Hello, I'm Emanuel Pfitzner and started doing my PhD in the group of Prof. Dr. Heberle in July 2013. I studied physics with focus on biophysics at the TU Munich and did my diploma thesis in the group of Prof. Dr. Dietz at the ZNN (TU Munich) about self-assembled DNA nanostructres ('DNA-origami') for application in experiments with optical tweezers.
My current research is based on the use of tip-enhanced-Raman-spectroscopy (TERS) and single-molecule force spectroscopy with an atomic force microscope (AFM). This two methods combined provide a high spatial resolution (up to the sub-nanometer regime) for topographical and chemical imaging. Furthermore it enables the investigation of structural and chemical properties of single molecules under stress, such as bacteriorhodopsin or channelrhodopsin II.
On the one hand this combined methods should provide detailed information about the unfolding pathway(s) and the stability of interactions under stress in single proteins. One ultimative goal would be to resolve a breaking pattern of single bonds during unfolding of a single protein with spectroscopical analysis.
On the other hand one could get a closer spectroscopical view of chemical reactions inside single molecules. Especially in the family of rhodopsin-like proteins, one could obtain details in proton transfer by time resolved spectroscopical measurements on single membrane proteins.