Molecular Biophysics

Prof. Ralf Seidel 
Peter Debye Institute for Soft Matter Physics 
Universität Leipzig

Prof. Ralf Seidel

Our genome is constantly copied, modified, rearranged and maintained. We are interested in how the complex machineries are functioning that drive these biological processes.
To this end we develop new biophysical tools that allow to monitor the activity as well as conformational states of single biomolecular machines in real time. This includes so-called tweezers techniques where magnetic and photonic forces are used to probe the mechanical properties and the states of single biomolecules. We combine such measurements with singe-molecule fluorescence approaches that report on the localization and on nanoscopic conformational changes of individual molecular players. Our single-molecule measurements are complemented by physical modeling in order to understand the main working principles of biomolecular machines.
Using this methodology we investigate the physical processes that lead to DNA compaction in the nucleus of cells, decipher the mechanisms of motor enzymes that are involved in the repair of broken DNA and explore how CRISPR-Cas enzymes that currently revolutionize the field of genome engineering are recognizing their programmable targets.

Beyond understanding biomolecular machines we also try to make use of biological principles in order to fabricate artificial bioinspired nanosystems. Hereby we exploit DNA as building material to fabricate three-dimensional objects of complex shape and with designed functionality. These structures are applied in membrane biophysics as well as for the self-assembly of nanoelectronic components.

+++ NEWS +++

2. January 2018: Martin Göse joined the group to work on Type III restriction enzymes.


Happy New Year! Let the Yellow Dog bring happiness and professional success to you in 2018!


1. November 2017: Shikhar joined the group to work on high throughput study of the CRISPR/Cas systems.

4-7. September 2017: Group Retreat in Loket, Czech Republic!

1. September 2017: Ulrich joined the group to work on DNA origami based material structures.

23-28. July 2017: Jasmina, Kristina, Felix, Saurabh and Fergus attended "Helicases and nucleic acid-based machines: Structure, mechanism and regulation and roles in human disease" conference in Kloster Banz Conference Centre, Germany.

3. July 2017: Georgij Kostiuk and Irmantas Mogila from Virginijus Siksnys laboratory (VU GMC, Vilnius) joined the group for 2 months to work on collaborative projects.

8-10. June 2017: Marius and Saurabh attended CRISPR 2017 meeting in Big Sky, Montana.

1. June 2017: Julene Madariaga Marcos from Fernando Moreno-Herrero laboratory (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain) joined the group for 3 months internship. 

May 2017: two new PostDocs, Brighton and Saurabh, joined our group. 

03. April 2017: Selgar joined the lab to work on mechanistic insight into target recognition by proteins.

01. March 2017: Sebastian joined the lab to work on polymer mechanics.

22. February 2017: The contract for a newly awarded ERC consolidator grant that will start in spring has just been signed.


letzte Änderung: 09.01.2018