Max Planck Fellows and External Scientific Members
The MPIB not only cooperates with universities in Germany, but also with research institutions all over the world.
For research to be successful, the transfer of knowledge and new ideas are essential. Therefore, the Max Planck Society (MPG) strengthens collaboration between its institutes and the universities through different programs: It recruits excellent university professors who as Max Planck Fellows lead a research group within the MPG, parallel to their work at the university. The appointment of emeritus professors is also possible. Cooperative projects with external institutions promote scientific exchange as well.
Max Planck Fellow
Professor Walter Neupert dedicates his work to mitochondria also after his retirement from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich. With his research group at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB), he studies the underlying genetic mechanisms of their complex architecture. Mitochondria are the cellular power stations and supply cells with the energy they need. Given that they derive from bacteria which were integrated into other cells, large protein complexes transport molecules from the cell interior to the mitochondria and back. Neupert was already able to decipher the structure and function of these complexes.
External Scientific Members
Professor Patrick Cramer is director of the Gene Center of LMU Munich and external scientific member at the MPIB. He investigates the translation of the genetic information DNA in RNA (transcription) and focuses on answering the following questions: How does the reading of the DNA occur? Which mechanisms are employed? What happens when mistakes are made? A large protein complex is responsible for the reading of the DNA: the RNA polymerase. Cramer could already map its structure and was able to decode the reading process and the involved correction mechanisms via X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. In the future, he wants to study how gene transcription is regulated.
Other external scientific members are:
RNA polymerases, gene transcription, genomic regulation, mRNA metabolism, molecular systems biology
neural stem cells, neurogenesis, fate specification, brain injury, neural repair
Structural Molecular Biology
Professor of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, USA
Secretary General of the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO), Strasbourg, France