The new Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) – to be established on the DESY campus in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld - is dedicated to research in Structural Biology and Systems Biology with a special focus: Infectious diseases. Bringing together the expertise of various scientific disciplines, special emphasis will be on imaging and fundamental processes in cell biology: Molecular interactions are crucial in determining the course of an infection; e.g. between human cells and microbes.
By fostering strategic co-operations and networking between universities and non-university research institutions, CSSB will be able to fully exploit existing resources and drive synergies in multidisciplinary approaches. Both, its concept and infrastructure will make the CSSB a highly innovative alliance institute and attractive to foreign researchers.
Structural Biology meets Infection Research
Up to ten highly interconnected new research groups are going to meet this challenge. DESY offers unique facilities in Germany that provide optimal conditions for structural biology. Using some of the most advanced light sources such as PETRA III and FLASH or the European X–ray free electron laser XFEL (operational in 2014), CSSB scientists will be able to study biological samples in different ways – ranging from the structural analysis of single molecules to the understanding of molecular and dynamic processes – and thus explore the molecular basis of diseases with extremely high spatial and temporal resolution. Additionally, CSSB is going to implement state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscope facilities to close the gap still existing between classical structural biology and infection research.
The CSSB research building will be constructed on DESY Campus, south of the PETRA III experimental hall, to unite the groups of all partners under one roof. Prerequisite of the building design is the Provision of an operational and communicative environment enabling a steady Exchange between partners. The design by "hammeskrause architekten" (Stuttgart) reflects these needs: Various seminar rooms and meeting points as well as a lecture hall (with space for 150 persons) and the large entrance hall provide adequate room for scientific meetings and symposia. Featuring around 6000 square metres of lab and office space the CSSB will also be open to the regional, national and international research community by various modes of co-operation.
Construction will start in 2013 and is expected to be finished in 2016.
Partners at the Centre for Structural Systems Biology CSSB
- Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNI)
- Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY (DESY)
- European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
- Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ)
- Hannover Medical School (MHH)
- Heinrich-Pette-Institute - Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology (HPI)
- Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig (HZI)
- University of Hamburg (UHH)
- University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)
- Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Supported by: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Federal States of Hamburg and Lower Saxony.