RESEARCH GROUPS

Scientific Coordinator: Christian Hackenberger

Chemical Biology investigates the function of biological systems with the means of chemical synthesis. The research of this section focuses on the discovery, synthesis and use of chemical tools that can modulate specifically and selectively the function of target proteins. This work embraces peptides, proteins and low molecular weight drug-like molecules as well as the further development of protein analytics by mass spectroscopy. Biochemical and physical methods aid to investigate interactions of substances with important protein structures. Thereby we support a central goal of the institute which is the elucidation of new principles for pharmacological intervention with biological processes that may ultimately lead to new treatments of diseases.

Department Chemical Biology II (Christian Hackenberger)

Our group is interested in understanding how nature generates specific biological function in complex cellular environments. Research projects in our laboratory combine techniques and approaches from organic chemistry, biochemistry and biophysics with the major emphasis on synthetic methodology development for natural protein modifications.

Department Chemical Biology I (Dorothea Fiedler)

Our group seeks to develop a better understanding of the multiple ways in which nature utilizes phosphate in both protein signaling cascades and metabolic networks. Signaling and metabolic pathways are very complex, but the individual steps within these cascades depend on simple chemical reactions and often involve the reversible addition of phosphoryl groups. 

Peptide-Lipid Interaction (Margitta Dathe)

The group is interested in the structural requirements of peptides as uptake-promoting and targeting tools for attached cargos and lipid-based carriers. Furthermore, we look at the role of the lipid matrix in mediating transmembrane transport and in modulating the activity and selectivity of antimicrobial peptides.

Mass Spectrometry (Eberhard Krause)

Our group focuses on the development and application of mass spectrometry-based proteomic methods that are used to investigate cellular signaling processes. Our main topics of research have been protein-protein interactions and post-translational modifications and their functional consequences.

 

 

Medicinal Chemistry (Marc Nazaré)

Our group is focused on developing new chemical tools to answer fundamental biological questions. These tools cover a broad range of applications from modulation of protein-ligand and protein-protein interactions to structure-activity relationship studies.  The application of these tools in in vitro and in vivo systems provides a deeper understanding of signal transduction pathways, molecular recognition phenomena of particular drug targets and other cellular events.

 

 

Core Facility: Screening-Unit (Jens-Peter von Kries)

The Screening Unit provides a high throughput technology platform for screening compound libraries (about 60.000 cpds) and for genome-wide RNA-interference using automated microscopes or other methods. The unit manages the ChemBioNet screening collection (20.000 cpds) shared with partnering platforms within Europe.

 

 

 

 

FORMER RESEARCH GROUPS

Chemical Systems Biology (Ronald Frank)

The Chemical Systems Biology Group pursued the investigation of cellular targets with multiple/poly-regulatory functions. The goal was to develop smart pharmacological tools and approaches towards systems interventions and treatments. One focus of the group was the investigation of cellular protein networks regulated by calmodulin (CaM), a central calcium sensor and regulator. Of particular interest was the CaM mediated regulation of ribosomal proteins; ribosomal disruption is the cause of several hematopoietic disorders and CaM has been implicated in downstream effects. A second focus was the advancement of chemical microarray technology, a follow-up technology of the SPOT synthesis method developed by the principal investigator, to pursue large-scale mapping of protein-protein interactions as well as the discovery of small molecule ligands of protein targets.

Please note: the research group terminated work at the end of 2013 due to retirement of group leader Ronald Frank.
Ronald Frank continues as senior advisor to EU-OPENSCREEN.

 

 

Protein Chemistry (D. Schwarzer)

Our group is developing chemical tools to study the physiological function of posttranslational protein modifications. A central goal is the development of probes that serve as baits to trap, isolate and identify modification-specific binding proteins.

Please note
Prof. Dirk Schwarzer has accepted the chair for Biochemistry at theEberhard Karls Universität Tübingen in Octobre 2011.

Medicinal Chemistry (J. Rademann)

We develop strategies in the areas of synthetic organic chemistry, library design, and bioassays. Most protein targets of the group are disease-related enzymes including proteases and phosphatases relevant to clinical indications including cancer, Alzheimer, tuberculosis, and SARS. Recently, the targeted proteins have been extended towards receptors and protein-protein interactions.

Please note
Prof. Jörg Rademann has accepted the chair for Medicinal Chemistry at the Freie Universität Berlin.