Nuška Tschammer, Ph.D.

Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy
Emil Fischer Center
Friedrich Alexander University
Schuhstraße 19
D-91052 Erlangen

Room: 2.014
Tel.: +49-(0)9131-85-23931


Chemokine receptors are G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which regulate the immune cell trafficking and control a multiplicity of processes in health and disease, ranging from immunosurveillance to inflammation, and from viral infection to cancer. Small-molecular-weight compounds which disrupt cell migration appear particularly promising for the management and treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer. Also viruses like HCMV encode viral G-protein coupled receptors (vGPCRs), which couple very efficiently to signalling networks, are often highly homologous with hosts’ chemokine receptors, and augment virus survival, host invasion and, in some cases, promote oncogenesis or cardiovascular disease. In the contrast to chemokines small synthetic ligands bind to the chemokine receptors at the allosteric site(s) inside the hydrophobic pocket formed by transmembrane helices. The mechanism of allosteric modulation raises the possibility of designing novel ligands, which differentially activate downstream signaling pathways and thus promote desired therapeutic action with reduced unwanted effects

To advance the understanding of the allosteric modulation of human and viral chemokine receptors, we focus our efforts on the identification of molecular determinants involved in the allosteric modulation of these receptors. With the combination of site-directed mutagenesis, novel allosteric modulators, mass spectrometry and various functional assays (ranging from measuring the activation of G proteins, changes in secondary messenger release/production, β arrestin 2 recruitment, receptor internalization and changes at the transcriptional level) we are able to show that it is essential to differentiate between chemical modifications that influence the affinity of the allosteric modulator from those that influence the cooperativity related to endogenous ligands, as these properties are not necessarily correlated. In some cases allosteric modulators may impose bias on the signaling of an orthosteric ligand. Additionally, these approaches will be coupled to the state-of-the-art spectroscopic methods to investigate the receptor dynamics and ligand-induced conformational changes in live cells and artificial systems. 

Up to day is not yet clear to what extend the effect of biased signaling can be exploited for therapeutic advantage. Because of that reason our ultimate goal is to identify highly selective allosteric modulators with biased signaling profile and excellent pharmacological properties for the testing in animal disease models.



  • Dec. 2011     Habilitandin, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Emil Fisher Center, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen - Nürnberg
  • 2011-2011    Senior Researcher/Independent Research group Leader, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Emil Fisher Center, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen - Nürnberg
  • 2008-2010    Posdoctoral Researcher, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Emil Fisher Center, Working Group of Prof. Dr. Peter Gmeiner, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen - Nürnberg, Germany 
  • 2004-2007    Biomolecular Science Center, Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Florida, Orlando, USA: PhD in Biomolecular Sciences; Working Group of Dr. Annette Khaled
  • 2002-2003    Research Assistant, Klinikum Großhadern of the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Working Group of Prof. Dr. Michael Hallak
  • 1999-2002    Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Maribor, Slovenia:  Master of Science (chemical technology – chemistry of  polymer membranes). 
  • 1999-1999    Phillips - University of Marburg, Department of Biology, Project Work, Working Group of Prof. Dr. Harald Plachter
  • 1998-1998    Mississippi State University, Department of Biology, Summer Research, Working Group of Prof. Dr. Ronn G. Altig
  • 1993-1998    Pedagogical Faculty, University of Maribor, Slovenia: Maribor, Slovenia; biology and chemistry; Degree: diploma (bachelor) degree in biology and chemistry
  • 1989-1993    High School Programme: Celje, Slovenia; Sciences and mathematics


  • Prof. Dr. Marko Anderluh, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Dr. Yves Auberson, Executive Director, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Global Discovery Chemistry, Basel
  • Prof. Dr. Armin Buschauer, Institute of Pharmacy, University of Regensburg
  • Prof. Dr. Jesus Giraldo, Institute of Neuroscience, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Dr. Thomas Michael Frimurer, The Novo Nordisk Foundation, Center for Protein Research, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Prof. Dr. Markus Heinrich, Chair of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Erlangen-Nuernberg, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Carsten Hopf, Institute for Instrumental Analytics and Bioanalytics, Mannheim University of Applied Sciences
  • Dr. Ali Jazayeri, HEPTARES Therapeutics, Welwyn Garden City, UK 
  • Dr.  Peter Kolb, Medicinal Chemistry, University of Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Don Lamb, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
  • Prof. Dr. Otto Phanstiel, Department of Chemistry, University of Central Florida, Orlando, USA
  • Prof. Dr. Mette Rosenkilde, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Prof. Dr. Vahid Sandoghdar, Max Planck Institute for Science of Light, Erlangen
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Stamminger, Institute for Clinical and Molecular Virology, University Hospital Erlangen


