Andreas Plückthun studied chemistry at the University of Heidelberg, and received his PhD at the University of California at San Diego. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Chemistry Department of Harvard University. He became group leader at the Genzentrum and Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie in Martinsried. He was appointed to the University of Zurich as a Full Professor of Biochemistry in 1993. He has written over 370 publications, which have been cited over 20,000 times (h-factor 84). In 2003, he was elected to the German Academy of Science (Leopoldina).
He received the Young Investigator's Award of the German Industry Fund, was elected member of EMBO, and is recipient of the Karl-Heinz-Beckurts-Prize (Munich, Germany), finalist in the World Technology Awards 2001 (London, UK), recipient of the JP Morgan Chase Health Award (San Jose, USA), the Wilhelm Exner Medal (Vienna, Austria), and together with his colleagues, the Swiss Technology Award (Bern, Switzerland) and the deVigier Award. He is co-founder and Scientific Advisor of Morphosys AG (Martinsried, Germany) and of Molecular Partners AG (Zürich, Switzerland), for which he is also a board member.
His research field is protein engineering. His lab combines directed evolution, biophysics and biomedical applications. His major contributions to the field include antibody engineering, the development of true Darwinian in vitro evolution technologies, the development of new binding proteins (DARPins) and the evolution of highly stable G-protein coupled receptors.