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Dr. Kenichi Ataka secures funding for collaboration with Kyoto University

Funding for a joint research project with Kyoto University, Japan, has been officially approved. The funding comes from the "Global Frontier and Interdisciplinary Research Core for Deepening Investigations and Promoting Collaboration in Chemistry-oriented Fields" project, administered by the Institute for Chemical Research (ICR) at Kyoto University. The funds will be used to promote research collaboration with Professor Takeshi Hasegawa and his team. Professor Hasegawa is known for his advocacy of the Stratified Dipole Array (SDA) model, which provides insight into the mesoscopic nature of perfluorinated compounds. This model aptly explains our spectroscopic observations derived from fluorinated self-assembled monolayers, an important aspect of our contributions to the SFB project entitled 'CRC1349 Fluorine-Specific Interactions: Fundamentals and Applications'. Through this collaboration, we expect a deeper understanding of our research results and their implications.

Apr 02, 2024

Impressions from Jerusalem: An Interview with Joachim Heberle, who was visiting Hebrew University

Joachim Heberle traveled to Jerusalem on October 2 at the invitation of Hebrew University, with which Freie Universität has a strategic partnership, to prepare an event together with researchers there. He was in Jerusalem during Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7 and describes the situation he experienced until his return on a Lufthansa evacuation flight on October 13. Link to the interview (in German): https://www.fu-berlin.de/campusleben/forschen/2023/231013-interview-heberle/index.html

Oct 15, 2023

Five manuscripts from Experimental Biophysics were accepted for publication last month

Last month, our group got no less than 5 manuscripts ready for publication. Of these, two of the papers are already available online (Baserga et al., BBA, DOI: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2023.149000 and Aleksanyan et al., Adv. Sci., DOI: 10.1002/advs.202304336 ) while three others have been accepted and will be published soon (Kozuch et al., Nature Rev. Meth. Primers, DOI: 10.1038/s43586-023-00253-8; Schubert et al., J. Phys. Chem. B, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.3c04100 ; Saliminasab et al, J. Phys. Chem. B). In three of these papers, we benefit from excellent collaborations within SFB 1078 ( www.sfb1078.de ) and the cluster of excellence UniSysCat ( www.unisyscat.de ).

Sep 03, 2023

Franziska Lesche receives the “Physik-Studienpreis” of the „Physikalische Gesellschaft zu Berlin E.V.“ for her excellent Master studies and thesis

Franziska Lesche studied Physics in the Master programme of our department and performed her Master thesis with the title “Imaging and spectroscopy of microbial rhodopsins in lipic and cellular environments” in our group under the supervision of Dr. Jacek Kozuch. For her excellent performance, she was now awarded the “Physik-Studienpreis” of the „Physikalische Gesellschaft zu Berlin E.V.“. We congratulate Franziska for this well-deserved award.  Pictures of the award ceremony can be found using the following link https://pgzb.de/preise/physik-studienpreis .

Aug 13, 2023

Alexander von Humboldt fellow Carlos Baiz has published an editorial on authorship best practices

Prof. Carlos Baiz who spent the second half of last year in our labs as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow published an editorial on Authorship best practices in biophysics ( https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2023.03.009 ). He states that „[...] it is necessary to introduce up-to-date authorship expectations and best practices for researchers to evaluate individual contributions and clearly define the criteria for authorship. This editorial provides guidelines and resources to help junior researchers navigate the authorship process, approach potential issues and conflicts, and promote ethical authorship practices in the biophysics community.“ We cannot agree more.

May 02, 2023

Freie Universität Berlin setzt ihre naturwissenschaftliche Vortragsreihe am 3. Mai 2023, 18 Uhr, mit dem Thema „Membranproteine sind Nanomaschinen“ fort

Die öffentliche Reihe der „Dahlemer Wissenschaftsgespräche“ des Fachbereichs Biologie, Chemie, Pharmazie der Freien Universität Berlin wird am 3. Mai 2023 fortgesetzt. Bei dem Vortrag von Prof. Joachim Heberle und Dr. Sabine Oldemeyer und der anschließenden Diskussion geht es um das Thema „Membranproteine sind Nanomaschinen – Wie neue physikalische Methoden deren Funktionsmechanismus auf atomarer Ebene aufklären“. Dr. Sabine Oldemeyer betont, dass „die Symbiose der scheinbar entfernten Fächer Physik und Biochemie einzigartige Einblicke in die Welt der Membranproteine erlaubt“. Zusammen mit dem Sprecher des SFB 1078, Prof. Dr. Joachim Heberle, wird anhand einiger Beispiele gezeigt, wie man einen atomaren Einblick in die Struktur dieser faszinierenden Proteine und ihrer für die Funktion unerlässlichen Strukturänderungen gewinnen kann. Die „Dahlemer Wissenschaftsgespräche“ finden alle zwei Monate jeweils am ersten Mittwoch im Monat um 18 Uhr im Forschungsbau SupraFAB in der Altensteinstraße 23 a statt. Der Eintritt ist frei, eine Anmeldung ist erwünscht unter: dahlemer.wissenschaftsgespraeche@suprafab.fu-berlin.de .

Apr 25, 2023

Nature paper on Huc has been released

The cryo-electron microscopy structure of the [NiFe]-hydrogenase Huc was obtained and refined to 1.52 Å resolution. Huc is a highly efficient, O 2 -insensitive enzyme that couples oxidation of atmospheric H 2 to the hydrogenation of the respiratory electron carrier menaquinone. Huc uses narrow hydrophobic gas channels to selectively bind atmospheric H 2 at the expense of O 2 , and 3 [3Fe–4S] clusters modulate the properties of the enzyme so that atmospheric H 2 oxidation is energetically feasible. The Huc catalytic subunits form an octameric 833 kDa complex around a membrane-associated stalk, which transports and reduces menaquinone 94 Å from the membrane. These findings provide a mechanistic basis for the biogeochemically and ecologically important process of atmospheric H 2 oxidation, uncover a mode of energy coupling dependent on long-range quinone transport, and pave the way for the development of catalysts that oxidize H 2 in ambient air.

Mar 14, 2023

ChatGPT - Der Papagei im Netz

In einem Artikel der akutellen Tagesspiegel-Beilage der Freien Universität diskutieren Forschende über die weitreichenden gesellschaftlichen Implikationen der Software

Feb 20, 2023

Sven Stripp in das Heisenberg-Programm der DFG aufgenommen

Ende 2022 hat Sven Stripp mit seiner Arbeitsgruppe die Freie Universität verlassen. Unterstützt durch das Heisenberg-Programm der DFG wird er seine Forschung von gasverarbeitenden Metallenzymen an einem anderen Ort weiterführen. Wir wünschen Sven für die Zukunft viel Erfolg und alles Gute!

Jan 19, 2023

DFG project approved for AG Kozuch - Influence of electrostatics on protein misfolding at membranes in neurodegenerative diseases

Based on a DFG-funded project, the Kozuch working group will investigate the influence of the lipid membrane - in particular its electrostatic properties - on the misfolding of proteins in neurodegenerative diseases. Methodologically, we will use surface-enhanced (SEIRA) and nano-infrared spectroscopy (based on atomic force microscopy) in combination with membrane model systems. Interested candidates for a doctoral thesis within this project can contact Dr. Contact Jacek Kozuch ( jacek.kozuch@fu-berlin.de ). Call for applications: https://www.fu-berlin.de/universitaet/beruf-karriere/jobs/wiss/20_fb-physik/PH-KO5464-5.html

Apr 29, 2022

Science paper on NmHR has been released

Chloride transport by microbial rhodopsins is an essential process for which molecular details—such as the mechanisms that convert light energy to drive ion pumping and ensure the unidirectionality of the transport—have remained elusive. We combined time-resolved serial crystallography with time-resolved spectroscopy and multiscale simulations to elucidate the molecular mechanism of a chloride pumping rhodopsin and the structural dynamics throughout the transport cycle. We traced transient anion binding sites, obtained evidence for how light energy is used in the pumping mechanism, and identified steric and electrostatic molecular gates ensuring unidirectional transport. An interaction with the π-electron system of the retinal supports transient chloride ion binding across a major bottleneck in the transport pathway. These results allow us to propose key mechanistic features enabling finely controlled chloride transport across the cell membrane in this light powered chloride ion pump. This work has been created in a collaboration between the SFB 1078 (C6 Schapiro and B3 Heberle), the ETH Zürich, and the PSI Villigen.

Feb 03, 2022

DFG project granted for AG Kozuch - Understanding Antibiotic Resistance and Enzymatic Catalysis by Combining Computational and Experimental Molecular Biophysics

As part of a DFG-third-party funded project, the Kozuch group will explore the relationship between the evolution of antibiotic resistance and the physical forces or non-covalent interactions that exist within enzymatic catalysts. Towards this goal, we will make use of a combined approach of computational and experimental vibrational spectroscopy in defined, external electric fields. Interested candidates for a doctoral thesis within this project to are invited to contact Dr. Jacek Kozuch ( jacek.kozuch@fu-berlin.de ).

Jan 03, 2022

Offener Hörsaal: Prof. Dr. Joachim Heberle - Vortrag "Verantwortung für die eigene Forschung"

Biophysiker und der Ombudsmann Prof. Dr. Joachim Heberle spricht bei einem öffentlichen Vortrag über die Verantwortung, die Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler für die eigene Forschung tragen. Hybrider Vortrag im Rahmen der Ringvorlesung "Offener Hörsaal: Ambivalenz der Wissenschaften – Nutzen und Schaden"

Nov 25, 2021

The Moderator

Focus on “Good Research Practice”: An Interview with Professor of Physics Joachim Heberle, Head of the Newly Established Office of the Central Ombudsperson at Freie Universität Berlin

Jul 02, 2021

Konfliktfrei Publizieren – Erfahrungen des „Ombudsman für die Wissenschaft“

Prof. Dr. Joachim Heberle, Mitglied im Ombudsgremium, und Dr. Hjördis Czesnick, Leiterin der Geschäftsstelle des Ombudsman für die Wissenschaft, berichten über typische Konflikte in natur- und lebenswissenschaftlichen Arbeitsgruppen, die im Zusammenhang mit der Publikation von Forschungsdaten aufkommen können. Im Vordergrund steht die Frage, wie Konflikte, z.B. auch Betreuungskonflikte, vermieden werden können.

May 20, 2021

How is a nerve impulse generated?

Biophysicists resolve structural rearrangements of a sodium pump at highest temporal and spatial resolution

Jan 05, 2021