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GRK 1962
SFB 796
COST Action CM1207: GLISTEN: GPCR-Ligand Interactions, Structures, and Transmembrane Signalling, a European Research Network

Elitenetzwerk Bayern: The International Graduate Program Receptor Dynamics: Emerging Paradigms for Novel Drugs


  • 2015: “Biased signaling in the  chemokine receptor CXCR3”, EFMC session,  EUFEPS Annual Meeting - System Approaches for Better Medicines and Health, June 15-17, Geneva, Switzerland (invited plenary lecture)
  • 2015: Allostery at the Chemokine Receptor CXCR3: Discovery of First Highly Potent Biased Negative and Positive Allosteric Modulators, Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry, March 15-18, 2015, Marburg, (invited plenary lecture)
  • 2014: “Boronic acids as probes for exploration of allosteric regulation of the chemokine receptor CXCR3” DPhG Jahrestagung, Frankfurt, September 23-26  (invited)
  • 2014: “Allosteric modulation of the chemokine receptor CXCR3“, September 8, Department of Pharmacy, University of Copenhagen (invited)
  • 2014: “Allosteric modulation of the chemokine receptors“, DPhG-Kolloquium, July 1, Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, University of Hamburg (invited)
  • 2013: "Allosteric modulation of the chemokine CXCR3 receptor“, RICT 2013: International Conference on Medicinal Chemistry, Drug Discovery and Selection, When Chemical Biology Meets Drug Design”, July 3-5, Nice, France (invited)
  • 2013: "Allosteric modulation of the chemokine receptors“, GPCR Meeting, June 24-25, Amsterdam, The Netherland (invited)
  • 2013: "Allosteric modulation of the G protein coupled-receptors“, Seminar, June 18, Technische Hochschule Mannheim (invited)
  • 2013: "Allosteric modulation of the G protein coupled-receptors“, Interview for the W3 Professorship, April 19 2013, Institute of Pharmacy, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg (invited)
  • 2012: "The Quest for New Drugs: Medicinal Chemistry of Chemokine Receptors”, November 14, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Maribor, Slovenia (invited)
  • 2012: "Allosteric modulation of GPCRs: Chemokine receptor CXCR3 as an example”, 6th Summer School Medicinal Chemistry, September 26-28, Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Regensburg, Germany (invited)
  • 2012: Allosteric modulation of chemokine receptors" Colloquium of “Deutsche Pharmazeutische Gesellschaft - Regionalgruppe Marburg“, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany  (invited)
  • 2011: On the way to new drugs: Medical chemistry of dopamine receptors”, VII. Conference of Slovenian scientists and economist from the world and Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia (invited)
  • 2010: Rational design of functionally selective ligands for the dopamine D2 receptor", 14th Joint Meeting of the Signal Transduction Society: Signal Transduction: Receptors, Mediators and Genes, Weimar, Germany 
  • 2010: Dopamine D2 Receptor: The role of conserved aromatic cluster in ligand-directed signaling”, Joint event of MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando, Biomolecular Science Center of University of Central Florida and Sanford/Burnham Medical Research Institute, Orlando, Florida, USA  (invited)
  • 2010: Rational design of functionally selective ligands for the dopamine D2 receptor”, Signal Transduction Society Meeting 2010, Weimar, Germany
  • 2008: Highly conserved residues within the binding pocket contribute to the molecular selectivity between the dopamine D2 and D3 receptor subtypes” Neuroscience Meeting 2008, Washington, D.C., USA


