Scientific Excellence

Main Research Areas at the Department

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Macromolecular Complexes

Structure, function, dynamics of macromolecular complexes
Development of new methods in the field of NMR / EPR, mass spectrometry, laser and single molecule spectroscopy and computer-supported modeling.

The research groups involved are in the "Sonderforschungsbereiche" (collaborative research centers supported by the DFG) (see below) of the Department (SFB-807: "Transport and Communication across Biological Membranes" and SFB-902:"Molecular Principles of RNA-based Regulation“), the Cluster of Excellence "Macromolecular Complexes", in EU projects (see below) as well as in numerous projects in industrial cooperation. They are reinforced by a Volkswagen Foundation funded Lichtenberg-Professorship, an Emmy Noether Junior Research Group and the ERC Staring Grant groups "Protein Aggregation" and "Non-covalent mass spectrometry". The researchers are closely interlaced with other research fieldswithin and outside the department.

Membrane Proteomics

Structure and function of membrane proteins
Cellular interactions of membrane proteins

An important externally funded project in this research area is the SFB-807 "Transport and Communication across Biological Membranes". The research is uspported by the Heisenberg professorship "Molecular Cell Biology and Neurobiochemistry", the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group "Molecular Membrane Biology" and "Mechanisms of membrane transport" as well as the ERC Staring Group "a SMILE: analyse Soluble + Membrane complexes with Improved LILBID Experiments". Furthermore these researchers cooperate with numerous professors from the fields of biology, physics and medicine and various research groups from the MPI of Biophysics and Brain Research.

Mechanisms of action, drugs and medicines

Basic and method-oriented research: synthesis, analytics, targeting
Mechanistic- or biomedically oriented research: galenics, pharmacology, molecular medicine

Important funded projects in this area are the Research Training Group "Erforschung, Entwicklung und Sicherheit von biotechnologisch hergestellten Arzneimitteln - Biologicals", projects in various LOEWE projects (see below), such as the Fraunhofer IME Center for "Anwendungsorientierte Arzneimittelforschung","NNCS − Non-neuronale cholinerge Systeme" and "SynChemBio - Innovative Synthesechemie für die selektive Modulation biologischer Prozesse". The Graduate School FIRST und "Translational Research Innovation - Pharma (TRIP)" complete this research area.
In addition, the researchers are involved in the collaborative projects SFB-1039 "Krankheitsrelevante Signaltransduktion durch Fettsäurederivate und Sphingolipide", in the reasearch group "Exploiting the Potential of Natural Compounds: Myxobacteria as Source for Leads, Tools, and Therapeutics in Cancer Research" and in the cluster of excellence "Cardio-Pulmonary System".

Regulation with Light

Regulation of molecular processes with light

The newly established Graduate Group "CLiC - Complex Scenarios of Light-Control" explores the control of chemical and biological processes with light. The Heisenberg Professorship for "Molecular Cell Biology and Neurobiochemistry" and a sub-project of the Collaborative Research Center 1080 "Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Neural Homeostasis" deal with optogenetics - the control of genetically modified cells by light.

Chemical Education

Development of modern content and the use of new media for education in chemistry and for investigating and solving the problems of training of the teachers

The institute runs a chemistry teacher training center, the Lehrerfortbildungszentrum Chemie. Every year more than 800 teachers attend the center in order to improve their skills. Moreover the instistute is activly involved in the "Center for Teacher Education" at the University. In 2008 the institute established and founded the Goethe-Student Laboratory for Chemistry.

New Materials: From Molecule to Material

Synthesis of new materials with tailor-made magnetic, electronic and optical properties
Structural and element-analytical characterization of new materials

An important funded project in this research area is the transregional SFB "Condensed Matter Systems with Variable Many-Body Interactions". The research is performed in close cooperation with the Department of Physics as well as numerous DFG-funded projects (see below).

Sonderforschungsbereiche (in German)

Sonderforschungsbereiche (SFB) are long-term facilities in which scientists of related disciplines coperate professionally in interdisciplinary projects. They are funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Graduate schools and colleges (mostly in English)

Several graduate colleges and graduate schools strengthen the PhD training at the Faculty.

Research Groups

Pathological genes products

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Pathological genes products

The research group Pathological gene products and their mechanisms of action deals with the decryption of cancer mechanisms in various leukemia and lymphoma diseases. As one of three excellence initiatives  within Germany it is funded by the German Cancer Aid. Prof. Dr. Rolf Marschalek acts as speaker this research group.

Exploiting the Potential of Natural Compounds

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Exploiting the Potential of Natural Compounds

FOR 1406: Myxobacteria as Source for Leads, Tools, and Therapeutics in Cancer Research
Natural products play an important role in drug discovery and biomedical research:
1. They possess an enormous structural diversity serving as privileged scaffolds in drug discovery
2. They have proven to be valuable tools for examining cellular processes and identifying targets in signal transduction pathways.

Acinetobacter baumanii

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Acinetobacter baumanii

In the Research Groupe 2251"Adaptation and persistence of Acinetobacter baumannii, a pathogen of increasing importance"  microbiologists and medical microbiologists, biochemists, structural biologists and bioinformaticians deal with how to elucidate the infection process of the embryo and its mechanisms. The aims are insights in basic infection biological, which could be decisive for the clinical control of the germ.The study of Acineto bacter is also of fundamental interest because of other bacteria known virulence factors are not present in Acinetobacter.

Cluster of Excellence

Exzellenzcluster Macromolecular Complexes

In CEF, scientists at the Goethe University Frankfurt and two Max Planck Institutes investigate the structure and function of large macromolecular complexes, in particular membrane proteins and their assemblies, complexes involved in signal transduction and quality control, and RNA-protein complexes.

Exzellenzcluster Cardio-Pulmonary System

The mission statement of the ECCPS is:
 - Cutting edge research for the novel therapy of heart and lung diseases and is reflected in our focus on three research areas:
 - Vascular diseases of the heart and the lung
 - Parenchymal diseases of the heart and the lung
 - Heart and Lung interaction

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Joint Research

Researchers from the faculty of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Pharmacy are involved in numerous collaborative projects.
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Supported by the German Research Foundation

The faculty divided into three teaching units and a total of ten institutes with the associated professorships. Here you will find a compilation of the individual DFG projects and investment in collaborative research projects.
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International Research Projects

The scientists of the Department are integrated in numerous research networks that are supported by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme.

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Junior Research Groups

Several junior research groups are located at the faculty. They benefit from an excellent research environment, an excellent infrastructure and can thus develop their independent research profile.

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Scientific Centres

Many research groups of the faculty are organized in academic centres that are linked to researchers from other disciplines who work on interdisciplinary topics.

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Research Highlight Archive

Here you will find the previous posts "Current research highlights"

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Endowment Professorships

EndowmentProfessorships, help to support existing specialties. They express the solidarity of the industry and the citizens of Frankfurt. The following are located at the faculty:
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Prof. Dr. Alexander Gottschalk
(Institut for Biochemistry)
Molecular Membrane Biology and Neurobiology