Biophysics (Jutta Engel)

The group of Hair Cell Physiology (Department of Biophysics) uses inner ear tissue of rodents, mostly mice, to investigate the function of mammalian auditory hair cells. The lab is equipped with two patch clamp setups and an upright confocal laser scanning microscope (Zeiss LSM 700) combined with a patch clamp setup. The function and subcellular localization of BK K+ channels will be studied by whole cell and single channel patch-clamp recordings, by life imaging and by immunohistochemistry. We further use molecular biology techniques and collaborate with specialists in electron microscopy. 

Biophysics (Barbara Niemeyer, Markus Hoth)

The Department of Biophysics is equipped with state of the art instrumentation to analyze cellular functions of the immune system. This includes several different microscopic techniques with subcellular resolution and a focus on live cell imaging (fast deconvolution microscopy, TIRF microscopy, confocal microscopy, 2-photon microscopy, conventional epifluorescence microscopy including calcium imaging). Electrophysiology (patch clamp), luminescence, fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy, scanning electrochemical microscopy, EPR spectroscopy, and electrochemistry are also available. This instrumentation is complemented by a fully equipped molecular biology and biochemistry lab, a FACS facility, and many assays to analyze functions of primary human immune cells including killing, migration, apoptosis, proliferation etc. 

Cell Biology and Cellular Biochemistry (Johannes Herrmann, Jan Riemer)

The research groups of Johannes Herrmann and of Jan Riemer use yeast and mammalian cells as model systems to study mitochondrial biology. We employ a broad set of methods including yeast genetics, cell biology, microscopy, molecular biology and protein biochemistry. Our laboratries are equipped with modern instruments for example for the purification and characterization of proteins under aerobic and anaerobic conditions (photo). Our main interest is to understand the basic principles by which proteins function in their physiological context and by which they interact with other components in the cell. 

Cellular Neurobiology (Joachim W. Deitmer, Holger Becker)

The Department of General Zoology/Cellular Neurobiology/Membrane Transport is equipped with essential instruments for studying cellular/molecular functions of brain cells. These include Two-Photon and Confocal laser scanning microscopes, modern Imaging techniques, Patch-Clamp set-ups, oocyte Voltage-Clamp set-ups, Ion-selective micro-electrodes, and basic biochemical and molecular biology labs. We are interested in neuron-glia interaction and membrane proteins involved in metabolic interaction between these main cell types in the brain, including some membrane transporters of metabolites and acid/base. We combine these methods also for structure-function studies of the proteins of interest.

Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Richard Zimmermann)

The research group of Richard Zimmermann uses human and murine cells as model systems. The regulation of the Sec61 dynamics in the human ER membrane by various mechanisms is studied by different experimental approaches. siRNAs are used to study the function of gene products of interest and  the impact of disease linked mutations. Effects of siRNA mediated gene silencing on cell growth are measured in real time in the xCELLigence system. The affinity of purified proteins for each other is measured by surface plasmon resonance spetroscopy and, effects of a certain gene product on protein transport into the ER is measured in semi-permeablized cells.

Molecular Biophysics (Sandro Keller)

The Department of Molecular Biophysics (Sandro Keller) is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for producing and characterising proteins. This includes chromatography and light scattering devices, isothermal titration, differential scanning, and pressure perturbation calorimeters, as well as absorption, fluorescence, and circular dichroism spectrometers. The research group is the first and currently only academic laboratory worldwide that possesses a fully automated circular dichroism spectrometer, which allows for a drastic increase in the throughput and precision of experiments addressing the folding and reconstitution of membrane proteins and protein-ligand interactions.

Physiology (Jens Rettig)

The department of Cellular Neurophysiology is specialized in molecular cell research on both the structural and functional level. Most interesting for perspective collaborators may be our expertise in fluorescence light microscopy. Recently, within the SFB894, we build up a facility in superresolution light microscopy, which allows resolving cellular structures smaller then 200 nm, which is the resolution limit of standard light microscopy (Epifluorescence microscopy or laser scanning microscopy). With our two Zeiss Elyra® systems cellular organelles as small as 100 nm can be quantitatively imaged in the so called SIM (structured illumination microscopy)-mode. The PALM (photo activated localization microscopy)-mode allows yet higher resolution (down to 20 nm). One of the Elyra® systems is in addition equipped with a Zeiss LSM780, a standard laser scanning microscope. This microscope possesses extremely light-sensitive detectors and a very high flexibility in setting up excitation and/or emission templates. Therefore this system is optimized for multicolour live cell imaging and other microscopic live cell assays like FRET or FRAP. Moreover TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence)-microscopy, which allows high resolution live cell imaging at the plasmamembrane, and patch clamp in combination with Ca2+ measurements is well established in our group. Our technical expertise is completed by a high-speed cell sorter (BD FACS Aria3) allowing us to split up or enrich cell populations concerning several parameters (for example GFP expression to enrich and separate transfected cells).  

Plant Physiology (Ekkehard Neuhaus, Torsten Möhlmann)

The Department of Plant Physiology is equipped with modern photometric, chromatographic and microscopic instrumentation for the analysis of metabolic intermediates and nutrients. To quantify essential micronutrients like copper, molybdate or iron an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) emission spectrometer (iCAP6000) coupled to microwave based sample preparation is available. Laboratories use the iCAP 6000 Series ICP emission spectrometers to detect and measure low levels of toxic elements and a diverse range of pollutant elements in the global environmental, metallurgical, petrochemical, food and pharmaceutical industries. In our group this instrument is used to analyze plant mutants of membrane proteins that transport such essential micronutrients and to determine their developmental and tissue specific distribution.