Hammer Research Group

Design and evolution of new catalytic reactions using enzymes

Welcome to the Hammer research group!


Proteins macromolecular structure offers very defined cavities for catalysis. Beyond the primary catalytic sites, enzymes make a multitude of secondary interactions with their substrates. This delivers unique catalyst-control that is often unattainable by classical methods.

We aim to make use of secondary interactions in proteins to develop new catalytic reactions that are beyond the reach of classical catalysts.

Our target is to access previously unknown reactions by discovering new catalytic principles in enzymes. We combine methods from organic chemistry, protein biochemistry and directed evolution to identify, evolve, apply and understand new enzyme function for chemical synthesis.


Publications (selected highlights)

“Anti-Markovnikov alkene oxidation by metal-oxo–mediated enzyme catalysis” Hammer SC, Kubik G, Watkins E, Huang S, Minges H, Arnold FH. Science 2017, 358, 215–218. Link This research has been highlighted in C&EN, Synfacts and in “Chemistry Research of the year 2017”.

“Design and evolution of enzymes for non-natural chemistry”
Hammer SC, Knight AM, Arnold FH. Curr Opin Green Sustain Chem 2017, 7, 23–30. Link

“Squalene hopene cyclases are protonases for stereoselective Brønsted acid catalysis”
Hammer SC, Marjanovic A, Dominicus JM, Nestl BM, Hauer B. Nat Chem Biol 2015, 11, 121–126. Link

For all publications: Google Scholar

Curriculum Vitae

Education and Career

1997-2001 : Chemical Laboratory Assistant (Training, BASF SE)
2001-2005 : Chemical Laboratory Assistant (BASF SE)
2001-2005 : State-certified Technician for Chemistry (BASF SE)
2005-2010 : Studies of Chemistry (Philipps University of Marburg, DE)
2008-2009 : Studies of Chemistry (University of Cambridge, UK)
11.06.2010 : Diplom in Chemistry (Philipps University of Marburg, DE)
2010-2014 : Dissertation with Prof. Bernhard Hauer (University of Stuttgart, DE)
2015-2017 : Postdoctoral position with Prof. Frances Arnold (Caltech, US)
Since 2017 : Research Group Leader (University of Stuttgart, DE)



2011-2014 : Kekulé Fellowship (FCI, Chemical Industry Fund)
2016-2017 : Research Fellowship (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)
Since 2019 : Emmy Noether Programme (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)


Stephan C. Hammer

Stephan C. Hammer

Emmy Noether Group Leader

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