IMB-Mainz/news https://www.imb.de/ News en IMB-Mainz/news https://www.imb.de/typo3conf/ext/tt_news/ext_icon.gif https://www.imb.de/ 18 16 News TYPO3 - get.content.right http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Wed, 12 May 2021 09:21:13 +0200 Lukas Stelzl joins IMB as an Associate Group Leader https://www.imb.de//about-imb/news/detail/lukas-stelzl-joins-imb-as-an-associate-group-leader For more information click here

PRESS RELEASE

12 May - The Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) is delighted to welcome Lukas Stelzl as an Associate Group Leader. Lukas joins us from the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt, where he worked as a postdoctoral fellow. Lukas’ field of expertise is liquid-liquid phase separation and how this regulates gene expression in development and disease. He is also a junior group leader in the ReALity initiative (Resilience, Adaptation and Longevity). ReALity promotes excellence in research aimed at understanding how molecular and cellular systems react and adapt to existential threats of intrinsic and environmental origins to maintain homeostasis and promote longevity.

Liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) is a phenomenon where biomolecules (e.g. proteins or nucleic acids) condense to form droplets within a solution, similar to the demixing of oil and vinegar in a vinaigrette. In cells, this allows biomolecules to be physically separated from the surrounding cytoplasm and condense to form membraneless organelles with specific functions, such as the nucleolus, stress granules and germ granules. LLPS thus helps to organise functions such as gene transcription in time and space and is critical for proper cell function.

LLPS is facilitated by interactions between so-called disordered proteins, which are flexible and have no fixed structure. Many factors can affect the interactions between disordered proteins, such as mutations or posttranslational modifications that modify the structure, hydrophobicity and charge of the protein. Lukas and his lab study how LLPS provides robust gene regulation in development, as well as how posttranslational modifications and mutations in disordered proteins can dysregulate LLPS in ageing and disease. They do this by using in silico simulations to model interactions between disordered proteins. This computational approach can reveal information about biochemical interactions at the atomic level, which could not be otherwise observed, and helps scientists to better understand their experimental results in the lab. By studying the underlying principles of LLPS, Lukas and his group gain insights into how cells maintain precise control of biological functions, as well as how this regulation is disrupted in disease.


Further details

Lukas is an Associate Group Leader at IMB and a ReALity Junior Group Leader at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Further information about research in Stelzl lab can be found at www.imb.de/stelzl. The Stelzl lab is supported by ReALity and the M3ODEL Mainz Institute of Multiscale Modelling and Research Initiative of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate.

About the Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH

The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB) is a centre of excellence in the life sciences that was established in 2011 on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Research at IMB focuses on three cutting-edge areas: epigenetics, developmental biology, and genome stability. The institute is a prime example of successful collaboration between a private foundation and government: The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has committed 154 million euros to be disbursed from 2009 until 2027 to cover the operating costs of research at IMB. The State of Rhineland-Palatinate has provided approximately 50 million euros for the construction of a state-of-the-art building and is giving a further 52 million in core funding from 2020 until 2027. For more information about IMB, please visit: www.imb.de

About Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is a globally recognized research-driven university with around 31,500 students. Its main core research areas are in particle and hadron physics, the materials sciences, and translational medicine, while its most outstanding research achievements in the humanities have been attained in the fields of American Studies and Historical Cultural Studies. JGU's academic excellence is reflected in its success in the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments: In 2012, the university's Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter (PRISMA) Cluster of Excellence was approved and the funding of its Materials Science in Mainz (MAINZ) Graduate School of Excellence was extended. Moreover, excellent placings in national and international rankings, as well as numerous other honors and awards, demonstrate just how successful Mainz-based researchers and academics are. Further information at www.uni-mainz.de/eng

Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that is committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It was established in 1977 by Hubertus Liebrecht (1931–1991), a member of the shareholder family of the Boehringer Ingelheim company. Through its Perspectives Programme Plus 3 and its Exploration Grants, the Foundation supports independent junior group leaders. It also endows the international Heinrich Wieland Prize, as well as awards for up-and-coming scientists in Germany. In addition, the Foundation funds institutional projects in Germany, such as the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), the department of life sciences at the University of Mainz, and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. www.bistiftung.de

Press contact for further information

Dr Ralf Dahm, Director of Scientific Management, Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB), Ackermannweg 4, 55128 Mainz, Germany. Phone: +49 (0) 6131 39 21455, Fax: +49 (0) 6131 39 21421, Email: press@imb.de

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Wed, 12 May 2021 09:21:13 +0200
2021 Workshop on Epigenetics of Ageing https://www.imb.de//2021ageingworkshop Registration is now open! Tue, 11 May 2021 13:47:23 +0200 Dorothee Dormann joins IMB as an Adjunct Director https://www.imb.de//about-imb/news/detail/dorothee-dormann-joins-imb-as-an-adjunct-director For more information click here

PRESS RELEASE

1 April – The Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) is delighted to welcome Dorothee Dormann as an Adjunct Director. She will also be concurrently appointed as a Professor of Molecular Cell Biology at Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU). Prof. Dormann joins us from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, where she was an Emmy Noether Group Leader. Her research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases.

Neurodegenerative diseases such as frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are incurable disorders in which neurons and other cells of the nervous system gradually lose function and die, leading to loss of motor or mental functions with age. These diseases are characterised by the accumulation of insoluble protein aggregates in neurons and glia, which is thought to cause neuronal dysfunction and eventually neurodegeneration. In ALS and FTD, the main aggregating proteins are the RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) TDP-43 and FUS. These proteins are normally found in the nucleus, but in ALS and FTD they are mislocalised to the cytoplasm, where they form aggregates.

Dorothee’s team works to understand the molecular mechanisms that cause RBPs to become mislocalised and aggregate in ALS and FTD. They have previously shown that RBP mislocalisation is linked to defects in transporting these proteins into the nucleus, while aggregation may be linked to aberrant phase separation – a process by which proteins are segregated into droplet-like organelles, similar to how oil is separated from water. Now Dorothee and her team will continue to work towards understanding how nuclear transport and phase separation are dysregulated in ALS and FTD, and whether these changes can be suppressed by modulating posttranslational modifications on TDP-43 and FUS. By understanding the molecular mechanisms of protein aggregation, Dorothee and her team hope to develop new therapeutic approaches to treat neurodegenerative disease.


Further details

Dorothee is an Adjunct Director at IMB and a Professor of Molecular Cell Biology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Further information about research in the Dormann lab can be found at www.imb.de/dormann.

About the Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH

The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB) is a centre of excellence in the life sciences that was established in 2011 on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Research at IMB focuses on three cutting-edge areas: epigenetics, developmental biology, and genome stability. The institute is a prime example of successful collaboration between a private foundation and government: The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has committed 154 million euros to be disbursed from 2009 until 2027 to cover the operating costs of research at IMB. The State of Rhineland-Palatinate has provided approximately 50 million euros for the construction of a state-of-the-art building and is giving a further 52 million in core funding from 2020 until 2027. For more information about IMB, please visit: www.imb.de.

About Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is a globally recognized research-driven university with around 31,500 students. Its main core research areas are in particle and hadron physics, the materials sciences, and translational medicine, while its most outstanding research achievements in the humanities have been attained in the fields of American Studies and Historical Cultural Studies. JGU's academic excellence is reflected in its success in the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments: In 2012, the university's Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter (PRISMA) Cluster of Excellence was approved and the funding of its Materials Science in Mainz (MAINZ) Graduate School of Excellence was extended. Moreover, excellent placings in national and international rankings, as well as numerous other honors and awards, demonstrate just how successful Mainz-based researchers and academics are. Further information at www.uni-mainz.de/eng

Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that is committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It was established in 1977 by Hubertus Liebrecht (1931–1991), a member of the shareholder family of the Boehringer Ingelheim company. Through its Perspectives Programme Plus 3 and its Exploration Grants, the Foundation supports independent junior group leaders. It also endows the international Heinrich Wieland Prize, as well as awards for up-and-coming scientists in Germany. In addition, the Foundation funds institutional projects in Germany, such as the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), the department of life sciences at the University of Mainz, and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. www.bistiftung.de

Press contact for further information

Dr Ralf Dahm, Director of Scientific Management, Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB), Ackermannweg 4, 55128 Mainz, Germany. Phone: +49 (0) 6131 39 21455, Fax: +49 (0) 6131 39 21421, Email: press@imb.de

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Thu, 01 Apr 2021 09:50:13 +0200
Nard Kubben joins IMB as a Group Leader https://www.imb.de//about-imb/news/detail/nard-kubben-joins-imb-as-a-group-leader For more information click here

PRESS RELEASE

Mainz, 12 March – The Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) is delighted to welcome Nard Kubben as a new Group Leader. Nard joins us from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA, where he worked as a research fellow. Nard’s research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of ageing and ageing-related diseases in humans using Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome as a model.

Ageing is common risk factor in many diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and chronic kidney and lung diseases. Identifying ways to delay ageing is an important step in preventing and treating these diseases. Unfortunately, our current understanding of the molecular pathways that control ageing is limited due to a lack of robust model systems in which to study human ageing.

Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) is an extremely rare premature ageing disease in which patients age six times faster than normal. The disease is caused by a mutation in the lamin A gene, which causes an aberrantly spliced form of lamin A called progerin to be produced. Importantly, low levels of progerin are also produced during normal physiological ageing, and progerin has been directly linked to many hallmarks of cellular ageing. HGPS patients share remarkably similar pathologies with normal, aged individuals, and their cells display the classical hallmarks of ageing (e.g. genomic instability, loss of heterochromatin and proteostasis, impaired mitochondria, activation of the senescence pathway). Therefore, HGPS is an ideal model for studying ageing.

In his previous work, Nard developed a cell system in which progerin expression can be induced and titrated. Using this system, cellular ageing defects can be induced in a matter of days, rather than decades, providing an extremely useful model for studying the ageing process. Now in his new lab at IMB, Nard will use high-throughput imaging and genome-wide screening technologies to study ageing in his cellular system. Through these studies, Nard aims to unravel the mechanistic basis of human ageing and identify novel anti-ageing pathways that can be used to treat disease.


Further details

Nard Kubben is a Group Leader at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB). Further information about research in the Kubben lab can be found at www.imb.de/kubben.

About the Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH

The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB) is a centre of excellence in the life sciences that was established in 2011 on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Research at IMB focuses on three cutting-edge areas: epigenetics, developmental biology, and genome stability. The institute is a prime example of successful collaboration between a private foundation and government: The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has committed 154 million euros to be disbursed from 2009 until 2027 to cover the operating costs of research at IMB. The State of Rhineland-Palatinate has provided approximately 50 million euros for the construction of a state-of-the-art building and is giving a further 52 million in core funding from 2020 until 2027. For more information about IMB, please visit: www.imb.de

Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that is committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It was established in 1977 by Hubertus Liebrecht (1931–1991), a member of the shareholder family of the Boehringer Ingelheim company. Through its Perspectives Programme Plus 3 and its Exploration Grants, the Foundation supports independent junior group leaders. It also endows the international Heinrich Wieland Prize, as well as awards for up-and-coming scientists in Germany. In addition, the Foundation funds institutional projects in Germany, such as the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), the department of life sciences at the University of Mainz, and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. www.bistiftung.de

Press contact for further information

Dr Ralf Dahm, Director of Scientific Management, Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB), Ackermannweg 4, 55128 Mainz, Germany. Phone: +49 (0) 6131 39 21455, Fax: +49 (0) 6131 39 21421, Email: press@imb.de

