Dr. Wittinghofer received his PhD from the German Wool Research Institute and pursued postdoctoral work at the University of North Carolina where he studied protein modification. He then returned to Germany where he joined the Max-Planck Institute in Heidelberg and continued studies of the structure and function of proteins involved in protein biosynthesis such as EF-Tu. As a group leader, he started working on small G proteins such as Ras, Ran and Rap and taught at the University of Heidelberg. Wittinghofer then moved to the Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology (MPI) in Dortmund where he was director of the Department of Structural Biology from 1993 through 2009. During this time, he taught Biochemistry at the University of Bochum nearby. He continues as an Emeritus Group Leader at the MPI where research in his lab focuses on structural, functional, and mechanistic investigation of GTP-binding proteins and their regulators.
Dr. Wittinghofer has received numerous honors and awards including the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine and the Otto-Warburg Medal of the German Society for Biochemisty and Molecular Biology.