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Profiles


Prof. Dr. Hermann Aberle; Functional Cell Morphology
We are interested in the development and function of the nervous system in Drosophila melanogaster. Key aspects of our work concentrate on genes regulating axon guidance and target recognition during the formation of neuronal circuits. If feasible, we examine intact animals using neurogenetic methods and high-resolution microscopy.


apl. Prof. Dr. rer.nat Joachim Altschmied; IUF; IRTG 1902; SFB 1116
We are interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying aging of the cardiovascular system and cardiovascular diseases with the long-term goal to develop new preventive and therapeutic concepts. Our studies range from cell organelles over isolated cells to completely new mouse models.   


Prof. Dr. Ilka Maria Axmann; Synthetic Microbiology
We are researching molecular regulatory processes in microorganisms influenced by internal factors like small RNA molecules or the circadian clock. Our knowledge is used for designing novel, synthetic regulators. Particular focus is placed on the engineering of cyanobacteria as a future host for sustainable biotechnology.


Prof. Dr. Petra Bauer; Botany
We study regulatory processes for nutrient allocation and iron management at the level of genes and proteins, cells and the whole plant, e.g. signaling, transcription factor networks, membrane dynamics, cellular protein control. We combine molecular plant physiology, genetics, biochemistry and cell biology methods.


Jun.-Prof. Dr. Mathias Beller; Systems Biology of Lipid Metabolism
We investigate the cell biology and regulation of lipid metabolism using different tissue culture cell lines and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as model system. In the spotlight is the unraveling of the function of the proteins associated with the lipid storage organelles using methods from cell biology, biochemistry and genetics.


Prof. Dr. Martin Beye; Evolutionary Genetics
We study the genetic underpinnings of complementary sex determination and social organization in honeybees. Using genetic tools and automated behavioral tracking of 2D barcode labelled bees we examine how social organization is regulated, how this regulation is controlled by the brain and how the brain is genetically specified.


Dr. Hannes M. Beyer, Synthetic Biology, RG Beyer
We develop synthetic-biological gene circuits and optogenetic methods to enable the precise control of cellular processes using light. We apply these methods for the development of synthetic 2D and 3D tissue model systems with intrinsic light-control of customized biological functions.


Prof. Dr. Michael Bott; Systemic Microbiology
We perform research in the field of molecular and applied microbiology: I. Elucidation of metabolic and regulatory networks of microbial cell factories. II. Biosensor-based FACS-screening methods for strain and enzyme development. III. Construction of production strains by metabolic engineering and synthetic biology.


Prof. Dr. Oliver Ebenhöh; Quantitative & Theoretical Biology
At the Institute of Quantitative and Theoretical Biology we are developing mathematical models and new theoretical concepts to investigate biological systems. We aim at understanding emergent properties of complex systems and identifying general principles underlying metabolic, signalling, developmental and evolutionary processes.


apl. Prof. Dr. Charlotte Esser; IUF – Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine
The immune system of barrier organs such as gut or skin is constantly exposed to environmental factors. We study how low molecular weight chemicals influence the immune system by activating the transcription factor AHR (aryl hydrocarbon receptor). Our research focusses on barrier immune cells, the microbiome, and immune-toxicity.


Prof. Christoph Fahlke; Cellular Biophysics (ICS-4)
We study ion channels and ion transporters with a combination of electrophysiological and biochemical experiments and molecular dynamics simulations. We are interested in the molecular basis of their function, but also in the role of these proteins in normal cell function as well as in pathological functions in human diseases. 


Prof. Dr. Michael Feldbrügge; Microbiology
Our research and teaching at the Institute for Microbiology comprises the fields cell biology, pathogenicity and biotechnology. To study these fields we use both prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms as model systems. We use current projects to train students in basic research as well as the applied sciences on all levels.


apl. Prof. Dr. Ursula Nicole Fleig; Eukaryotic Microbiology



 


Prof. Dr. Sebastian Fraune; Zoology & Organismic Interactions
We are fascinated by the fact, that the microbiome affects nutrition, development, immunity and even behavior of an animal. In our research, we are investigating the underlying interactions between animals and bacteria, while focusing on the communication from host-to-microbe, microbe-to-host and microbe-to-microbe.


Alexander von Humboldt Professor Dr. Wolf B. Frommer; Molecular Physiology 
Key interests are networks that control exchange of nutrients, metabolites and signaling molecules between cells. We use tricks to identify transporters to fish regulatory components, fluorescent sensors, sponges, advanced imaging, membrane protein interaction screens and quantitative chromatin studies. We engineer pathogen resistant crops.


Prof. Dr. Julia Frunzke; Population heterogeneity & signal transduction
Microbial viruses represent the most abundant biological entity on this planet. We are interested in the interaction between bacterial viruses (phages) and bacteria and in the analysis of regulatory networks in bacteria. Our group investigates the underlying molecular mechanisms and their application in modern biotechnology.


