Leonid Sazanov

Professor of Structural Biology

E-mail: sazanov@ist.ac.at

Institute of Science and Technoloy, Austria

Leonid Sazanov was part of the MolTag Scientific Advisory Board in Funding Period 2.


Professor Leonid Sazanov did his Master degree in Biophysics at the Belarusian State University, Minsk. In 1990, he accomplished his PhD studies in Biophysics at the Moscow State University. After his PhD studies he went as a Research Fellow to the University of Birmingham, School of Biochemistry, and to the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London. From 2000 until 2006 he was a tenure-track research group leader at the MRC, Mitochondrial Biology Unit, Cambridge, UK, followed by a position as Tenured Programme Leader until 2015. Since 2015, Leonid Sazanov is Professor of Structural Biology at the Institute of Science and Technoloy, Austria.


Main achievements:

  • First crystal structure of the entire, intact respiratory complex I (536 kDa, 16 different subunits, 64 transmembrane (TM) helices and 9 Fe-S clusters). This is the largest (asymmetric) membrane protein solved to date as a complete atomic structure. (Nature 2013. Top article in the Faculty of 1000 Structural Biology; ESRF Highlight of the year; MRC Highlight)
  • First crystal structure of the membrane domain of respiratory complex I, revealing novel fold for antiporter-like protein family. (220 kDa, 6 subunits, 55 TM helices) (Nature 2011. ESRF Highlight of the year)
  • Determination of the architecture of the entire respiratory complex I, revealing the arrangement of subunits in the membrane domain and the unusual connecting rod-like helix. (Nature 2010; Cover feature, News & Views. Top article in the Faculty of 1000 Biology. SLS Highlight.)
  • First crystal structure of the hydrophilic domain of complex I, showing the arrangement of all redox centres and subunits (280 kDa, 8 subunits, 9 Fe-S clusters). (Science 2006)
  • First determination of the arrangement of Fe-S clusters in complex I in a uniquely long redox chain (Science 2005)
  • First purification and characterisation of complex I analogue from chloroplasts and demonstration that it has a role under stress conditions (FEBS Lett. 1998) (PNAS 1998)