Ralf Reski

Reski ( born November 18, 1958 in Gelsenkirchen ) is a German Professor of Plant Biotechnology and former Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Albert -Ludwigs- University of Freiburg.


Reski studied Biology, Chemistry and Education at the Universities of Giessen and Hamburg. His doctoral work in genetics he graduated in 1990 from the University of Hamburg, the Habilitation in General Botany followed in 1994. Between 1996 and 1999 he was a Heisenberg Fellow of the German Research Foundation ( DFG).

After offers from domestic and foreign universities, he was appointed professor and full professor at the University of Freiburg in 1999 and was awarded the newly established Department of Plant Biotechnology. Since 2004 he also teaches at the École supérieure de Strasbourg biotechnology ( ESBS ). From 2001 to 2011 he was Director of the Plant Biotechnology Section at the Centre for Applied Biosciences (ZAB ). In 2004 he became a member of the International moss genome consortium. In addition Reski is a founding member of both funded by the Excellence Initiative facilities Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine ( SGBM ) and the Cluster of Excellence Centre for Biological Signalling Studies ( bioss ) Furthermore Reski founding member of the BMBF funded under FORSYS Freiburg Initiative for Systems Biology ( FRISYS ). 2003 Reski member of the Board of BIOPRO Baden- Württemberg GmbH and was appointed in 2009 by Finance Minister Willi Stächele for another term of office, which ended in 2012. From 2007 to 2010 Reski was a member of the Innovation Council of Baden-Württemberg of former Prime Minister and current EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger.

From March 2008 to March 2012 was Reski Chairman of the GNC, the German National Committee biology. In this role he was from September 2008 to March 2012 Member of the Advisory Board of the Association of Biology, Life Sciences and Biomedicine in Germany eV ( VBIO ). At the 30th General Assembly of the International Union of Biological Sciences ( IUBS ) Reski was elected to the enlarged board of this nonprofit organization, where he served until 2012. In 2011 Reski was appointed as a Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies ( FRIAS ) and elected member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences for life.

Reski is one of the co-founders of the Tri-National Institute for Plant Research. Since 2010 he has been elected senator and speaker of the professors in the Academic Senate of the University of Freiburg. 2012 organized Reski the Plant Biology Congress, which was attended by more than 1,000 scientists from 60 countries. Since 2013 Reski Fellow at the University of Strasbourg at the Institute for Advanced Study ( Institut d' Etudes Avancées, Uzziah ).


In his scientific work, Reski mainly studied moss plants apart and studied genetics, proteins, metabolism and specific features in the cellular development of mosses and uses the very efficient Homologous recombination for the production of knockout mosses. With over 140 scientific publications, he played a major role because mosses are used as model organisms in biological research worldwide attention. Thus, the complete genetic material of the moss Physcomitrella patens ( Physcomitrella patens ) has been decrypted December 2007. This work was mainly supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the DFG. In 2010 he founded the International Moss Stock Center ( IMSC ), a biobank that stores and distributes moss plants from around the world. This resource center will award "accession numbers" for the embedded mosses, which may be used for publication purposes.

As biotechnologists Reski and employees identify previously unknown genes and their function for the agriculture and forestry. But the fabrications of complex biopharmaceuticals in the moss bioreactor, the so-called molecular pharming, and their use for the pharmaceutical industry are among his research interests. It uses the working group methods in bioinformatics, systems biology and synthetic biology, as the cluster of excellence bioss and launched by the BMBF program FORSYS.

Reski 2000 coined the term " Plastoskelett " in analogy to the term " cytoskeleton " and thus introduced a new concept in cell biology, such as chloroplasts, the green cell organelles of the plant, change shape and divide.

1999 BASF has invested more than DM 30 million in an initial four -year partnership with Reski to jointly discover novel genes that can make crops more resistant to drought, cold and pests. However, plants with improved ingredients such as vitamins and polyunsaturated fatty acids were in the common research interest.

Also in 1999 Reski was co-founder of the biotechnology company greenovation Biotech GmbH in Freiburg im Breisgau. greenovation has developed a moss bioreactor for the biotechnological production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, which is a safe and affordable alternative to other production systems.

In 2010 Reski and colleagues discovered a new mechanism of gene regulation in eukaryotes, epigenetic gene silencing by microRNAs.

Reski is involved in the Moss clone project, a European funding program which is funded under the Research Framework Programme FP7. This research scientists a new biotechnological process to monitor air quality with mosses. This should serve to improve the current emissions monitoring of air.

Membership of the editorial board of journals

  • 2002-2012: Plant Cell Reports
  • 2004-2005: Plant Biology (Guest Editor )
  • 2008-2013: Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
  • 2010-2012: Biology International