New Professorships and the contributions that they are expected to make
Objective 4. Recruit W2 tenure-track Professor in structural biology hybrid methods (2007)
The resolution range of crystallography and NMR typically ranges from 0.1-1 nm, and cryo-electron microscopy covers the resolution range 1-100 nm. Due to their complementarities and recent developments, both methods can now be combined into a „hybrid approach,“ which allows for structure determination of very large, transient and scarce multicomponent complexes of several million Daltons molecular weight. Typically, a 3D image of a complex is first obtained by cryo-EM and single particle analysis, and then atomic structures of components are determined by crystallography and fitted into the EM envelope to resolve the arrangement of the parts. Hybrid methods thus allow for a continuous sampling of the resolution range from Angstroems to hundreds of nanometers and must be developed and applied by the successful candidate. The methods and know-who of this group will be highly valuable in the research of all other labs in this research area and other areas who will apply structural techniques.
Objective 7. Recruit W3-Professor “Organismic biochemistry” (2007–2008)
To complement the very strong structural biology groups (Cramer, Hopfner, Beckmann, Kessler, Sattler, Conti, Baumeister) with a group at the university that is focussed on functional research in a model organism, we will establish a new W3-Professorship on Organismic Biochemistry. This group will mainly strengthen the protein networks field. The new group should analyze gene regulatory protein networks, and should study these networks in vivo with a model organism such as Drosophila, C. elegans or zebrafish. The new Professorship will contribute work on the most intricate protein networks in living cells, the combinatorial gene regulatory systems. The aim of Organismic Biochemistry is to track back events in the development of entire model organisms to specific gene batteries and their regulatory systems, ideally identifying key molecules involved. The aim of Organismic Biochemistry is to identify the respective proteins and RNA molecules constituting the regulatory networks in cell lines and animal models, to describe their biochemistry in a semi-quanititative manner, and to correlate the molecular events with cellular, tissue and organ phenotypes. Furthermore, it will be important to use comparative genomics to identify conserved parts of regulatory networks in several model organisms in parallel.