The research of our group focuses on four main research areas: protein crystallography, biocatalysis, enzyme design & structure based drug design.

Crystals of a protein
Crystals of a protein. Photo: Leipzig University , BBZ, Structure Analysis of Biopolymers

Our main research areas are:

Protein crystallography and structural biochemistry

The most important method used in the laboratory is protein crystallography for the determination of the 3D structures of proteins. Only on the basis of the spatial structure, the molecular function of a protein can be fully understood. For protein production, the main tools are molecular biology methods, bioanalytical techniques and biochromatography.

Biocatalysis and enzyme design

With the help of structural and biochemical methods we study the mode of action of enzymes, which are of medical, pharmaceutical or biotechnological interest. Enzymes find an increasing use as efficient and environmentally clean catalysts especially for stereospecific or regioselective organic synthesis ("White Biotechnology"). Based on the 3D structures and the molecular mechanism we design new biocatalysts with novel specificities or even reactivities.

Enzymes as drug targets

On the basis of the spatial structure of pharmaceutically interesting enzymes, inhibitors as potential drugs can be developed rationally. Our main interest here is purinergic signalling: extracellular signalling pathways via ATP and other nucleotides.

Extracellular signalling

In addition to purinergic signalling we are studying the structure and function of other proteins involved in extracellular signalling, mainly adhesion GPCRs.

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Our research projects

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Research at the BBZ

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