Dr. Vera Göhre, Microbiology, RG Pathogenicity
Smut fungi are economically relevant pathogens. We focus on their infection biology in corn and model plants and address the questions: Which virulence factors are used by smut fungi? How do they feed inside the plant? How does the plant respond to infection? Our molecular findings contribute to improving plant protection.


apl. Prof. Dr. Sven Gould; Moleculare Evolution, RG Gould
Our team investigates the function of eukaryotic compartments in light of their evolutionary history. We currently focus on the co-evolution and interaction of mitochondrion and plastids, and the import of nuclear-encoded proteins into these two organelles of endosymbiotic origin.


Prof. Dr. Guido Grossmann, Cell and Interaction Biology
We study cell morphogenesis and growth regulation in plants. Using multidisciplinary approaches, we want to understand how plant cells obtain their functional form, how they perceive and communicate environmental changes, and how they respond to adverse and beneficial conditions with changes in structure and growth.


Prof. Dr. Georg Groth; Biochemical Plant Physiology
Research projects in our lab focus on proteins involved in photosynthesis, stress response, ripening or plant senescence. Key interest of our research is to understand structure and interactions of these proteins on the molecular level. To this end, we use a wide range of biochemical, biophysical and physiological methods.


Prof. Dr. Johannes Hegemann; Functional Genome Research of Microorganisms



 


Prof. Dr. Henrike Heise; Solid-State NMR group
We characterize strutures and structural ensembles of intrinsically unfolded and misfolded proteins and protein complexes with the help of state-of the art solid-state NMR-spectroscopy. We also develop and adapt novel methods in NMR and apply dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) for signal enhancement.


Jun.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hoyer; Physical Biology, RG Hoyer
We study the aggregation of proteins into amyloid fibril deposits, a pathological feature of various diseases including Alzheimer, Parkinson, and type 2 diabetes. We employ a wide range of techniques in the areas of biophysics, biochemistry, and molecular biology to devise strategies for controlling amyloid formation.


Prof. Dr. Karl-Erich Jaeger; Molecular Enzymtechnology
The institute pursues interdisciplinary research with enzymes and fluorescent proteins from bacteria. The proteins are identified and characterized using molecular biological, microbiological, biochemical, structural and computer-based methods. We aim to provide novel biocatalysts and reporter proteins for biotechnological applications.


apl. Prof. Dr. Peter Jahns; Photosynthesis & stress physiology of plants 
We investigate mechanisms that are involved in the protection against high light-induced damaging processes (= photo-oxidative stress) in land plants and green algae. The research is focused on the regulation and function of mechanisms contributing to the dissipation of excess excitation energy as heat.   


Prof. Dr. Thomas Klein; Genetics
We are interested in cell communication during development of metazoans. In the focus of our research is the regulation of the activity of the evolutionary conserved Notch signalling pathway by the endosomal pathway. We investigate this regulation in two model systems, mouse and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.


Prof. Dr. Markus Kollmann; Mathematical Modelling of Biological Systems
We try to predict how sequence information affects biomolecular processes. In particular we are interested in predicting secondary and tertiary structure of RNA and translational efficiency of genes. We make use of advanced machine methods, such as combining deep generative models with reinforcement learning.


Prof. Dr. Maria von Korff Schmising; Plant Genetics
The research objectives of the von Korff group are to unravel the genetic control of reproductive development and stress adaptation of barley. We use quantitative genetics, natural diversity and high-throughput sequencing techniques to identify genes and molecular networks that control the development of the different shoot meristems.


Prof. Dr. Eckhard Lammert; Metabolic Physiology
The institute performs research on the cardiovascular system, the pancreas and liver. It also studies diabetes mellitus as a common metabolic disease together with the Institute for Vascular and Islet Cell Biology at the German Diabetes Center (DDZ).
 


apl. Prof. Dr. Nicole Linka; Plant Biochemistry
Peroxisomes are essential for the metabolism in plants, animals and humans. We study the exchange of metabolites by combining molecular biology, genetic and biochemistry. The goal is to integrate peroxisomes into the metabolic network.


Prof. Dr. William F. Martin; Molecular Evolution
We investigate major bioenergetic transitions in early cell evolution: the origin of the first free-living bacteria and archaea, the role of mitochondria at the origin of eukaryotes, and the cyanobacterial ancestry of plastids at the origin of the plant kingdom. Our key words are symbiosis, bioinformatics, chemistry and energy.


apl. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Anna von Mikecz; IUF; iBRAIN
In the nematode roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans we investigate the effects of environmental pollutants on the functional organization of the cell nucleus. Particularly, we are interested to elucidate the interactions between protein homeostasis, amyloid protein aggregation and gene expression during aging and neurodegeneratio


Prof. Dr. Eva Nowack; Microbial Cell Biology
We study the transformation of bacterial endosymbionts into genetically integrated organelles. To this end, we characterize endosymbioses that evolved more recently than mitochondria and plastids. Using genomic, proteomic, molecular and synthetic biological approaches we explore mechanisms that integrate endosymbionts into the host cell.


