committee for microbiology and chair for the grant selection committee for biology at the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research council) and member of the selection committee of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
  • 1961-1995: Member of the editorial Board of Journal of Bacteriology; co-editor of Archives of Microbiology


Sabattical leaves

  • 1975: Indiana University, Bloomington with Howard Gest, University of California at Los Angeles with June Lascelles and Phil Thornber.
  • 1981: Visiting scholar Harvard University, Cambridge MA, lab of Lawrence Bogorad. 


Membership in Societies

ASM, VAAM (society for general and applied microbiology), Gesellschaft für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Naturforscher und Ärzte (german society for naturalists and physicians).

Meeting organizer

  • Founder of the ISPP (International Symposium on Phototrophic Prokaryotes) together with Norbert Pfennig and Rogier Stanier in Freiburg.
  • Organizer of several international symposia about molecular biology of membranes of photosynthetic bacteria. Retirement Date: September 1993.

Major research fields

Structure, function and development of the photosynthetic apparatus of phototrophic bacteria (Drews G. (2013) Intracytoplasmic membranes of purple bacteria – Assembly of energy-transducing complexes. J. Mol. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 23: 35-47), energy metabolism of phototrophic bacteria, molecular genetic of purple bacteria, chemical composition and biological function of peptidoglycans and lipopolysaccharides, the molecular process of the formation of reaction center and light-harvesting complexes and insertion of wild type and mutated polypeptides into the membrane, energy metabolism of aerobic photosynthetic bacteria. History of microbiology.

Awards and Honors

  • 1997: Honorary doctor, University of Buenos Aires
  • 1999: Heisenberg medal of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • 2001: Honorary member of the Vereinigung für Allgemeine und Angewandte Mikrobiologie (VAAM)



> 200 Research articles in international journals

> 100 Review articles, meeting reports and articles in books 


  • Drews, G. (1968) Mikrobiologisches Praktikum für Naturwissenschaftler, 1. Aufl. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg.

  • Drews, G. (1983) Mikrobiologisches Praktikum, 4. Ed., 265 S. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, Berlin, New York, Tokyo.

  • Lengeler JW, Drews G, Schlegel HG, eds. (1999) Biology oft he Prokaryotes, Thieme Publ. Stuttgart.

  • Drews, G. (2002) Reflektionen eines Biologen auf seine Zeit. Verlag Dr. Kovač, Hamburg, ISBN 3-8300-0605-5, 181 p

  • Drews, G., Adam, G., Heinze, C. (2004) Molekulare Pflanzenvirologie, Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 262 S., ISBN 3-540-00661-3

  • Drews G (2010) Mikrobiologie. Die Entdeckung der unsichtbaren Welt. 245 S., 32 Abb. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg. ISBN 978-3-642-10756-6

  • Drews, G. (2015) Bacterien – ihre Entdeckung und Bedeutung für Natur und Mensch, 2. Aufl.Springer Verlag, Heidelberg ISBN 978-3-662-45326-1

Articles about History of Microbiology

  • Drews, G. (1998) Zweihundert Jahre Photosyntheseforschung. Naturwiss. Rdsch. 51: 417-424.

  • Drews, G. (1998) Ferdinand Cohn, ein Wegbereiter der modernen Mikrobiologie und Pflanzenphysiologie. Freiburger Universitätsblätter, 142: 29-84.

  • Drews, G. (1999) Ferdinand Cohn, a founder of modern microbiology. ASM News 65: 547-553. 

  • Drews, G. (1999) Ferdinand Cohn: a Promoter of Modern Microbiology. Nova Acta Leopoldina NF 80, Nr. 312, 13-43

  • Drews, G. (2000) The roots of microbiology and the influence of Ferdinand Cohn on microbiology of the 19th century. FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 24: 225-249.

  • Drews, G. (2001) The Developmental Biology of Fungi – A New Concept Introduced By Anton de Bary. Adv. Appl. Microbiol. 48:213 – 227

  • Drews, G. (2000) Anton de Bary, ein bedeutender Biologe, lehrte in Freiburg, Halle und Straßburg. Freiburger Universitätsblätter 149: 5-25.

  • Drews, G. (2004) Anton de Bary, a Pioneer of Modern Mycology. FEMS Circular 55:10-11

  • Drews G (2005) Contributions of Theodor Wilhelm Engelmann on phototaxis, chemotaxis and photosynthesis. Photosynth. Res 83:25-34

  • Drews G (2013) de Bary, Heinrich Anton. eLS John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Chichester DOI:10. 1002/9780470015902.a0025051. June 2013, pp. 1-6

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