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Theo Wallimann

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Prof. Dr. Theo Wallimann
Relationship Retired Honorary Professor since 2008  
Address -
Contact Data
Organisation Retired Honorary Professor at the Department of Biology
Research Field

Past Research concentrated on the area of: “Energy homeostasis in cells, tissues and organs"

  • The molecular structure, function, physiology & the subcellular compartmentation of Creatine Kinase (CK) Isoenzymes and Creatine Transporter (CR, SLC6A8) in tissues of high & fluctuating energy turnover.

  • The mechanisms of cell-enhancing & cell-protective effects of Creatine Supplementation in health (muscle strength, learning & memory) diseases (rehabilitation, neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders) and for enhancing quality of life.

  • The molecular structure and physiology of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), for cellular energy homeostasis & nutritional signalling, relevant for type-2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and cancer.

  • Micro-compartmentation, functional coupling & metabolite channelling by multi-enzyme complexes for maintenance & regulation of cellular energetics.

Curriculum Vitae

Theo A. Wallimann worked as a research group leader and staff member at the Institute of Cell Biology at the ETH Zurich, where he qualified as a lecturer (with habilitation: in 1984 and was awarded the title of Professor in 1994. He was head of the Institute in 1995 and Deputy Head in 1996. He resigned from his post in June 2008 and is active as Prof.emeritus, ever since


Born on October 13, 1946 in Alpnach, OW, near Lucerne, Theo Wallimann studied at the Biology Department of the ETH Zurich, where his dissertation ( in the laboratory of Prof. Hans M. Eppenberger was awarded with distinction and the ETH medal in 1975. Supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, U.S.A., he then worked from 1975 - 1981 as a postdoctoral research associate with Prof. A.G.Szent-Györgyi in the Biology Dept. at Brandeis University in Boston, Mass.,U.S.A. on the subject of "myosin-linked calcium regulation of muscle contraction". In 1981, he took up teaching and research as a senior assistant at the Institute of Cell Biology of the ETH Zurich in the areas of muscle biochemistry, bioenergetics and molecular physiology of Creatine Kinases (CK).

The main emphasis of Prof. Wallimann's multidisciplinary research was on the ultrastructural localization, molecular structure and physiological function of creatine kinase (CK), creatine transporter (CRT) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) isoenzymes in cells with high and fluctuating energy requirements, e.g. skeletal and heart muscle, nerve cells, photoreceptors, electrocytes and spermatozoa. The involvement of CK, CRT and AMPK in a number of diseases and the question of whether these enzymes may represent valid targets for pharmacological intervention have been explored. Creatine (Kreatin) metabolism, creatine uptake via CRT as well as creatine supplementation in health and disease were investigated and research on the structure, function and regulation of CRT and AMPK with respect to their key regulatory roles in cellular energy metabolism represented a new line of research.

Further details can be seen in the Review: "The creatine kinase system and pleiotropic effects of creatine" published in Amino Acids 2011, 40(5):1271-96 (

A broad network of international collaborations has been established and a number of publications on the above subjects have been published.

List of publications:

Citation Metrics:

ETH Zurich Publications (Habilitations and PhD theses) of ALUMNI of T. Wallimann

Additional publications concerning creatine supplementation:

Research Awards:
Theo Wallimann is the recipient of the Alfred Vogt Price 2005:


Organizer of the Internatl. CREATINE-2015 Conference, April 23-27, 2015, in Laufen, Germany, near Salzburg, Austria

Membership From: 1978 Until: - Cell Biology Association USA
From: 1976 Until: - Biophysical Society USA
From: 1975 Until: 2008 Union of Swiss Society for Experimental Biology (USGEB)
Honours 2005 Price of Alfred Vogt Foundation   »
  1975 Price and Medal for excellent PhD thesis at the ETH Zurich   »
Additional Information

Past teaching at ETH Zurich


1986 – 2000
:  Lecturer for Cell Biology VI: Macromolecular Systems, Muscle Biochemistry and Physiology,
Calcium signaling and muscle energetics for 6th & 8th semester and graduate students

2000 – 2008
: Lecturer for Cell Biology V: Macromolecular assembly of biological systems, molecular events in muscle contraction and cell motility for 5th and 7th semester and graduate students

Practical laboratory courses:

1983 – 2000
: Instructor for Basic Course in Developmental Biology (in vivo sea urchin fertilization and embryonic developmental & chicken embryo development) for 200-300 2nd Sem. students in Biol., Biochem. & Agricultural sciences

: Instructor for Practical Courses in Basic Biology II  with practical experiments concerning muscle structure & function, myogenesis, muscle fibers, muscle contraction and muscle energetics for 150-200 4th Sem. students of Biol., Biochem. & Pharmacy

1982 – 2008
: Laboratory courses in Experimental Cell Biology & Experimental Molecular Cell Biology
for 80 -120  6th Sem. students of Biology, Mol.Biol. & Biochemistry

Publications in ETH E-Citations - Institutional bibliography of the ETH-Bibliothek
Knowledge Portal - Catalogue of the ETH-Bibliothek, ETH E-Collection and additional resources

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