Hanns Hatt

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Hanns Hatt (2018)

Hanns Hatt (born July 8, 1947 in Illertissen ) is a German biologist and physician . He is a physiologist working in the field of electrophysiology and olfactory research.


Hanns Hatt studied biology , chemistry and human medicine at the University of Munich and received his doctorate there in 1976 in zoology . In 1981 Hatt received his license to practice medicine and was promoted to Dr. med. PhD and habilitation in physiology at the medical faculty ( Klinikum rechts der Isar ) of the Technical University of Munich , where he was appointed full professor of physiology at the medical faculty in 1991.

Hanns Hatt has been a professor at the Faculty of Biology and holder of the Chair of Cell Physiology at the Ruhr University Bochum since 1992 .

In 2009, Hatt was elected as the successor to Manfred JM Neumann from the Institute for International Economic Policy at the University of Bonn as President of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and the Arts for the 2010 to 2012 term of office. In 2012 he was elected again until 2016. His successor was Wolfgang Löwer . In 2012 he was elected a member ( matriculation number 7486 ) of the Leopoldina . From 2013 he was Vice President and since 2015 he has been President of the Union of German Academies of Sciences .

In the summer semester of 2019, he will fill the endowed professorship at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz on the subject of “The Power of Scents”.


Hanns Hatt's research focuses on the field of neuro and sensory physiology , in which he has made contributions that are documented in over 200 original publications in specialist journals. Together with colleagues in Josef Dudel’s laboratory (TU Munich), for the first time, using a newly developed, ultra-fast application technique of chemical substances to living cells, he was able to measure the current through ion channels that open and close again in the millisecond range ( acetylcholine , glutamate , ATP ). He made further contributions to the perception of scents from humans to flies. He was able to decipher the first human olfactory receptor and for the first time also measure the cAMP channel ( cyclic adenosine monophosphate ), responsible for electrical cell excitation, in human olfactory cells. The function of the first olfactory receptor in invertebrates (fruit flies) was also described in his laboratory . Hatt was also the first to discover that olfactory receptors also have an important function in cells outside the nose. The receptor for synthetic lily of the valley odor (Bourgeonal, OR17-4) was detected in human sperm and it was shown that its activation leads to a positive chemotactic reaction of the human sperm and accelerates its speed. In the meantime, important functions of other olfactory receptors in human sperm have been shown in his laboratory and more than 20 fragrances have been described in the vaginal secretions of women. It was recently possible to find some of the olfactory receptors in almost all human tissues, some in large quantities. For example, to discover in the prostate ( cancer cell ) or in skin cells and thus a new target with high potential for diagnosis and therapy in clinical application. Hanns Hatt's laboratory also intensively researches the effects of essential oils and spices on the trigeminal nerve ( TRP , KCNK channels). It was recently shown in his laboratory that aromatherapy and its molecular mechanisms of action can be explained via the modulation of brain receptors ( GABAA ) by fragrances (vertacetal).



