The department of Structural Cell Biology works at understanding the mechanisms underpinning basic biological processes of the cell at the atomic level. At present, the department includes four groups that use X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, biophysics, biochemistry and molecular biology to understand the structural basis of different cellular processes.
Elena Conti studies RNA metabolism. Esben Lorentzen leads a group funded by the Emmy Noether programme and focuses on cilia transport. Christian Biertümpfel leads a group funded by the Max Planck Society and works on DNA repair. Naoko Mizuno leads a group focusing on cellular and membrane trafficking.
The department is equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure that is maintained and organized in facilities providing support for eukaryotic expression, biophysical characterization and automated crystallization.