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Departments

PROTEIN EVOLUTION – THE BASIC BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE

Director: Andrei Lupas
Proteins provide the chemical basis for all processes of life. We investigate their origin and the evolution of their folds and mechanisms of action by means of bioinformatics, biochemistry and structural biology.

Phylogenetic tree of AAA ATPases. The putative root of the tree is circled and the six main clades are color-coded (BCS1 group - slate blue; metalloproteases - yellow; meiotic group - green; D1 domains - cyan; D2 domains - blue; proteasomal subunits - brown). The two small clades marked in red lie outside the proteasomal clade, yet most likely form complexes with the proteasome.

BIOCHEMISTRY – POST-TRANSCRIPTIONAL REGULATION OF GENE EXPRESSION

Director: Elisa Izaurralde
The Department of Biochemistry is devoted to studying post-transcriptional mechanisms of gene expression, focusing on various aspects of RNA biology. We use an interdisciplinary approach combining biochemistry and bioinformatics together with structural, molecular and cellular biology.



MICROBIOME SCIENCE

Director: Ruth E. Ley
The Department of Microbiome Science is broadly interested in how interactions between humans and their gut microbiota influence metabolism and obesity. We explore how interactions between host genetic status and the microbiome influence host metabolic phenotypes.



INTEGRATIVE EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Director: Ralf Sommer
How do developmental processes change during evolution? We take an integrative approach and try to link evo-devo with population genetics and evolutionary ecology by studying the nematode Pristionchus pacificus, which lives in a defined scarab beetle ecosystem.



CELL BIOLOGY – FROM SINGLE CELL TO CELL DIVERSITY

Director: Gerd Jürgens
Plants like all multi-cellular organisms have to develop from a single cell. In our group we are studying temporal and spatial signals that guide the establishment of the initial body organization in early embryogenesis.



MOLECULAR BIOLOGY – ADAPTATION TO CHANGES

Director: Detlef Weigel
There is tremendous phenotypic diversity between and within species. Much of this is thought to reflect adaptation to the environment. Drawing on tools from high-throughout genomics to forward genetics, we are investigating the mechanisms responsible for adaptive variation.

genomic and gentic adaptions