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Institute of Pathophysiology

Univ.-Prof. Hesso Farhan
Univ.-Prof. Hesso Farhan
Institute of Pathophysiology

Innrain 80
6020 Innsbruck

Phone: +43 512 9003 70360

Research Branch (ÖSTAT Classification)

106052 Cell Biology (33.33%) 301109 Pathophysiology (33.33%) 301904 Krebsforschung (33.33%)


disease mechanisms, Mechanobiology, membrane trafficking, Mitosis, and Proteostasis

Research Focus

The main line of investigation in our group focuses on the mechanisms of proteostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum and its role in health and diseases. Among the diseases models that we investigate are breast cancer, multiple myeloma and synucleinopathies.  Additional research lines focus on the regulation of mitosis, cell migration and on the crosstalk of pseudoenzymes with F-box proteins.

General Facts

Three research groups work at the Institute of Pathophysiology:

  • The Farhan group focuses on membrane trafficking, cell migration and endoplasmic reticulum proteostasis (Figure 2).

An additional focus is on the pseudophosphatase STYX and its crosstalk with F-box proteins and how the regulate mitosis (Figure 3).

  • The Geley group focuses on the regulation of mitosis.
  • The Baschieri group investigates the roles of mechanobiology and endocytosis in cancer cell invasion, migration and metastasis.


Below is a list of the various research topics at the Institute of Pathophysiology and the people who perform experiments in support of this topic:


  • Pseudophosphatases as regulators of F-box Proteins:

Veronika Reiterer-Farhan, Margot Haun


  • ER-Proteostasis in health and diseases:

Utku Horzum, Yannick Frey, Renata Hajdu, Christopher Dunworth, Michaela Mayr, Vanessa Brunner, Margot, Haun, Stephan Geley, Veronika Reiterer-Farhan, Seyedehnegar Parizadeh, Barbara Gschirr, Gabriele Stöckl


  • Crosstalk of TPD52L2 with the actin cytoskeleton:

Seyedmirabbas Parizadeh, Alexander Plesche, Stephan Geley, Veronika Reiterer-Farhan


  • Cell Division and Cell Cycle Control:

Stephan Geley, Daniela Fankhauser


  • Mechanobiology of cancer cell migration:

Francesco Baschieri, Maria Reichhold


Selected Publications

  1. Ghannoum S, Fantini D, Zahoor M, Reiterer V, Phuyal S, Leoncio Netto W, Sørensen Ø, Iyer A, Sengupta D, Prasmickaite L, Mælandsmo GM, Köhn-Luque A, Farhan H. A combined experimental-computational approach uncovers a role for the Golgi matrix protein Giantin in breast cancer progression. PLoS Comput Biol. 2023 Apr 17;19(4):e1010995.
  2. El-Gazzar A, Voraberger B, Rauch F, Mairhofer M, Schmidt K, Guillemyn B, Mitulović G, Reiterer V, Haun M, Mayr MM, Mayr JA, Kimeswenger S, Drews O, Saraff V, Shaw N, Fratzl-Zelman N, Symoens S, Farhan H, Högler W. Bi-allelic mutation in SEC16B alters collagen trafficking and increases ER stress. EMBO Mol Med. 2023 Mar 14:e16834. PMID: 36916446
  3. Phuyal S, Djaerff E, Le Roux AL, Baker MJ, Fankhauser D, Mahdizadeh SJ, Reiterer V, Parizadeh A, Felder E, Kahlhofer JC, Teis D, Kazanietz MG, Geley S, Eriksson L, Roca-Cusachs P, Farhan H. Mechanical strain stimulates COPII-dependent secretory trafficking via Rac1. EMBO J. Sep 15;41(18):e110596. PMID: 35938214.
  4. Riguet N, Mahul-Mellier AL, Maharjan N, Burtscher J, Croisier M, Knott G, Hastings J, Patin A, Reiterer V, Farhan H, Nasarov S, Lashuel HA. Nuclear and cytoplasmic huntingtin inclusions exhibit distinct biochemical composition, interactome and ultrastructural properties. Nat Commun. 2021 Nov 12;12(1):6579. PMID: 34772920.

Selection of Funding

2023                                        Coordinator of a FWF Researcher Group FG 2000

2023                                        FWF Stand-alone grant P 36600

2023                                        FWF Stand-alone grant P 36925

2022                                        FWF Stand-alone grant P 35832


Christian Behrends, LMU Munich, Germany

Matthias Weiss, University of Bayreuth, Germany

Sebastian Springer, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany

Wolfgang Högler, Kepler University, Linz, Austria

Roded Sharan, University of Tel-Aviv, Israel

Hilal Lashuel, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland