Welcome to the Laboratory of Membrane Biology and Biophysics
Understanding the structure, dynamics, and function of macromolecular machines through integrative structural biology
Biomembranes that surround every living cell and intracellular organelles are one of the most fascinating biological structures found in nature. Membrane lipids form the basic structure of the lipid bilayer and actively participate in the regulation of protein activity, trafficking, and localization. Protein–lipid interactions are fundamentally important for a variety of cell biological processes ranging from protein sorting and membrane trafficking to intracellular signaling and development.
Aim of our lab is to understand the structural and mechanistic basis of intracellular degradation systems by studying autophagosomal and autolysosomal membrane formation and dynamics. We are integrating membrane biochemistry and molecular biology together with several complementary biophysical techniques, such as mass spectrometry (MS) and electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM), to study macromolecular complexes involved in this process. In the long-term, we hope to translate mechanistic and structural details into new concepts for the development of autophagy-modulating drugs as a potential approach to safe treatment of a wide range of diseases including neurodegeneration, cancer, and intracellular infections.
Please have a look at the individual research projects below for more details.