Personal Data

Date of Birth 06. January 1956 Heribert Hirt
Place of Birth Kachan / Iran  
Nationality Austrian  


1967 - 1975 Johannes Kepler Gymnasium Reutlingen, Germany  
1976 - 1978 Study of Biochemistry, Univ. of Cape Town South Africa  
1978 B.Sc.(Distinction)  
1979 - 1981 Study of Biochemistry, Univ. of Vienna, Austria  
1981 - 1983 Diploma thesis, Inst. of Biochemistry, Vienna
Topic: Characterization of Microtubule-Associated Proteins
1983 Mag. rer. nat. (Univ. of Vienna)  
1984 - 1987 PhD thesis, Inst. of Biochemistry, Vienna
Topic: Isolation and Characterization of the Human Growth Hormone Gene Locus

Scientific Career

1987 Post-doctoral fellow, Inst. of Biochemistry, Vienna
Topic: Investigations on the Effects of Cd on Gene Expression in tobacco
1988 Post-doctoral fellow, Dept. Microbiology, Oxford, GB
Topic: Complementation of Schizosaccharomyces pombe
Mutants by Expression of Plant Genes
1991 Assist. Prof. at Inst. of Microbiol. and Genetics, Univ. of Vienna
1994 Habilitation in Genetics, Faculty of Natural Sciences
University of Vienna
1995 Sabattical term, Dept. of Mol. Biol., Wageningen, NL
Topic: Nod-Factor Signalling and Cell Cycle Regulation
1997 Assoc. Prof. at Inst. of Microbiol. and Genetics
University of Vienna
1999 - 2001 Vice-chair of Institute of Microbiology and Genetics
2002 - 2004 Vice Director of Gregor-Mendel-Institute of Plant Molecular Biology
Austrian Academy of Sciences
2002 - 2003 Dean of graduate studies of the international PhD program
of the Vienna Biocenter
2006 - 2007 Head of Dept. of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Vienna
2008 - 2013 Director of the URGV Plant Genomics Research, Paris, France
2014 - Assoc. Director, KAUST Center for Desert Agriculture


1988        EMBO Fellowship
1993 Biochem. Soc. Price
1993 Award of the Austrian Society of Biochemistry
2001 Wittgenstein Prize
more information: (Wittgenstein-Club)
2006 Elected Member of the Wolfgang Pauli Institute
2008 Distinguished EMBO Member
2010 ISI Highly Cited Researcher (Plant & Animal Sciene)
2011 King Saud Distinguished Fellow
2014 Highly Cited Researcher

Editorial Activities

1997 Editorial board member of the Journal of Experimental Botany
2000 - 2003 Coeditor of Protoplasma
2002 - Coeditor of Topics in Current Genetics
2003 - Coeditor of Plant and Cell Physiology
2005 - Coeditor of Plant Physiology
2005 - Coeditor of Molecular Genetics and Genomics
2006 - Coeditor Molecular Plant
2006 - Editorial Board Member   The Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists


2002 - 2006 Committee member of MASC (Multi-National Arabidopsis Steering Committee)
2002 - 2005 Executive board member of the Austrian Society of Genetics and Gene Technology ÖGGGT
2005 - Scientific Advisory Board Member of Göttingen Center of Molecular Biosciences
2005 - 2007 President of the Austrian Society of Genetics and Genetic Engineering ÖGGGT
2010 President of the European Plant Science Organisation, EPSO

Other Activities

2001 - 2004 Coordinator of EU Program on "Cross talk and integration of stress signal transduction in plants"
2001 Organizer of Plant Protein Phosphorylation Meeting Vienna, 12-15 September 2001
2002 - Member of Multi-National Arabidopsis Steering Committee
2002 - Executive board member of ÖGGGT (Austrian Society of Genetics and Gene Technology)
2004 - Member of the Safety Commission for Genetically Modified Organisms of the Austrian Government
2004 Organizer of "Genomics of Arabidopsis as a Model Plant", Vienna, 15-17 April 2004
2005 Scientific Advisory Board Member of Göttingen Centre of Molecular Biosciences
2005 Organizer of International Botanical Congress Vienna 18-21 July 2005
2005 Organizer of "Advancing the Genomics Frontier", Neuchatel, 24-27 August 2005
2006 President of ÖGGGT (Austrian Society of Genetics and Gene Technology)
2006 Organizer of Keystone Conference on "Abiotic stress in plants", Copper Mountain, April 8-13, USA
2007 Organizer of Gordon Conference on "Temperature stress in plants", Ventura Harbour, January 31-February 5, USA

Research interests

Signal transduction of abiotic and biotic stress

Five Scientific Publications (H-index 64)

  1. Montillet, J.-L., Leonhardt, N., Mondy, S., Tranchimand, S., Rumeau, D., Boudsocq, M., Garcia, A.V., Douki, T., Bigeard, J., Laurière, C., Chevalier, A., Castresana, C., Hirt, H. (2013) An ABA-independent oxylipin pathway controls stomatal closure and immune defense in Arabidopsis. PLoS Biol. (in press).
  2. Schikora A, Garcia AV, Hirt H.(2012) Plants as alternative hosts for Salmonella. Trends Plant Sci. 17:245-9.
  3. Berriri S, Garcia AV, Frei Dit Frey N, Rozhon W, Pateyron S, Leonhardt N, Montillet JL, Leung J, Hirt H, Colcombet J. (2012) Constitutively Active Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Versions Reveal Functions of Arabidopsis MPK4 in Pathogen Defense Signaling. Plant Cell 24, :4281-93.
  4. Pitzschke A, Hirt H.(2010) New insights into an old story: Agrobacterium-induced tumour formation in plants by plant transformation. EMBO J. 29:1021-32.
  5. Pitzschke, A., Djamei, A., Teige, M., Hirt, H. (2009) VIP1 response elements mediate mitogen-activated protein kinase 3-induced stress gene expression. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 106:18414-9.


Meskiene, I., Jonak, C., and Hirt, H. (2000)
Regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase
(MAPK). R37248 (A 1880/2000)

Jonak, C., and Hirt, H. (2001)
Protein with Kinase Activity. R38340