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Six new labs joining the faculty: from Plant Science to Molecular Medicine

New labs available for applicants starting 2022: Kunz, Bölter, Nägele, Cordes, Tiedt, and Franzmeier


Prof. Dr. Kunz's group is strongly focused on the plant chloroplasts and transport processes in this organelle, with a particular interest in ion transport proteins. Currently, the group is working on the identification of their substrates and molecular mechanisms. In this context, the lab is interested in organelle development, stress signals, and photosynthesis. In their studies, they mainly use Arabidopsis thalian as a plant model organism, but are also interested in algae. Prof. Kunz is Chair of Plant Biochemistry and Physiology at the LMU Faculty of Biology - Division of Plant Science.

Dr. Bettina Bölter is a Research Assistant in the Kunz Group, working on the characterisation of protein transport into chloroplasts - analysis of composition and regulation of translocation complexes.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Nägele is Chair of Plant Evolutionary Cell Biology at the LMU Faculty of Biology - Division of Plant Science. His group focuses on the quantitative analysis of metabolic regulation, looking to promote our understanding of how plants acclimate to a changing environment. They apply a combination of experimental and theoretical methods to develop quantitative models of plant metabolism. Experimental data on photosynthesis, subcellular metabolite concentrations, protein levels, and enzyme activities are used to develop mathematical models which enable the prediction of plant growth in a changing environment.

Prof. Dr. Thorben Cordes leads the "Physical and Synthetic Biology” lab, specializing in the development and application of novel spectroscopy and imaging techniques that allow mapping the structure and function of biomolecules and (bio)chemical processes in space and time. For this, the group at the LMU Faculty of Biology - Division of Microbiology uses a combination of optical techniques (single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy & super-resolution imaging) with nanoscale sensors, i.e., fluorescent probes. The Cordes lab follows a question-driven approach to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms of membrane transport and molecular motors, as well as chemical reactions and catalysis. Finally, they are active in developing fluorescent probes and biophysical assays to characterize (bio)chemical processes and structures in vitro and in vivo.

Dr. Nicolai Franzmeier leads the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research (ISD) Junior Group "Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging", which focuses on better understanding the mechanisms that promote the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, in order to develop clinically applicable personalized medicine models for predicting patient-specific disease trajectories (e.g. Franzmeier et al., Alzheimers Dement, 2020). To this end, they combine multi-modal neuroimaging methods including positron-emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with clinical assessments and genetics in large-scale patient data.

Dr. Steffen Tiedt is Junior Group leader of the lab "Molecular Biomarkers – From Omics to Mechanisms", aiming to identify circulating signatures that inform on the local and systemic effects of stroke and to explore the underlying molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms. Events in most organs including the local and systemic events (e.g. stress) related to acute stroke are captured by the circulating proteome and metabolome. Based in the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research (ISD), the lab applies profiling technologies on human samples to identify differentially regulated molecules and study their functional role in vitro and in vivo using experimental stroke models, transgenic animal models, different imaging modalities, and a broad range of biomolecular tools.