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Fri, 12 Mar 2021 09:45:34 +0100
The IPP Summer Call is now OPEN! https://www.imb.de//students-postdocs/international-phd-programme To apply and for more information click here! Tue, 02 Mar 2021 09:39:34 +0100 The 2021 ISS call is now open! https://www.imb.de//students-postdocs/international-summer-school To apply and for more information click here! Wed, 20 Jan 2021 10:37:07 +0100 IMB's postdoc call is now OPEN! https://www.imb.de//students-postdocs/imb-postdoc-programme To apply and for more information click here! Thu, 10 Dec 2020 11:02:38 +0100 Sandra Schick joins IMB as a Group Leader https://www.imb.de//about-imb/news/detail/sandra-schick-joins-imb-as-a-group-leader For more information click here

PRESS RELEASE

Mainz, 07 October -The Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) is delighted to welcome Dr Sandra Schick as a new group leader. Sandra joins us from the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, Austria, where she worked as a postdoctoral fellow. Her work looks at how a family of chromatin remodellers—called BAF complexes—regulate gene expression, and how they are dysregulated in disease.

In eukaryotes, DNA is tightly wound around histone proteins to form nucleosomes, which are then further packaged into chromatin. In addition to helping the DNA fit into the nucleus, this packing and folding is important for regulating DNA accessibility: the more tightly packed the DNA is, the less accessible it becomes for transcription factors and DNA repair enzymes. As a result, genes which are tightly packaged are more likely to be transcriptionally silent and inactive.

Sandra’s interest lies in discovering how cells are able to control DNA accessibility using a family of chromatin remodelling enzymes called BRG1-/BRM-associated factor (BAF) complexes. BAF complexes modify DNA accessibility by ejecting or sliding nucleosomes along the DNA, such that it becomes more or less tightly packed.

There are many different subtypes of BAF complexes, each comprised of different protein subunits and with different interaction partners. This can be important for regulating cell type-specific gene expression – for example, changes in the subunit composition of BAF complexes are essential for gene expression changes during neurogenesis. Mutations in BAF complexes have been linked to (neuro)developmental disorders and are extremely common in many cancers, indicating that BAF complexes are essential for proper cell function. However, the precise function and regulation of many BAF complexes is still unknown.

The goal of Sandra’s lab is to understand the molecular function of BAF complexes both in normal development and in disease. By doing this, Sandra’s work will pave the way towards identifying molecular targets that could be used in therapies against disease.

For a pdf version of this press release, please click here


Further details

Sandra is a group leader at IMB. Further information about research in Schick lab can be found at www.imb.de/schick

About the Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH

The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB) is a centre of excellence in the life sciences that was established in 2011 on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Research at IMB focuses on three cutting-edge areas: epigenetics, developmental biology, and genome stability. The institute is a prime example of successful collaboration between a private foundation and government: The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has committed 154 million euros to be disbursed from 2009 until 2027 to cover the operating costs of research at IMB. The State of Rhineland-Palatinate has provided approximately 50 million euros for the construction of a state-of-the-art building and is giving a further 52 million in core funding from 2020 until 2027. For more information about IMB, please visit: www.imb.de.

Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It was established in 1977 by Hubertus Liebrecht (1931–1991), a member of the shareholder family of the company Boehringer Ingelheim. With the Perspectives Programme “Plus 3” and the Exploration Grants, the foundation supports independent junior group leaders. It also endows the internationally renowned Heinrich Wieland Prize as well as awards for up-and-coming scientists. In addition, the Foundation is donating a total of 154 million euros from 2009 to 2027 to the University of Mainz for the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB). Since 2013, the Foundation has been providing a further 50 million euros for the development of the life sciences at the University of Mainz. www.bistiftung.de

