Eugene Kim Participates in New DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center
In a collaboration with scientists from Mainz and Stuttgart, Kim investigates the physico-chemical properties of biopolymers such as DNA
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has announced that 13 new Collaborative Research Centers (CRCs) will be funded with a total of 166 million euros for the next four years. In addition, 13 existing CRCs will be extended for another funding period. With the CRCs, the DFG aims to enable pioneering projects that strengthen the focus of the respective participating research institutes as well as their cooperation. The Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Biophysics is involved in one of the newly approved collaborative projects, which focuses on studying polymeric biomolecules in the cell.
Text: Katharina Kaefer
New CRC 1551 Transfers Polymer Concepts to Large Biological Molecules
Similar to plastics, polymeric molecules in the cell are composed of many small, similar-structured building blocks. Biopolymers range from proteins to DNA, which stores our genetic information, and RNA, which transports and translates the genetic information so that the cell can produce new proteins based on the genetically defined blueprint. The goal of the new CRC "Polymer Concepts in Cellular Function" is to transfer concepts from chemically synthesized polymers to biological molecules. The scientists want to gain a better understanding of processes in our body and their disruption in diseases to provide a basis for the development of new drugs. Max Planck research group leader Eugene Kim will investigate the properties of DNA in her project – she wants to find out how about 2 m of DNA are packed into the cell nucleus without impairing the conservation of genetic information.
MPI of Biophysics Is Part of a Successful Scientific Network
Through the International Max Planck Research School on Cellular Biophysics, the MPI of Biophysics has already established a successful collaboration with several research groups at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz, including the group of Edward Lemke, the spokesperson of the new CRC. The collaborative project on biopolymer research will strengthen and further expand the cooperation with Mainz – through the contribution of the MPI for Polymer Research also within the Max Planck Society. The excellent team is completed by the University of Stuttgart as another renowned partner.
JGU press release: