Quantitative Analysis of Dynamic Processes in Membrane Transport and Translocation
The Research Training Group "GRK 1188" is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since October 1, 2005 and is currently in its second funding that started on April 1, 2010. Modern cell biology is currently integrating the molecular analysis of structure-function relationships of individual components with a more global understanding of the dynamic interactions between a large number of different macromolecules. This development is facilitated by novel key technologies that enable us to understand the dynamics of molecules in living cells. Employing state-of-the-art screening technology it is now possible to identify those protein or lipid components that specifically govern a given biological process out of the enormous complexity of the eukaryotic cell. This graduate program selected intracellular transport and membrane translocation processes in eukaryotic cells as its central theme, a classical field in molecular cell biology that particularly benefits from these technical advances. The growing complexity of biologically relevant information derived from such studies demands from the experimentalist an increasingly sophisticated and interdisciplinary knowledge. The mission of GRK 1188 is therefore to provide PhD students of the Heidelberg Biosciences that enter the research area of membrane transport with a specifically tailored qualification program in the context of an excellent research environment. The main focus of this training program is on specific methodology that the fellows will directly apply to their own research. These qualification activities are complemented by measures to promote soft skills and scientific independence of the fellows. In order to promote the international exposure of GRK 1188, the program collaborates with its international partner, the University of Manchester.
GRK1188 integrates laboratories at the Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center (BZH), the Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie (ZMBH), the Department für Infektiologie des Universitätsklinikums Heidelberg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). As shown in the overview schematic below, their general research interests are in the areas of
1.) Insertion of proteins or protein complexes into membranes
2.) Translocation of proteins and protein complexes across membranes
3.) Dynamic properties of membranes including vesicular transport