Christopher studied general biology at the University of Tübingen, Germany and Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA with a research visit at the UMDNJ (now part of Rutgers), NJ, USA. He graduated from Tübingen with a major in microbiology and minors in biochemistry and cell biology.
He continued to pursue a PhD in microbiology at the University of Tübingen in the group of PD Dr. Ralph Bertram and Prof. Dr. Friedrich Götz where he focused on the role and activity of toxin-antitoxin systems from Staphylococci. His research identified active toxin-antitoxin systems in a non-pathogenic Staphylococcus species, challenging the idea that these systems are mainly involved in pathogenicity. He also investigated the mazEF toxin-antitoxin system from Staphylococcus aureus in more detail, to identify RNAs cleaved by the RNase toxin component, look into the regulatory feedback to the SigB sigma factor and probe the contribution of the TA system to beta-lactam sensitivity.
Christopher’s PhD worked had sparked an interest in prokaryotic signal transduction and regulation and brought him to his current post as a research associate in the group of Prof. Dr Angelika Gründling. Here, he investigated a novel target protein of the essential second messenger c-di-AMP named OpuC and this discovery has now linked c-di-AMP to S. aureus osmoprotection via the uptake of compatible solutes.
Christopher also enjoys communicating his science to the general public. An example of this can be found in the video below summarizing his latest research:
Currently, he funded by a 2 year Research Fellowship by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
More information and contact information can be found on his professional webpage.
Schuster C, Howard S, Grundling A, Use of the counter selectable marker PheS* for genome engineering in Staphylococcus aureus, Microbiology, ISSN:1350-0872
et al., 2018, Inactivation of the monofunctional peptidoglycan glycosyltransferase SgtB allows Staphylococcus aureus to survive in the absence of lipoteichoic acid, Journal of Bacteriology, Vol:201, ISSN:0021-9193
et al., 2018, Cyclic-di-adenosine monophosphate (c-di-AMP) is required for osmotic regulation in Staphylococcus aureus but dispensable for viability in anaerobic conditions, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol:293, ISSN:0021-9258, Pages:3180-3200
et al., 2016, New Insights into the Cyclic di-Adenosine Monophosphate (c-di-AMP) Degradation Pathway and the Requirement of the Cyclic-Dinucleotide for Acid Stress Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus., Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol:291, ISSN:1083-351X, Pages:26970-26986
et al., 2016, The second messenger c-di-AMP inhibits the osmolyte uptake system OpuC in Staphylococcus aureus, Science Signaling, Vol:9, ISSN:1945-0877, Pages:ra81-ra81