  • 2015: Innovation Award in Medicinal Chemistry, Section Medicinal Chemistry of DPhG and GDCh
  • 2014: Womens Award of Faculty of Life Sciences, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen
  • 2004-2005: Merit Fellowship, University of Central Florida, Orlando, USA
  • 2002-2003: Fellowship for Young Researchers, Slovenian Ministry of Science


  • In Vitro Assay-Systems I-III; Molecular Life Science - Masterphase: Modul Drug Discovery
  • Stereochemistry: Pharmacy - Foundation Course
  • Electives Medicinal Chemistry: Biopharmacy/Bioassays
  • Workshop Presentation Skills: Emil Fischer Graduate Programme of Pharmaceutical Science and Molecular Medicine


Doctoral students:
Regine Brox, doctoral student
Room: 1.017
Tel.: +49-(0)9131-85-22595

Research area:
Ligand-directed signaling of CXCR3 (GRK 1910)
Monica de Maria, doctoral student
Room: 2.014
Tel.: +49-(0)9131-85-22931

Research area:
Chemokine receptors – lipid interactions (GRK1962)
Theresa Frank, doctoral student
Room: 1.017
Tel.: +49-(0)9131-85-22595

Research area:
Functional selectivity as a result of viral chemokine receptor heteromerization (SFB796)
Tizita Haimanot Admas, doctoral student
Room: 2.014
Tel.: +49-(0)9131-85-22931

Research area:
CXCR3 Project II
Lampros Milanos, doctoral student
Room: 2.006
Tel.: +49-(0)9131-85-22588

Research area
Synthesis of allosteric modulators of CXCR3 (GRK 1910)

Former group members:

Dr. Viachaslau Bernat,

- Best Poster Award, EFMC Meeting, Berlin 2012
- Current employment: Research Associate, Department of Chemistry,The Scripps Research Institute, Jupiter, Florida, USA2

Elif Kurt

Current employment: PhD student, Erlangen Catalysis & Resource Center, Technical Faculty, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen
Dr. rer. nat. Ana Kralj

- Krka award for the outstanding research results 2013
  (Krka, Pharmaceutical Company, Slovenia)
- current employment:
  Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d., Ljubljana, Slovenia


2012: 502-61.3-37/12 Flavonoid-based Antiviral Agents (joined patent with Otto Phanstiel IV., University of Central Florida)