Prof. Dr. Markus Pauly; Plant Cell & Biotechnology
Our research entails various plant genetic and synthetic biology approaches to reconstruct plant cell wall polymer synthesis in e.g. yeast and to generate plants with alternative wall structures.
 


Prof. Dr. med. Klaus Pfeffer, Institute of Medical Microbiology & Hospital Hygiene
We decipher host-pathogen interactions in model systems as well as at cellular and molecular levels. We characterize cytokines that regulate the immune response and identify immunological effector mechanisms that defend against invading microorganisms. In addition, we conduct microbiome research.


Prof. Dr. Simone Prömel, Cell Biology
Our research focuses on cellular communication mediated by Adhesion G protein-coupled receptors. We study the molecular mechanisms and signals of these unique receptors and elucidate how they translate these signals into physiological functions in developmental and metabolic processes of different organisms.


Dr. Tobias Reiff; Genetics, RG Reiff
Our lab is interested in basic questions of stem cell proliferation and tissue homeostasis. To tackle our questions, we use the adult Drosophila melanogaster intestine as a stem cell based model system due to its accessibility and manifold genetic tools. In the future, we aim to translate our findings to tumorigenesis using models of colorectal cancer.


Prof. Dr. Christine R. Rose; Neurobiology
Ion gradients across plasma membranes are the basis for electrical excitability, secondary transport and ion signaling. We are devoted to study cellular ion homeostasis and signaling in the brain using fluorescence imaging and electrophysiological techniques. A main focus is the analysis of consequences of metabolic stress (i.e. stroke).


Prof. Dr. Laura Rose; Population Genetics
My research focuses on the evolutionary genetics of plants and their associated microbes. Using population genetics and phylogenetics, I reconstruct the evolutionary history of host-microbe communication. In functional assays, I evaluate the range of fitness consequences of both positive and negative interactions with microbes.


Prof. Dr. Carsten Sachse, Structural Biology (ER-C-3)
We use a comprehensive electron microscopy (EM) approach to study the biological structures of membrane-associated processes such as autophagy and endocytosis. Our main method of investigation is cryo-EM that we are developing to advance existing imaging technologies towards high-resolution structural biology.


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schurr; Plant Sciences IBG-2
Knowledge about photosynthesis, transport and growth of plants in a dynamic environment is the basis for their optimization for food and biorefineries. We develop/use non-invasive (MRI, PET, etc.) and high-throughput methods and robotics in greenhouses, climate chambers and in the field.


Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Simon; Developmental Genetics
We investigate how plant cells in a tissue communicate with each other via secreted peptides, membrane receptors and transcription factors. These signal transduction pathways continuously adjust stem cell fate in plant meristems. We use genetic, molecular and biochemical approaches, with a strong emphasis on advanced imaging methods.


Jun.-Prof. Dr. Ingrid Span; Structure & Function of Metalloproteins
Our research focuses on metalloproteins. The combination of transition metal reactivity with the highly selective protein environment makes these biomolecules particularly exciting. We use X-ray crystallography and spectroscopy to understand the molecular basis of living processes.


apl. Prof. Dr. Yvonne Stahl, Developmental Genetics, RG Stahl
Our research focuses on the regulation of stem cells in the Arabidopsis and barley roots. We use a combination of molecular biology, genetics and in vivo advanced fluorescence microscopy to understand how specific transcription factors control the necessary tight but also dynamic regulation from stem cell fate to differentiation.


Prof. Dr. Benjamin Stich; Quantitative Genetics & Genomics of Plants
Most traits of agronomic importance are quantitative traits, i.e. the phenotypic observations cannot be assigned to distinct classes. Our research aims to develop approaches that allow the prediction of such traits from molecular variation as well as to identify the causes of natural phenotypic variation on a molecular level.



Prof. Dr. Andreas Weber; Plant Biochemistry
We unravel the genetic design principles underpinning the physiological and biochemical diversity of photosynthesis in land plants, algae, and cyanobacteria and we study the evolution of photosynthetic organisms. We develop blueprints for reconfiguration of plant metabolic networks, making use of the concepts of synthetic biology


Prof. Dr. Nick Wierckx; Microbial Catalysis
We study the development of microbial catalysts for the bio-production of useful chemicals from e.g., biomass or plastic waste. This involves the systematic analysis of microbial metabolism and metabolic engineering of bacteria and fungi using synthetic biology tools.
 


Prof. Dr. Dieter Willbold; Physical Biology
We want to fully understand protein aggregation. We are using all structural biology tools that allow atomic resolution. Further biophysical methods, molecular and cellular biology, as well as the use of animal models allow us to develop new strategies and drugs for therapy of neurodegenerative diseases with a strong focus on “Alzheimer”.


Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zeier; Molecular Ecophysiology of Plants
Our research investigates the metabolic and biochemical events that regulate plant-environment interactions. In particular, we study a phenomenon designated as systemic acquired resistance, a plant immune response that confers broad-spectrum disease resistance to microbial pathogens and primes plants for effective defense activation.


Prof. Dr. Matias Zurbriggen; Synthetic Biology



 


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