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Newsletter 13

We are very happy to welcome Holger Sondermann and his group to CSSB and we would also like to congratulate Michael Filarsky for receiving an ERC Starting Grant.

In recent months, CSSB scientists have not only published exciting new findings regarding coronaviruses but have also revealed new insights into the architecture of the nuclear pore and demonstrated that the sophisticated molecular machines developed by bacteria could be exploited for therapeutic applications. All our research highlights can be found in the Scientific News section of this newsletter.

Please remember to join us on 8 October for our next virtual seminar with Petra Schwille from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry.

CSSB NEWS

IMAGE: DESY

Michael Filarsky receives an ERC Starting Grant

CSSB Scientist, Michael Filarsky (UHH), receives an ERC Starting Grant for his project looking into the adaptation of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The ERC awards the Starting Grants to outstanding young researchers who have completed their doctorate two to seven years ago. The grant gives them the opportunity to implement innovative projects in basic research.

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IMAGE: DESY

CSSB welcomes Holger Sondermann

CSSB's newest group leader, Holger Sondermann, has a joint appointment with DESY and the University of Kiel. He leads a team of scientists that will observe the communication between bacteria and might even discover new approaches to combat pathogens along the way.

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IMAGE: DESY, Daniel Reinhardt

State Secretary Lukas visits CSSB

Prof. Wolf-Dieter Lukas, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, visited the DESY campus on 21 August, 2020. As part of his campus visit, Sts. Lukas stopped by CSSB where he spoke with CSSB Scientific Director, Chris Meier about our collaborative research approach and the importance of fundamental research.

IMAGE: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

Kolbe and Labahn receive grant for SARS-CoV-2 research

The CSSB groups of Michael Kolbe and Jörg Labahn are part of a collaborative project entitled "Inhibitor screening and structural characterization of novel virulence factors from SARS-CoV-2" that received grant monies from the DESY Strategic Fund. The two year project is led by Dr. Johanna Hakanpaa from DESY and Dr. Björn Windshügel from Fraunhofer IME, ScreeningPort is also a collaborator.

UPCOMING CSSB EVENTS

Petra Schwille - October 8

On 8 October at 11:30, Prof. Dr. Petra Schwille from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry will give a virtual seminar talk entitled "Is there a "hydrogen atom" of biology?" All are welcome to join!

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IMAGE: Tim Gilberger

SAVE THE DATE: 7-9 December 2021

The 3rd CSSB International Symposium will now take place from 7-9 December 2021. The symposium entitled "Charting the landscape of infection: From entry to exit" will focus on a cross-disciplinary interrogation of the molecular mechanism of human infections.

IMAGE: UHH/Wohlfahrt

Hamburg COVID-19 Series

On 7 October at 16:00, CSSB scientist Kay Grünewald will present recent research results concerning SARS-CoV-2 with respect to our structural knowledge of the virus. The bi-weekly Hamburg COVID-19 Series aims to increase the visibility of COVID-19 research in Hamburg and is organized by the Leibniz ScienceCampus InterACt and the Helmholtz graduate school for Data Science in Hamburg (DASHH).

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SCIENTIFIC NEWS

IMAGE: Jan Kosinski

Nuclear Pore's Architecture Revealed Directly in Cells

Using structural biology microscopic techniques combined with integrative modelling, Jan Kosinski (EMBL) and his collaborator Martin Beck, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics and EMBL Heidelberg, recently revealed the cell architecture of the yeast nuclear pore and snapshots of its turnover in Nature.

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IMAGE: Christian Löw

Native lipid environment reveals more about peptide transporters

CSSB scientist Christian Löw's (EMBL) group in collaboration with Dr. Hagen Hofmann's group from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have recently demonstrated that placing peptide transporters in a more native lipid environment reveals additional structural and functional details.

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IMAGE: Thomas Marlovits

Bacteria Exploited for Therapeutic Applications

CSSB scientist Thomas Marlovits (UKE) and collaborators have developed the basic principles for reprogramming this secretion system to deliver functional binding proteins inside human cells. These principles, published in Communications Biology, demonstrate that the sophisticated molecular machines developed by bacteria could be exploited for therapeutic applications.

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IMAGE: Georg Wolff / Montse Barcena

Missing link in replication process of coronaviruses identified

In cooperation with scientist from the Grünewald (HPI, UHH) group, researchers from Leiden University Medical Center now found a passage mechanism that is mediated by a large crown-shaped molecular pore. This protein structure is a potential new starting point for the development of antiviral drugs. The study was published in the renowned journal Science.

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IMAGE: Nature Chemistry/Aymelt Itzen

A new method for identifying bacterial enzyme targets

CSSB Associate Member, Aymelt Itzen (UKE) and collaborators, Prof. Dr. Hartmut Schlüter from the UKE and Prof. Dr. Christian Hedberg from Sweden, have developed a new method that will systematically facilitate the identification of targets for a particular family of bacterial enzymes. Their chemical and biochemical method was recently published in Nature Chemistry.

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IMAGE: Paul-Christian Burda and Thomas Crosskey

Unravelling the secrets of the malaria parasite

For the first time, scientists have identified a lipocalin protein in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The discovery helps to better understand the life cycle of the parasite that is a major health burden in large regions of the world. The cooperation between the groups of Tim Gilberger (BNITM) and Matthias Wilmanns describes the discovery in the journal Cell Reports.

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Contact Information

Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB)
c/o DESY, Building 15
Notkestr. 85
22607 Hamburg
Germany
E-mail: info@cssb-hamburg.de

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www.cssb-hamburg.de
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