  1. TSCHAMMER, N.: Allosteric modulators of the class A G protein coupled receptors. In: Protein Targeting Compounds - Prediction, Selection and Activity of Specific Inhibitors, 2015. Ed.: T. Böldicke, Springer Verlag, accepted.
  2. GROß, A., BROX, R. DAMM, D., TSCHAMMER, N., SCHMIDT, B., EICHLER, J.:  Ligand selectivity of a synthetic CXCR4 mimic. Bioorg. & Med. Chem., 2015, doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2015.03.003.
  3. BERNAT, V., BROX, R. HEINRICH, M.R., AUBERSON,Y.P., TSCHAMMER, N.:  Ligand biased and probe-dependent modulation of the chemokine receptor CXCR3 signaling by negative allosteric modulators. ChemMedChem. 2105, 10(3): 566-574. doi:10.1002/cmdc.201402507.
  4. SCHMIDT, D., BERNAT, V., BROX, R., TSCHAMMER, N.,* KOLB, P.*: Identifying Modulators of CXC Receptors 3 and 4 with Tailored Selectivity using Multi-Target Docking. ACS Chem. Biol., 2015, 10(3): 715-724. doi: 10.1021/cb500577j. * - corresponding author
  5. TSCHAMMER, N.*, KENAKIN, T., CHRISTOPOULOS, A.: Allosteric modulation of Chemokine Receptors. In: Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, Springer Verlag, 2014. doi: 10.1007/7355_2014_82  * - corresponding author
  6. BERNAT, V., BROX, R. HAIMANOT ADMAS, T., TSCHAMMER, N.: Boronic acids as probes for investigation of allosteric regulation of the chemokine receptor CXCR3. ACS Chem. Biol., 2014, 9(11): 2664-2677. doi: 10.1021/cb500678c.
  7. TSCHAMMER, N.: Allosteric modulation of the G protein - coupled US28 receptor of human cytomegalovirus: Are the small-weight inverse agonists of US28 "camouflaged" agonists? Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 2014, 24(16):3744-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2014.06.082.
  8. KLING, R., TSCHAMMER, N., LANING, H., CLARK, T., GMEINER, P., Active-state model of a dopamine D2 receptor - Gαi complex stabilized by aripiprazole-type partial agonists. PLOS One, 2014. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100069.
  9. CUMMING, P., MASCHAUER, S., RISS, P., TSCHAMMER, N., FEHLER, S., HEINRICH, M.R., KUWERT, T., PRANTE, O., Radiosynthesis and validation of 18F-FP-CMT, a phenyltropane with superior properties for imaging the dopamine transporter in living brain. J. Cereb. Blodd Flow Metab., 2014, 34: 1148-1156. doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2014.63.
  10. FEHLER, S., MASCHAUER, S., HÖFLING, S., BARTUSCHAT, A., TSCHAMMER, N., HÜBNER, H., GMEINER, P., PRANTE, O., HEINRICH, M.R., Fast and efficient 18F-labeling via [18F]fluorophenylazocarboxylic esters. Chem. Eur. J., 2014, 20(2), 370-375. doi: 10.1002/chem.201303409.
  11. KRALJ,A., KURT, E., TSCHAMMER, N., HEINRICH, M., Synthesis and biological evaluation of novel biphenyl amides modulating the US28 receptor. ChemMedChem, 2014, 9(1): 151-168. doi: 10.1002/cmdc.201300369.
  12. KRALJ, A., NGUYEN, M.-T.,TSCHAMMER, N., OCAMPO, N., GESIOTTO, Q., HEINRICH, M., PHANSTIEL, O., Development of flavonoid-based inverse agonists of the key signaling receptor US28 of Human Cytomegalovirus. J. Med. Chem, 2013, 6(12): 5019-5032. doi: 10.1021/jm4003457
  13. SANNA, F., ORTNER, B., HÜBNER, H., LÖBER, S., TSCHAMMER, N., GMEINER, P., Discovery of dopamine D4 receptor antagonists with planar chirality., Bioorg. Med. Chem., 2013, 21(7): 1680-1684. [doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2013.01.065]
  14. TSCHAMMER, N., Virally encoded G protein-coupled receptors: Overlooked therapeutic opportunities? In:  Annual Reports in Medicinal Chemistry, Vol. 47, Academic Press, 2012, 379-392. ISSN 0065-7743.
  15. BERNAT, V., HEINRICH, M., BAUMEISTER, P., BUSCHAUER, A., TSCHAMMER, N., Synthesis and application of the first radioligand targeting the allosteric binding pocket of chemokine receptor CXCR3. ChemMedChem, 2012, In Press. doi:10.1002/cmdc.201200184
  16. KRALJ, A., WETZEL, A., MAHMOUDIAN, S., STAMMINGER, T., TSCHAMMER, N., HEINRICH, M., Identification of novel allosteric modulators for the G-protein coupled US28 receptor of human cytomegalovirus. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 2011, 21, 5446-5450. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2011.06.120
