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Scientific Achievements

  • Total synthesis of FAD and FMN analogues and their application for probing stereo-specificities of flavin cofactors in enzymatic reactions.
  • Pioneering work on the molecular genetic manipulation of the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum.
  • Key contributions to the development and application of molecular genetics, transient kinetics, and hybrid structural biology approaches for the elucidation of myosin and dynamin function, structure, and regulation.
  • Establishment of the first recombinant expression system for the production of functional myosin motors.
  • Application of protein engineering approaches leading to the elucidation of the fundamental principles governing myosin directionality and chemomechanical coupling.
  • Engineering of single-polypeptide myosin motors with enhanced stability and motility for use in biohybrid devices.
  • Structural characterization of the actomyosin complexes produced in Dictyostelium and human cells and elucidation of their involvement in cytokinesis and cell motility.
  • Structure-based identification of multi-site allostery in the myosin motor domain and characterization of several class-specific small molecule modulators of cytoskeletal myosins.
  • First description of a pharmacological chaperone for cardiac ß-myosin. Addition of the small molecule to the functionally impaired target protein leads to full restoration of myosin motor activity in a time and concentration dependent manner.
  • Elucidation of the function of cytoskeletal tropomyosins in controlling the motor activity and dynamic behavior of myosins in an isoform-specific manner.