Stefan Grotzinger

Alumni and Former Staff

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests

The Red Sea brine pools provide unique conditions including absence of oxygen, high salt content (4.5M), high temperature (70˚C), high content of heavy metals, ideal for the discovery of novel biocatalysts and to understand the fundamental limits of life. Our goal is to discover, identify, produce and characterize proteins from these locations, understand the mechanism of their function and alter it towards our needs. 

Selected Publications

  • Production of halophilic proteins using Haloferax volcanii H1895 in a stirred tank bioreactor
    Grötzinger SW, Strillinger E, Allers T, Eppinger J, Weuster Botz D
    Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol, (2015)
  • Polyglutamine Toxicity in Yeast Induces Metabolic Alterations and Mitochondrial Defects
    Papsdorf K, Kaiser CJO, Drazic A, Grötzinger SW, Häßner C, Eisenreich W, Richter K
    BMC Genomics, (2015)
  • Mining a database of single amplified genomes from Red Sea brine pool extremophiles—improving reliability of gene f...
    Grötzinger SW, Alam I, Ba Alawi W, Bajic VB, Stingl U, Eppinger J
    Front. Microbiol, (2014)
  • A network of genes connects polyglutamine toxicity to ploidy control in yeast.
    Kaiser, C.J.O., Grötzinger, S.W., Eckl, J.M., Papsdorf, K., Jordan, S., Richter, K.
    Nat. Commun., (2013) 


  • since 2012 Ph.D., Biosciences in a joint degree program between KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia and TUM, Munich, Germany
  • Master of Science, in Biochemistry, TUM, Munich, Germany, 2012
  • Bachelor of Science, in Biochemistry, TUM, Munich, Germany, 2012

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • Society for Biochemistry and Molecular biology [GBM], Germany


  • 2015 1st poster prize at the international 15th FEBS-YSF congress in Berlin
  • 2015 Career council [KAUST] travel grant for the 6th University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Hong Kong
  • 2015 GBM full grant and for the Young Scientist Forum and FEBS Congress in Berlin
  • 2014 One of the 11 KAUST student representatives on the KAUST main webpage
  • 2013 Selected and awarded participant for the first leadership development program at KAUST
  • 2012 KAUST Graduate Fellowship
  • 2012 Honours degree in Biochemistry
  • 2012 Fellowship of IGSSE joint degree program between KAUST and TUM

KAUST Affiliations

  • KAUST Catalysis Center (KCC)
  • Division of Physical Science and Engineering (PSE)

Research Interests Keywords

biochemistry Extremophiles microbiology Biocatalysis proteins Bioinformatics Biotechnology bioreactors Crystallography