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<p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Max Planck Director awarded the Bavarian Maximilian Order</p>

Petra Schwille, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, has been awarded the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art. She received the highest accolade of the Free State of Bavaria for her outstanding scientific achievements. After her groundbreaking work on the biophysics of single molecules, Petra Schwille has for several years been exploring the origin of life. With her research group she wants to construct a biological system from individual building blocks that is able to divide itself – an important step towards the primordial cell. Schwille said: “The award of the Maximilian Order is a particular honor for me, because I feel very much connected to the great scientific location of Munich and the Free State of Bavaria.”The Maximilian Order will be awarded on December 17 at the Munich Residence. more

How skin cells protect themselves against mechanical stress

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and serves, among other things, to protect against physical injury. To provide such protection, skin cells must be tightly connected to each other. However, it was long unclear exactly how such mechanical stability is achieved. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry together with researchers from Stanford University (USA) have now been able to show how mechanical stress is processed at special cell anchoring points known as desmosomes. For this purpose, they developed a miniature device to measure forces across individual proteins within desmosomes. In the study published in Nature Communications, they use technology to show how mechanical forces are processed at these anchoring points. more

Brenda Schulman receives the Leibniz Prize 2019

Brenda Schulman, head of the department „Molecular Machines and Signaling“ at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried receives the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2019. It comes with a funding of 2.5 million Euros. The Leibniz Prize honors her important work on the molecular mechanisms of the Ubiquitin System. „I am extremely honored to receive this award and I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the DFG and the selection committee“, says Schulman. The Leibniz-Prize will be awarded on March 13, 2019 in Berlin. more

Access control for proteins

The trans-Golgi network (TGN) is the central hub for the transport of proteins within and out of cells. As protein transport is essential for cell biology, the cell closely regulates which proteins are packaged and transported in vesicles. However, the process by which non-signal-carrying proteins are packaged is still poorly understood. A new study carried out by the Research Group led by Julia von Blume at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried in collaboration with Christopher Burd’s Research Group at Yale University has now shown that the sorting of proteins into vesicles and lipid synthesis at the TGN are molecularly coupled. The study was published in Developmental Cell. more

F.-Ulrich Hartl inducted into Hall of Fame of German Research

F.-Ulrich Hartl, director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, was inducted into the Hall of Fame of German Research. The award, which was introduced by the Manager Magazin in 2009, honors Hartl as a pioneer in the field of cellular biochemistry. Together with colleagues in the USA, Hartl demonstrated that newly produced proteins do not fold spontaneously but require the assistance by folding helpers, so called chaperones. This finding refuted the central dogma that proteins in cells can fold spontaneously, just as they do in the test tube. Hartl’s research shows that misfolded proteins contribute to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and are associated with malfunction of chaperones.   more

Disorder in the liver

Disorder in the liver

October 22, 2018

Chronic excessive caloric intake leads to the deposition of fat droplets in the liver. This condition, known as fatty liver, can cause permanent damage to the organ. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) in Martinsried have now investigated the effects of this fat overflow on liver proteins. They showed that fatty liver is associated with changes in the location and activity of numerous cellular proteins. The study, which was published in the journal Developmental Cell, shows the effect of lipid deposition on fundamental cellular processes in the liver. more

<strong>Working the switches for axon branching</strong>

Our brain is a complex network with innumerable connections between cells. Neuronal cells have long thin extensions, so-called axons, which are branched to increase the number of interactions. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have collaborated with researchers from Portugal and France to study cellular branching processes. They demonstrated a novel mechanism that induces branching of microtubules, an intracellular support system. The newly discovered dynamics of microtubules has a key role in neuronal development. The results were recently published in the journal Nature Cell Biology. more

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