Dieter Oesterhelt

Dieter Oesterhelt

Membrane Biochemistry

Research in the department has its primary focus on the biology of Halobacterium salinarum and other halophilic organisms (e.g. Natronomonas pharaonis and Haloquadratum walsbyi). We concentrate on a variety of biological topics and follow an integrated approach combining different working techniques.

One major aspect is the analysis of photoreceptors in light energy conversion (photosynthesis) and signal transduction (phototaxis). This is extended to general aspects of bioenergetics and sensory processes. The function, structure, and dynamics of soluble and membrane proteins and protein complexes is analyzed. For this investigation we use a multitude of biophysical, molecular biological, and physiological methods. This includes the available "-omics"-technologies (e.g. Genomics and Proteomics, Transcriptomics).

Putative spin-offs from our work are not only appreciated by us, but pursued actively in various collaborations.


Dieter Oesterhelt, Emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, is being honoured with the Lasker Basic Medical Research Award 2021 together with Peter Hegemann and Karl Deisseroth

Mathias Grote, science historian and Heisenberg Fellow at Humboldt University, talks with Dieter Oesterhelt about his research more

Dieter Oesterhelt, Emeritus Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, has been awarded the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art. more

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