Press releases - News from the MPI of Biochemistry

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Brenda Schulman is elected EMBO Member

May 14, 2018
Today, the European Molecular Biology Organization, EMBO announced Brenda Schulman as a new EMBO member.  Since 2016, Schulman has been a Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried. „It is a great honor to be elected as a member of EMBO, and this recognition is an exceptionally warm welcome by the European molecular biology community“ says Schulman.  As among the 62 newly elected EMBO Members, Schulman joins a group of more then 1800 outstanding life scientists from Europe and around the world. With the admission of Brenda Schulman, all Directors of the MPI of Biochemistry are now EMBO members. [more]
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 Ernst Jung Prize awarded to Wolfgang Baumeister

May 04, 2018
The Ernst Jung Gold Medal for Medicine is awarded for lifetime achievement by a scientist who has made a major contribution to the advancement of medicine. This year’s prize was awarded to Munich biophysicist Wolfgang Baumeister for his work in the field of cryo-electron microscopy and in elucidating the structure of large macromolecular protein complexes. Wolfgang Baumeister is Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried. The prize includes a €30,000 scholarship for Baumeister to award to a junior scientist of his choice. The prize was awarded at a ceremony in Hamburg on 4 May 2018. [more]
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Charles F. Kettering Award for Manajit Hayer-Hartl

May 02, 2018
Manajit Hayer-Hartl, head of the research group "Chaperonin-assisted Protein Folding” at the Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried receives the Charles F. Kettering Award 2018 from the American Society of Plant Biologists. The award honors excellent research in the field of photosynthesis. Hayer-Hartl’s work brings insights into chloroplast protein-chaperone biology and helping to advance many aspects of the field of photosynthesis. This includes the solution to several long-standing challenges associated with the biogenesis of the photosynthetic enzyme Rubisco. Her work has dramatically advanced and reinvigorated interest in studying Rubisco, due to her pioneering achievements in understanding the biogenesis and maintenance of Rubisco. These accomplishments have led to the successful assembly of plant Rubisco in E. coli, an achievement that had eluded scientists for nearly 50 years. The award ceremony will take place at the annual meeting of the Society in Montreal, Canada. [more]
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Lighting up DNA-based nanostructures

April 24, 2018
Most people know DNA as the carrier of genetic information. However, scientists now use DNA – based on their physical properties – as basic building blocks to produce complex, nanometer-sized objects. This technique is called DNA origami. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry have now for the first time used a new variant of super-resolution microscopy to visualize all the strands of a DNA origami structure. The method promises to optimize the design of such structures for specific biological and biophysical applications. The work was published in the journal Nature Communications.   [more]
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Making patterns robust

April 17, 2018
Vital processes such as cell division must be stable under various conditions. The correct  distribution of proteins in the cell is crucial here. In cooperation with colleagues from the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich, researchers from the Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Biochemistry in Martinsried, have now investigated which mechanisms are responsible for the pattern formation to become robust against variations in protein concentration.To do this, scientists used a combination of mathematical modeling and an experimental, minimal approach in the lab to understand the basic principles. The results were published in the journal PNAS. [more]
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Advanced ERC Grant for Brenda Schulman

April 16, 2018
Brenda Schulman, head of the department „Molecular Machines and Signaling“ at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried receives the Advanced Grant of the European Research Council. It comes with a funding of 2.2 million Euros over five years. Together with her team, Schulman wants to find out the numerous ways the ubiquitin-like protein NEDD8 activates hundreds of distinct but related ubiquitin ligase machineries. The understanding of these protein machineries on structural, functional, and cellular levels will help to understand a large family of regulatory complexes that controla major part of eukaryotic biology, like immunity or cell division and thereby plays a central role in many diseases. [more]
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Two molecular machines caught in the act with the electron microscope

March 13, 2018
Scientists at the MPI of Biochemistry have for the first time succeeded in determining the structure of the interaction of two large molecular machines. In cooperation with researchers from the Heidelberg University, they investigated the interaction between the ribosome and the exosome. Ribosomes use ribonucleic acid (RNA) as blueprint for the production of proteins. The exosome in turn is responsible for the degradation of RNA. The study of the interaction of two molecular machines using cryo-electron microscopy provides a better insight into the physiological function of such machines. The study was published in Science. [more]
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