  17. KOSCHATZKY, S., TSCHAMMER, N., GMEINER, P., Cross-receptor interactions bewteen dopamine D2L and neurotensin NTS1 receptors modulate binding affinities of dopaminergics. ACS Chem. Neurosci., 2011, 2, 308-316, doi:10.1021/cn200020y
  18. Einsiedel, J., HELD, C., Maud, h., Plomer, M., tschammer, n., hübner, h., Gmeiner, p., Discovery of highly potent and NTS2 selective neurotensin mimetics. J. Med. Chem., 2011, 54, 2915-2923, doi:10.1021/jm200006c
  19. tschammer, N., ELSNER, J., GÖTZ, A., EHRLICH, K., SCHUSTER, S., Ruberg, M., KüHHORN, J., Thompson, D., Whistler, J., Hübner, H.,Gmeiner, P., Highly Potent  5-Aminotetrahydropyrazolopyridines: Enantioselective Dopamine D3 Receptor Binding, Functional Selectivity, and Analysis of Receptor-Ligand Interactions, J. Med. Chem., 2011, 54, 2477-2491, doi:10.1021/jm101639t
  20. Löber, S., HÜBNER, H., tschammer, N., GMEINER, P., Recent advances in the search of D3 and D4 selective drugs: probes, models and candidates, Trends in Pharm. Sci. 2011, 32(3), 148-157, doi:10.1016/J.TIPS.2010.12.003
  21. TSCHAMMER, N., BOLLINGER, S., KENAKIN, T., GMEINER, P., Histidin 6.55 is a major determinant of ligand biased signaling in dopamine D2L receptor. Mol. Pharmacol. 2011, 79(3), 575-585. doi:10.1124/mol110.068106
  22. KITTIPATARIN, C., TSCHAMMER, N.,KHALED, A.R., The interaction of LCK and the CD4 co-receptor alters the dose response of T-cells to interleukin-7. Immunol. Lett., 2010, doi:10.1016/j.imlet.2010.04.007.
  23. TSCHAMMER, N., DÖRFLER, M., HÜBNER, H., GMEINER, P., Engineering a GPCR-ligand pair that stimulates the activation of D2L by dopamine. ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 2010, 1,25-35. doi:10.1021/jcn900001b
  24. EHRLICH, K., GÖTZ, A., BOLLINGER, S.,TSCHAMMER, N., HÄRTERICH, S., HÜBNER, H., GMEINER, P.,Dopamine D2, D3 and D4 selective phenylpiperazines as molecular probes to explore the origins of subtype specific receptor binding. J. Med. Chem., 2009, 52(15): 4923-4935. doi:10.1021/jm900690y
  25. LÖBER, S., TSCHAMMER, N., HÜBNER, H., MELIS, M.R., ARGIOLAS, A., GMEINER, P.,The azulene framework as a novel bioisostere: Design of a potent dopamine D4 receptor ligands inducing penile erection. ChemMedChem, 2009, 4(3): 325-328. doi:10.1002/cmdc.200800395
  26. DÖRFLER, M., TSCHAMMER, N., HAMPERL, K., HÜBNER, H., GMEINER, P., Novel D3 Selective Dopaminergics Incorporating Enyne Units as Nonaromatic Catechol Bioisosters: Synthesis, Bioactivity, and Mutagenesis Studies. J. Med. Chem., 2008, 51(21): 6829-6838. doi:10.1021/jm800895v
  27. KAUR, N., DELCROS, J., CHEHTAN, M., TSCHAMMER, N., KHALED, A.R., PHANSTIEL, O., 4th, A comparison of chlorambucil- and xylene- containing polyamines leads to improved ligands for accessing the polyamine transporter. J. Med. Chem., 2008, 51(5): 1393-1401. doi:10.1021/jm070794t 
  28. KHALED, A.R., TSCHAMMER, N., ZHANG, G., SELBY, T.A., Structural Transitions that Regulate the Apoptotoc Activity of BAX are Dependent on ist C-terminal Alpha-9 Helix. Cell Death, Self-Renewal and Cell Cycle in Development (84.1-84.13). J.Immunol., 2007, 178:S117.
  29. TSCHAMMER, N., G., SELBY, T.A., KHALED, A.R., The Membrane-binding Activity of the Apoptotic Protein, BAX, is Regulated Through Novel Intramolecular Interactions, Cytokine, 2007, 39(1): 42-43.  doi:10.1016/j.cyto.2007.07.159
  30. GUO, S., TSCHAMMER, N., MOHAMMED, S., GUO, P., Specific delivery of therapeutic RNAs to cancer cells via the dimerization mechanism of phi29 motor pRNA. Hum. Gene Ther., 2005, 16(9): 1097-1109. doi:10.1089/hum.2005.16.1097
  31. TSCHAMMER, N., GUO, P.X., KHALED, A.R., Use of the bacteriophage phi29 packing RNA as nanovehicle for targeted delivery of therapeutic RNAs to CD4+ T-cells, FASEB J., 2005, 19(5): A1405-A1405.
  32. VOGRIN, N., STROPNIK, C., MUSIL, V. BRUMEN, M., The wet phase separation: the effect of cast solution thickness on the appearance of macrovoids in the membrane forming ternary cellulose acetate/acetone/water system. J. Membr.Sci.., 2002: 207, 139-141.  doi:10.1016/S0376-7388(02)00119-9