Research Groups

STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY OF mRNA LOCALIZATION

Research Group Leader: Fulvia Bono
The localization of mRNAs at specific sites within the cytoplasm often has a crucial role in the regulation of protein production. Our aim is to unravel the molecular basis for the assembly and transport of mRNA localization particles using biochemical and structural methods.


PROTEIN DESIGN

Research Group Leader: Birte Höcker
We study structure-function relationships and the evolution of stable protein folds in order to apply this knowledge to rationally solve protein design problems. In our research we combine theoretical and experimental approaches to build proteins with desired new properties.


NEUROBIOLOGY OF MARINE ZOOPLANKTON

Max Planck Research Group Leader: Gáspár Jékely
Nervous systems first evolved in the ocean. We study the simplest neuronal circuits in tiny marine ciliated zooplankton in an attempt to understand how the first brains looked like and functioned.

The axonal scaffold in a 2 day old Platynereis larva

EVOLUTIONARY DYNAMICS AND BIOPHYSICS

Max Planck Research Group Leader: Richard Neher
Evolution results from the interplay of genetic diversity generated by mutation and recombination as well as selection for survival. We study this interplay in evolution of HIV and analyze the structure of genotype-phenotype maps at the molecular level.


NMR SPECTROSCOPY OF LARGE COMPLEXES

Max Planck Research Group Leader: Remco Sprangers
In our group we use NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography to study how mRNA is degraded in the cell. We are especially interested in how protein-protein interactions and protein motions regulate the activity of enzyme complexes involved.


MECHANISMS OF UBIQUITIN-DEPENDENT CELL SIGNALING

Max Planck Research Group Leader: Silke Wiesner
The attachment of ubiquitin to proteins controls cellular signaling and behavior. Using NMR spectroscopy and biochemical methods we study the molecular basis of ubiquitylation and thereby seek to understand how diseases like cancer arise from dysfuntional ubiquitylation enzymes.