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IGK alumni Florian Brünig's successful disputation

Former member of our Integrated Graduate School (IGK) Florian Brünig, from the group of PI Roland Netz (Project C1), has successfully defended his PhD thesis. Congratulations, Florian!

Nov 08, 2023

IGK at the Berlin Science Week 2023

The IGK will be demonstrating some of the work they do on protonation dynamics at the Berlin Science Week 2023 in the Museum for Naturkunde.

Nov 03, 2023

PI Peter Hegemann will speak about optobiology at the 22nd Einstein Lecture Dahlem

The lecture will take place at 18:00 on November 7th, 2023.

Oct 26, 2023

New insight into rhodopsin function revealed by SFB 1078 project B3 in 2 publications

Project B3 has published two new papers in  The Journal of Physical Chemistry B  about channel-rhodopsins, which are light-activated membrane proteins that transport ions across cell membranes. In Schubert et al., IGK members Luiz Schubert  and Jheng-Liang Chen alongside PIs Joachim Heberle (B3/ A1 ), Ville Kaila ( Mercator Fellow ), and Ramona Schlesinger ( project B4 ) aim to understand vectorial ion transport. Using time-resolved IR spectroscopy in combination with molecular dynamics, they investigated the protonation pathway of the inward-directed proton pump xenorhodopsin from  Nanosalina  sp ( Ns XeR). Their findings suggest that residue D220 assists with mediating proton release, and is not the primary proton acceptor for protons transiently released by the retinal Schiff base.  In Saliminasab et al., they investigate a new instance of convergent evolution within sensory rhodopsins, a phenomona where unrelated or very distant protein groups display the same function.

Oct 03, 2023

Review article about SEIRAS has been published in Nature Reviews Methods Primers

SFB 1078 PIs Jacek Kozuch (Project B9) and Joachim Heberle (A1, B3) shared their extensive knowledge on surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy (SEIRAS), together with Dr. Kenichi Ataka, in an invited review which was published in the September issue of  Nature Reviews   Methods Primers .

Sep 19, 2023

SFB 1078 in Stockholm

The 14th European Biophysical Society Association (EBSA) Congress 2023 took place in the idyllic capital of Sweden. Included in its program were several scientific contributions by the SFB.

Aug 15, 2023

Publication from Humboldt fellow Carlos Baiz on authorship best practices

Dr. Carlos Baiz from the University of Texas at Austin received the prestigious Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers from the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation, enabling him to conduct research at the Freie Universität Berlin. He spent the latter half of 2022 collaborating with SFB speaker Joachim Heberle and colleagues, contributing his infrared spectroscopy knowledge to the development of new imaging techniques such as nano-infrared (nano-IR) spectroscopy.  Last week, he  published a paper  in the Biophysical Journal suggesting an improved approach to authorship in biophysics publications. He argues that as the field of biophysics grows and becomes increasingly collaborative, the traditional practices to evaluate authorship should be reviewed and revised. He suggests the development of definitive guidelines which will hopefully make navigating the challenges of determining authorship easier, such as data ownership. He also discusses the evaluation of authorship order. 

May 10, 2023

2 SFB Publications in Nature about Photosystem II

Postdoc and former IGK member Rana Hussein, together with PIs Athina Zouni and Holger Dobbek (project A5), have published a paper in Nature elucidating the mechanisms underlying the formation of oxygen during photosynthesis, a mechanism also examined by IGK member Paul Greife and PI Holger Dau (project A4) in a second Nature publication. Together, their work not only deepens our understanding of protein function but paves the way for the clean production of storable energy with artificial photosynthesis via water-splitting processes.

May 08, 2023

SFB 1078 at the 2023 Biophysical Society Conference

The Proton Reactions Conference in Tahoe, California has been co-organized by former PI Ana-Nicoleta Bondar.

Feb 09, 2023

SFB Publications by Brünig et al (TP C1, Netz) analyze excess-proton spectra beyond the normal-mode scenario

In a recent publication in Nature Communications, Brünig et al. show how the infrared spectroscopic signatures of hydrochloric acid solutions are related to proton-transfer processes between water molecules, the elementary step of the long-range Grotthus transport. In a second work that just appeared in the Journal of Chemical Physics, the IR band shapes produced by proton-transfer events are derived using analytical models for the barrier-crossing dynamics as a proton moves from one water molecule to a neighbouring one.

Nov 24, 2022

Joachim Heberle co-organises well-known Heraeus Workshop on Advanced Microscopy and Spectroscopy methods

In this seminar, we brought together leading experts in modern, evolving fields such as super-resolution microscopy, near-field microscopy and in-cell spectroscopy to discuss the latest advances in biophysical techniques and their possible application to medical questions, as well as the challenges which remain for translation into routine medical procedures.

Nov 14, 2022

Dr. Anastasia Kraskov Receives the Tiburtius Prize 2022

Congrats to Dr. Anastasia Kraskov (SFB project B6) for receiving the Tiburtius Prize 2022 for her outstanding dissertation.

Nov 09, 2022

SFB Publication in Nature Communications

Together with colleagues, SFB 1078 PIs Peter Hegemann (TP B2), Han Sun (TP C8), Ulrike Alexiev (TP A2), and Peter Hildebrandt (B6) and their coworkers shed new light on the molecular basis of fluorescence in microbial rhodopsins named QuasArs and their peculiar voltage sensitivity using a combination of spectroscopic studies and molecular dynamics simulations which reveal a unique photoreaction scheme and voltage-dependent changes of the hydrogen-bonding networks. The results pave the way for the development of next generation voltage sensors for optogenetics applications and were recently published in the September issue of Nature Communications.

Oct 18, 2022

SFB Publication by Patricia Saura and Ville Kaila (SFB 1078 Mercator fellow) in PNAS

In this recent publication in PNAS, Saura et al. show that internal redox changes in C c O create orientated electric fields that sort the protons along the chemical and pumping pathways, while preventing back leakage reactions.

Oct 13, 2022

New algae rhodopsin published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology

The SFB 1078 PIs Igor Schapiro (C6) and Peter Hegeman (B2) were involved in the discovery, structure and biophysical characterization of bestrhodopsins, a microbial rhodopsin subfamily from marine unicellular algae, in which one rhodopsin domain of eight transmembrane helices or, more often, two such domains in tandem, are C-terminally fused to a bestrophin channel.

Jun 16, 2022

SFB Publication in Nature Chemistry

In a joint publication by SFB 1078 colleagues from six different subprojects, a combination of quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations and ultrafast visible and infrared spectroscopies demonstrates how proton-coupled dynamics in the excited state of Pfr leads to a restructured hydrogen-bond environment of early Lumi-F, which is interpreted as a trigger for downstream protein structural changes.

May 16, 2022