Two junior researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt (LMU) in Munich shall each receive a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). Professor Jens Michaelis, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Privatdozent Dr. David Vhringer, Institute of Immunology, shall receive grants amounting to 1.4 and 1.7 million Euros over five years. With its Starting Grant, the ERC supports highly creative researchers in order to encourage pioneering frontier research.
Professor Jens Michaelis will be studying how DNA is structurally rearranged in the cell nucleus in his project "ATP-dependent nucleosome remodeling Single molecule studies and super-resolution microscopy". In higher cells, the threadlike DNA molecule wraps around so-called histone proteins, together forming larger units called nucleosomes. Packed tightly like this, the DNA is protected, but sections of it have to be kept constantly accessible. Only so can the genetic information be read and the DNA duplicated for cell division, for example. This restructuring of nucleosomes is therefore an essential cellular process and, despite extensive experimental effort, its mechanistic detail is still not perfectly understood. This is where the 1.4 million euro sponsored project comes in: Michaelis intends to visualize this dynamic and energy-consuming nucleosome restructuring at the molecular level. Highly complex microscopic techniques, some of which originated in the physicist's own lab, will at last help demonstrate this tiny-scale process in a mechanistic model.
Jens Michaelis was born in 1971 in Mainz. After studying physics at Ulm University, he moved to the University of Oregon, USA. Jens Michaelis earned his doctorate in 2000 at Universitt Konstanz with his thesis on "Microscopy with a single-molecule light source". Following this, he worked as a postdoc for three years at the University of Berkeley, USA. In 2003, he came to the Institute of Physical Chemistry of LMU Mu
|Contact: Dr. Jens Michaelis|