  • On the trail of the mystery of smell. Basics of scent perception. supposé, Cologne 2006, ISBN 3-932513-70-3 (audio book).
  • with Regine Dee: The lily of the valley phenomenon. Everything about smelling and how it determines our lives. Piper, Munich et al. 2008, ISBN 978-3-492-05224-5 .
  • Nobody smells as good as you. 3rd edition. Piper Paperback, 2009, ISBN 978-3-492-25747-3 .
  • The little book about smelling and tasting . Albrecht Knaus Verlag, 2012, ISBN 978-3-8135-0444-6 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. awk.nrw.de: Löwer, Wolfgang (accessed on January 5, 2017)
  2. Member entry by Prof. Dr. Dr. Hanns Hatt (with picture and CV) at the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina , accessed on July 12, 2016.
  3. EB: Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. med. Dr. med. habil. Hanns Hatt (71). In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt. Volume 116, No. 21, (May) 2019, p. B 885.
  4. ^ Ch. Franke, H. Hatt, J. Dudel: Liquid filament switch for ultra-fast exchanges of solutions at excised patches of synaptic membrane of crayfish muscle. In: Neurosci. Lett. 77, 1987, pp. 199-204.
  5. Ch. H. Wetzel, M. Oles, Ch. Wellerdieck, M. Kuczkowiak, G. Gisselmann, H. Hatt: Specificity and sensitivity of a human olfactory receptor functionally expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells and Xenopus laevis oocytes. In: J. Neurosci. 19, 1999, pp. 7426-7433.
  6. N. Thürauf, G. Kobal, M. Giuric, H. Hatt: Cyclic nucleotide-gated channels in identified human olfactory receptor neurons. In: Eur. J. Neurosci. 8, 1996, pp. 2080-2089.
  7. CH Wetzel, H.-J. Behrendt, G. Gisselmann, KF Störtkuhl, B. Hovemann, H. Hatt: Functional expression and characterization of a Drosophila odorant receptor in a heterologous cell system. In: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 98 (16), 2001, pp. 9377-9380.
  8. EM Neuhaus, G. Gisselmann, W. Zhang, R. Dooley, K. Störtkuhl, H. Hatt: odorant receptor heterodimerization in the olfactory system of Drosophila melanogaster. In: Nature Neurosci. 8, 2005, pp. 15-17.
  9. ^ I. Weyand, M. Godde, S. Frings, J. Weiner, F. Müller, W. Altenhofen, H. Hatt, UB Kaupp : Cloning and functional expression of a cyclic-nucleotide-gated channel from mammalian sperm. In: Nature . 368, 1994, pp. 859-863.
  10. M. Spehr, G. Gisselmann, A. Poplawski, JA Riffell, CH Wetzel, RK Zimmer, H. Hatt: Identification of a testicular odorant receptor mediating human sperm chemotaxis. In: Science . 299, 2003, pp. 2054-2058.
  11. T. Veitinger, JR Riffel, S. Veitinger, JM Nascimento, A. Triller, C. Chandsawangbhuwana, K. Schwane, A. Geerts, F. Wunder, MW Berns, EM Neuhaus, RK Zimmer, M. Spehr, H. Hatt: Chemosensory Ca2 + dynamics correlate with diverse behavioral phenotypes in human sperm. In: J Biol Chem . 286 (19), 2011, pp. 17311-17325.
  12. A. Büttner, H. Hatt: Sperm activating odorous substances in human follicular fluid and vaginal secretion: Identification by gas chromatography-olfactometry and Ca2 + imaging. In: ChemPlusChem . 2013, pp. 695-702.
  13. C. Flegel, S. Manteniotis, S. Osthold, H. Hatt, G. Gisselmann: Expression profile of ectopic olfactory receptors determined by deep sequencing. In: PLOS ONE . 8 (2), 2013, Art. No. e55368.
  14. ^ EM Neuhaus, W. Zhang, L. Gelis, Y. Deng, J. Noldus, H. Hatt: Activation of an olfactory receptor inhibits proliferation of prostate cancer cells. In: J. Biol. Chem. 284 (24), 2009, pp. 16218-16225.
  15. D. Busse, P. Kudella, NM Grüning, G. Gisselmann, S. Ständer, T. Luger, F. Jacobsen, L. Steinsträßer, R. Paus, P. Gkogkolou, M. Böhm, H. Hatt, H. Benecke: A synthetic sandalwood odorant induces wound healing processes in human keratinocytes via the olfactory receptor OR2AT4. In: J Invest Dermatol. 134 (11), Nov 2014, pp. 2823-2832.
  16. HJ Behrendt, T. Germann, C. Gillen, H. Hatt, R. Jostock: Characterization of the mouse cold-menthol receptor TRPM8 and vanilloid receptor type-1 VR1 using a fluorometric imaging plate reader (FLIPR) assay. In: Br J Pharmacol . 141, 2004, pp. 737-745.
  17. MA Sherkheli, H. Benecke, JF Dörner, O. Kletke, AK Vogt-Eisele, G. Gisselmann, H. Hatt: Monoterpenoids induce agonist-specific desensitization of transient receptor potential vanilloid-3 (TRPV3) ion channels. In: J Pharm Pharm Sci . 12, 2009, pp. 116-128.
  18. ^ OA Sergeeva, A. Kragler, A. Poppek, O. Kletke, W. Fleischer, SR Schubring, HL Haas, B. Görg, U. Rudolph, XR Zhu, H. Lübbert, G. Gisselmann, H. Hatt: Fragrant dioxane derivatives identify β1 subunit-containing GABA (A) receptors. In: J. Biol. Chem. 285 (31), 2010, pp. 23985-23993.
  19. A supplementary signal transmission path between sperm and egg, the CatSper-channel, which describes the swimming behavior of sperm, was published in 2012: Christoph Brenker, Normann Goodwin, Ingo Weyand, Nachiket D Kashikar, Masahiro Naruse, Miriam Krähling, Astrid Müller, U Benjamin Kaupp , Timo Strünker: The CatSper channel: a polymodal chemosensor in human sperm. In: EMBO J . 31 (7), April 4, 2012, pp. 1654-1665. doi: 10.1038 / emboj.2012.30 . PMC 3321208 (free full text)
  20. ^ Academy President Hanns Hatt receives Communicator Prize 2010 from the DFG , press release, in: Informationsdienst Wissenschaft from March 26, 2010, accessed on March 30, 2010.