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Published: 22 Apr, 2022

Umeå chemist is awarded the Karl Freundenberg Prize

NEWS Assistant Professor André Mateus is awarded the Karl Freundenberg Prize by the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences & Humanities for scientific work in the field of science. The prize money is 10,000 euros and the ceremony is in Heidelberg on 21 May.

Text: Ingrid Söderbergh

I am incredibly honored to have been nominated and awarded this prize!

“I am incredibly honored to have been nominated and awarded this prize! It is always exciting when the work you have done is noticed by other researchers. Research is teamwork, so I would also like to thank all colleagues who helped in this work,” says André Mateus, Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry at Umeå University and team leader at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).

He is awardered for his scientific study "The functional proteome landscape of Escherichia coli" which was published in Nature at the end of 2020.

The importance of bacteria for human health in combination with increased antibiotic resistance requires new technology to study all bacterial species. Thermal Protein Profiling, TPP, is based on the principle that protein interactions (for example with drugs, metabolites, proteins or nucleic acids) affect the thermal stability of the protein. André Mateus has used TPP to measure the presence and thermal stability of almost 2,000 proteins in response to 121 genetic disorders in the bacterium Escherichia coli. The data generated in André Mateus' research study enable the mapping of protein function and interactions on a large scale. The approach developed is also easy to apply to other organisms.

The research in André Mateus' lab focuses on studying the function and interactions between proteins from different intestinal bacteria in humans.

“We will use approaches such as those developed in my study to investigate the largely unexplored bacterial species. Right now, many diseases have been associated with disorders of the microbial composition, but it is not clear if these are the cause or consequence of the disease. I hope we will be able to shed light on this by giving a better understanding of what the proteins in these bacteria do and find strategies to modulate their function,” says Andre Mateus.

The prize is shared with researcher Kelvin Anggara, Stuttgart Max Planck Institute.


André Mateus studied Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Lisbon (Portugal). His PhD in Professor Per Artursson’s lab at the Department of Pharmacy, Uppsala University (Sweden) focused on developing a method to measure intracellular unbound drug concentrations, and was successfully defended in 2016. In 2017, André Mateus moved to Heidelberg for a postdoc shared between Dr. Mikhail Savitski’s and Dr. Athanasios Typas’ labs at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). There he applied new biophysical proteomics approaches to study protein interactions in bacteria. Since 2022, André holds a joint position as Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry at Umeå University (Sweden) and Team Leader at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). His newly established lab aims to map protein function and interactions in the understudied species that compose the human gut microbiome, to enable the elimination of species associated with disease.

For more information, please contact:

Andre Mateus
Assistant professor, other position