Press contact for further information

Dr Ralf Dahm, Director of Scientific Management, Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB), Ackermannweg 4, 55128 Mainz, Germany. Phone: +49 (0) 6131 39 21455, Fax: +49 (0) 6131 39 21421, Email: press@imb.de

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Wed, 07 Oct 2020 12:03:05 +0200
The IPP Winter Call is now OPEN! https://www.imb.de//students-postdocs/international-phd-programme To apply and for more information click here! Mon, 14 Sep 2020 15:15:21 +0200 Katja Luck joins IMB as an Emmy Noether Group Leader https://www.imb.de//about-imb/news/detail/katja-luck-joins-imb-as-an-emmy-noether-group-leader For more information click here

PRESS RELEASE

Mainz, 9 September 2020 - Dr Katja Luck has been awarded a prestigious Emmy Noether Award from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and will start as a new group leader at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB). Katja joins us from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, where she worked as a postdoctoral fellow. Her lab will use integrative computational and experimental approaches to decipher the structure and function of protein interactions in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Cellular functions are dependent on interactions between proteins, as well as between proteins and DNA, RNA, or metabolites within the cell. Mutations, toxins and pathogens can disrupt or modify these protein interactions, perturbing cell function and causing disease. Therefore, to understand the molecular basis of diseases, it is vital to understand which proteins interact in the cell, how and under what circumstances they do so, as well as the functional outcomes of these interactions. The sum of all protein interactions in a cell is called the ‘protein interactome’. However, experimentally characterising the interactions of such a large number of proteins is both technically difficult and labour-intensive.

The goal of Katja’s research is to develop integrative computational and experimental strategies to predict how proteins interact with each other and the effect of each interaction on cell function. For example, her lab will use computational techniques to predict the regions and specific residues that mediate protein interactions, and how mutations that are linked to disease alter the interactions of the gene’s protein product. They will then experimentally validate these predicted protein interaction interfaces and functions in living cells.

By first using computational strategies to make intelligent predictions, Katja’s group can significantly speed up the process of building more complete maps of the protein interactome with structural, functional, and cellular context information. Finally, Katja and her group will use these computational tools to investigate how mutations alter protein interactions in neurodevelopmental disorders. By building these tools and resources, Katja’s work will make it possible for scientists to study the effects of mutations, toxins, and pathogens on cells more efficiently.

For a PDF version of this press release, click here.


Further information

Katja Luck is an Emmy Noether group leader at IMB. Further information about research in Luck lab can be found at www.imb.de/luck.

About the Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH

The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB) is a centre of excellence in the life sciences that was established in 2011 on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Research at IMB focuses on three cutting-edge areas: epigenetics, developmental biology, and genome stability. The institute is a prime example of successful collaboration between a private foundation and government: The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has committed 154 million euros to be disbursed from 2009 until 2027 to cover the operating costs of research at IMB. The State of Rhineland-Palatinate has provided approximately 50 million euros for the construction of a state-of-the-art building and is giving a further 52 million in core funding from 2020 until 2027. For more information about IMB, please visit: www.imb.de

Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It was established in 1977 by Hubertus Liebrecht (1931–1991), a member of the shareholder family of the company Boehringer Ingelheim. With the Perspectives Programme “Plus 3” and the Exploration Grants, the foundation supports independent junior group leaders. It also endows the internationally renowned Heinrich Wieland Prize as well as awards for up-and-coming scientists. In addition, the Foundation is donating a total of 154 million euros from 2009 to 2027 to the University of Mainz for the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB). Since 2013, the Foundation has been providing a further 50 million euros for the development of the life sciences at the University of Mainz. www.bistiftung.de

Press contact for further information

Dr Ralf Dahm, Director of Scientific Management, Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB), Ackermannweg 4, 55128 Mainz, Germany. Phone: +49 (0) 6131 39 21455, Fax: +49 (0) 6131 39 21421, Email: press@imb.de

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Wed, 09 Sep 2020 16:18:50 +0200