Theo Wallimann

Prof. em. Dr. Theo Wallimann


Retired Adjunct Professor

Contact Data
ORCID: 0000-0003-4957-5836

Organisations Retired Adjunct 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 (CV)

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. Prof. Theo Wallimann was head of the Institute of Cell Biology in 1995 and Deputy Head in 1996. He resigned from his post in June 2008 and since then, is still active as Prof.emeritus.

Born on October 13, 1946 in Alpnach, OW, near Lucerne, Theo Wallimann studied at the Biology Department of the ETH Zurich, where his PhD 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., Dr. Theo Wallimann 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 Publicatons:



ETH Zürich Publications (Habilitations and Dissertations) of former collaborators (ALUMNI) von T. Wallimann

Photo of former members of Wallimann laboratory:

Additional publications concerning Creatine Supplementation:

http://Rosenfluh Medical Publications

Research Awards:

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

Theo Wallimann was awarded by
with the "Leader Award 2023 for Biology and Biochemistry in Switzerland"

International Conferences:

Prof. Theo Wallimann organized together with Prof. Roger Harris, GB, the Internatl. CREATINE-2015 Conference on "Creatine in Health, Sport and Disease" (April 20-25th) held in Laufen, Germany.

The Lectures of the invited speakers held at this Congress have been published in the  Special Issue: "Creatine for Life: in Health, Sport and Medicine" in the Journal "Amino Acids" (Springer Verlag) (Aug.2016) Vol 48 (8):1439-2199 (Issue Editors: Theo Wallimann and Roger Harris).



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)
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 inResearch Collection – Publication platform of ETH Zurich
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