Members

Dr. Sofia Iris Bimpli

W1 Professor for Cardiovascular Surveillance at the Institute for Vascular Signalling and the Cardiopulmonary Institute

JQYA Member 2021, Emmy-Noether Programme

Research area: Metabolic surveillance of vascular homeostasis and aging

Research focus: Endothelial cells coat the inside of blood vessels and are directly exposed to the blood. These cells are, however, much more than a protective lining as they are metabolically active and contribute to the development and preservation of a healthy vasculature and thus are vital for organ maintenance in adulthood. Endothelial senescence is the dominant unmodifiable risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and strategies to rejuvenate the endothelium remain far away from the clinic. Our team studies how metabolic intermediates can impact on cell signalling via the post-translational modification of proteins and epigenetic mechanisms to control endothelial cell senescence and reparative responses. The overall aim is to unravel novel metabolic based therapies for the preservation of endothelial cell function.

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Dr. Jasmin Kim Hefendehl

Group Leader Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences

JQYA Member 2018, Emmy-Noether Programme

Research area: Neurovascular Disorders

Research focus: Alzheimer’s Disease as well as vascular cognitive impairment are major health problems on our society. In fact, up to 80% of all dementia cases present themselves in a co-morbid manner with both AD and vascular cognitive impairment present in the patient. Hence, we are conducting basic research on the coocurrence of the two diseases to investigate underlying mechanisms and potential biomarkers. The neurovascular unit consist of multiple different cells that work in close coordination to regulates blood flow and blood brain barrier integrity and is of particular interest to us, as it is a common target in both diseases.

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Dr. Benesh Joseph

Group Leader

JQYA Member 2018, Emmy-Noether Programme

Research area: • Membrane transport mechanism • Membrane biogenesis and • In-situ / cellular structural biology

Research focus: The survival of bacterial pathogens requires several membrane-embedded heterooligomeric macromolecular machines. Many of them are potential targets for novel antibiotics to combat the multiple drug resitance. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we characterize the structural transitions, conformational equilibria, and the thermodynamic parameters to elucidate the mechanistic basis of their function.

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Dr. Christian Münch

Group Leader

JQYA Member 2018, Emmy Noether Programme, ERC Starting Grant

Research area: Protein quality control

Research focus: Proper folding of proteins in cells is required for cellular function and survival. My laboratory studies how cells respond to protein misfolding as observed in diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration. We particularly focus on the specific stress responses induced to overcome protein misfolding in mitochondria.

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Dr. Cornelia Pokalyuk

JQYA Member 2020, Emmy Noether Programme

Research area: Stochastic dynamics of host parasite processes, population genetic processes with spatial structure and selection, coalescing and branching processes

Research focus: The evolution of parasites is strongly influenced by the parasites dependence on their hosts. For instance, the spread of the parasite population over the host population can imply a hierarchical structure of the parasite population and the spatial structure of the host population can carry over to the parasite population. In exchange with experimental groups we develop in my group individual-based models that represent host parasite dynamics and analyse these with the help of genealogical processes and a separation of scales in time and space.

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Dr. Andreas Schlundt

Group Leader

JQYA Member 2018, Emmy Noether Programme

Research area: Structural biology of mRNA-regulation

Research focus: The tight control of mRNA stability essentially contributes to gene product levels during devlopment and immune responses, where misbalance is a major cause of disease. In this context, we investigate the role of RNA-intrinsic elements that are recognized by regulatory proteins. We are using an integrated structural biology approach to obtain atomic pictures of these RNA-protein complexes and derive mechanistic details for cancer progression and autoimmunity.

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