I am chief scientist with AstraZeneca and adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institute and principal investigator at the recently established Integrated Cardio Metabolic Center at the Karolinska Institute (ICMC/KI) in Stockholm, Sweden.

I was recruited to AstraZeneca from Imperial College where I was Professor and Chair of Myocardial Genetics from 2009 to 2014. I was formerly Professor and Head of the Working Group of Cardiovascular Molecular Genetics at the Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany from 2004 to 2009. I received my professional training as a Postgraduate Researcher and then Group Leader at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, UC San Diego, from 1999 to 2004 and clinical training at the University Hospital Benjamin Franklin, Free University Berlin (Charité) from 1996 to 1999. I received my doctoral degree at the Max-Planck-Institute of Physiological and Clinical Research, Department of Experimental Cardiology, and was educated at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Medical School, Frankfurt and Justus Liebig University Medical School, Giessen.

I received several prestigious awards, including the Fritz Acker Award of the German Cardiac Society (2007), the Theodor Frerichs Award of the German Society for Internal Medicine (2003) and an Astra Zeneca Award in Basic Science (2002).

What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning. (Werner Heisenberg)

Professor Ralph Knöll Chief Scientist


German Cardiac Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kardiologie): Fritz Acker Award (one of the highest award of the German Cardiac Society)


German Society for Internal Medicine (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Innere Medzin): Theodor Frerichs Award (highest scientific award of the German Society of Internal Medicine)


Second Astra Zeneca Prize in Basic Science

Key Achievements

Chief Scientist

Project leader of the first Therapeutic Genome Editing project at AstraZeneca

Heart Failure and Precision Medicine

Senior Scientist in the development of innovative strategies to treat heart failure

  Featured publications

1.     Viswanathan SK, Puckelwartz MJ, Mehta A, Ramachandra CJA, Jagadeesan A, Fritsche-Danielson R, Bhat RV, Wong P, Kandoi S, Kuffel G, Pesce LL, Zilliox MJ, Durai NB, Verma RS, Molokie RE, Suresh DP, Khoury PR, Thomas A, Sanagala T, Tang HC, Becker RC, Knöll R*, Shim W*, McNally EM*, Sadayappan S*. Association of cardiomyopathy with MYBPC3 D389V and MYBPC3Δ25bp intronic deletion in South Asian descendants. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), accepted. 2018 (*contributed equally)

2.     Knöll R, Hoshijima M, Hoffman HM, Person V, Lorenzen-Schmidt I, Bang ML, Hayashi T, Shiga N, Yasukawa H, Schaper W, McKenna W, Yokoyama M, Schork NJ, Omens JH, McCulloch AD, Kimura A, Gregorio CC, Poller W, Schaper J, Schultheiss HP, Chien KR. The cardiac mechanical stretch sensor machinery involves a z disc complex that is defective in a subset of human dilated cardiomyopathy. Cell. 2002;111:943-955

3.     Knöll R, Kostin S, Klede S, Savvatis K, Klinge L, Stehle I, Gunkel S, Kotter S, Babicz K, Sohns M, Miocic S, Didie M, Knöll G, Zimmermann WH, Thelen P, Bickeboller H, Maier LS, Schaper W, Schaper J, Kraft T, Tschöpe C, Linke WA, Chien KR. A common mlp (muscle lim protein) variant is associated with cardiomyopathy. Circ Res. 2010 106:695-704

4.     Knöll R, Linke WA, Zou P, Miocic S, Kostin S, Buyandelger B, Ku CH, Neef S, Bug M, Schafer K, Knöll G, Felkin LE, Wessels J, Toischer K, Hagn F, Kessler H, Didie M, Quentin T, Maier LS, Teucher N, Unsold B, Schmidt A, Birks EJ, Gunkel S, Lang P, Granzier H, Zimmermann WH, Field LJ, Faulkner G, Dobbelstein M, Barton PJ, Sattler M, Wilmanns M, Chien KR. Telethonin deficiency is associated with maladaptation to biomechanical stress in the mammalian heart. Circ Res. 2011;109:758-769 (top downloaded online first paper)

5.     Hayashi T, Arimura T, Itoh-Satoh M, Ueda K, Hohda S, Inagaki N, Takahashi M, Hori H, Yasunami M, Nishi H, Koga Y, Nakamura H, Matsuzaki M, Choi BY, Bae SW, You CW, Han KH, Park JE, Knöll R, Hoshijima M, Chien KR, Kimura A. Tcap gene mutations in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and dilated cardiomyopathy. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004;44:2192-2201

6.     Knöll R, Postel R, Wang J, Kratzner R, Hennecke G, Vacaru AM, Vakeel P, Schubert C, Murthy K, Rana BK, Kube D, Knoll G, Schafer K, Hayashi T, Holm T, Kimura A, Schork N, Toliat MR, Nurnberg P, Schultheiss HP, Schaper W, Schaper J, Bos E, Den Hertog J, van Eeden FJ, Peters PJ, Hasenfuss G, Chien KR, Bakkers J. Laminin-alpha4 and integrin-linked kinase mutations cause human cardiomyopathy via simultaneous defects in cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells. Circulation. 2007;116:515-525

7.     Carrier L*, Knöll R*, Vignier N, Keller DI, Bausero P, Prudhon B, Isnard R, Ambroisine ML, Fiszman M, Ross J, Jr., Schwartz K, Chien KR. Asymmetric septal hypertrophy in heterozygous cmybp-c null mice. Cardiovasc Res. 2004;63:293-304 (*contributed equally)

8.     Knöll R, Hoshijima M, Chien K. Cardiac mechanotransduction and implications for heart disease. J Mol Med. 2003;81:750-756

9.     Postel R, Vakeel P, Topczewski J, Knöll R, Bakkers J. Zebrafish integrin-linked kinase is required in skeletal muscles for strengthening the integrin-ecm adhesion complex. Dev Biol. 2008;318:92-101

10.  Kögler H, Schott P, Toischer K, Milting H, Van PN, Kohlhaas M, Grebe C, Kassner A, Domeier E, Teucher N, Seidler T, Knöll R, Maier LS, El-Banayosy A, Korfer R, Hasenfuss G. Relevance of brain natriuretic peptide in preload-dependent regulation of cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum ca2+ atpase expression. Circulation. 2006;113:2724-2732

11.  Knöll R, Arras M, Zimmermann R, Schaper J, Schaper W. Changes in gene expression following short coronary occlusions studied in porcine hearts with run-on assays. Cardiovasc Res. 1994;28:1062-1069