Welcome to the Collaborative Research Centre 1208

Congratulations Lena!

On January 30th, 2020, Lena Müller has successfully defended her PhD thesis on "Copper transport and copper transport and coordination chemistry of the copper-binding domain of the ethylene receptor ETR1". Lena Müller is team member of the SFB 1208 subproject B06 and her supervisor is Prof. Dr. Georg Groth.
We sincerely congratulate Lena on passing the examination and wish her every success in the future.





Collaborative Research Centre 1208 extended!

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved an extension of the Düsseldorf Collaborative Research Centre 1208 for the analysis of the identity and dynamics of biological membrane systems by a further four years from the beginning of 2020 to the end of 2023. The DFG's funding decision confirms that the life sciences play an outstanding role in HHU research.
"Over the past four years, we have laid an excellent foundation on which we can now continue to build. Initially, it was important to expand the respective core projects with the competencies of other groups and thus bring the synergy potential of the research network to life," explains Prof. Dr. Lutz Schmitt, spokesperson of the SFB at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. "40% of our publications would not have been possible without the SFB - we are very proud that our projects are so well integrated".
During the second term of the SFB, the intensive methodological and conceptual collaborations will be expanded to include current methods from physics, chemistry and synthetic life sciences and previously unrepresented membrane systems will be investigated. In this way, the importance of membrane biology and new technical developments are taken into account.

„Dynamics of Membrane Systems“: 2nd International Conference in Düsseldorf

18.03.2019 – On 12.-14. March 2019, the CRC 1208 of Heinrich-Heine-University held his 2nd International Conference „Dynamics of Membrane Systems“. Internationally renowned speakers presented their research on various key areas of membrane research. 


Prof. Dr. Lutz Schmitt, chair of the CRC 1208, welcomed all participants in the Hotel MutterHaus in Düsseldorf.

In the Collaborative Research Center 1208 "Identity and Dynamics of Membrane Systems - from Molecules to Cellular Functions", essential biological processes are investigated both on individual molecules in membranes and in the interaction between the different membrane systems. The program of the international conference included talks on the special molecular processes in and on membranes within cells and between cells: "Membrane transporters", "Vesicular transport in biogenesis", "Communication in endomembrane systems" and "Communication between cells - pathogenicity".
Current projects of the participants were presented and discussed on posters. Much attention has also been given to the necessary special set of methods that combine structural, biochemical and cellular techniques to elucidate the molecular and cellular processes on a time scale from nanoseconds to days.
In particular, the informal exchange contributed to the special atmosphere between the invited, experienced and the scientists still at the beginning of their careers. The opportunity to initiate and deepen cooperation has been used at all levels.
The CRC 1208 is pleased about the three successful days in which many new insights were gained and contacts made.


Prof. Toru Fujiwara  Mercator Fellow 2018

The CRC 1208 warmly welcomes Prof. Toru Fujiwara from University Tokyo, Japan, as our Mercator Fellow in summer 2018.

Toru Fujiwara leads the Laboratory of Plant Nutrition and Fertilizers in the Department of Applied Biological Chemistry as a professor at the University of Tokyo.
His group is motivated to elucidate molecular genetics of plant nutrition, cell-to-cell movement of macromolecules and plant responses to nutritional conditions.

Plant nutrition is an important foundation of plant production and our life totally depends on plant production. Living organisms including plants have sophisticated mechanisms to acquire nutrients from environments and a number of biological processes are involved in the nutrient acquisition and utilization. The Laboratory of Plant Nutrition and Fertilizers study these processes for better understanding or the process and better production of crops/plants. Their field of study includes identification of nutrient transporters, molecular mechanisms of plant response to nutrient conditions, generation of nutrient-stress tolerant plants.

Toru Fujiwara joins the CRC 1208 in SS 2018 to push joint research projects and publications.
Additionally, he will give lectures and methodogical courses on his current research as well as his expertise as referee and editor of scientific journals.

The Collaborative Research Center 1208 looks forward to an exciting and productive cooperation!

Prof. Toru Fujiwara, University of Tokyo

Dr. Eva Nowack receives the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize 2018

Eva Nowack will receive the most important award for early career researchers in Germany for her research about evolution of eukaryotic cell organelles.

Dr. Eva Nowack Foto: Ellen B. Reitz

Dr. Eva Nowack will be awarded with the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize 2018 for her outstanding achievements in the field of organelle evolution in eukaryotic cells. Especially her publications proving independent parallel development of photosynthetic organelles in the evolution of eukaryotic organisms were honored.

The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, valued at €20,000, is the most important award for early career researchers in Germany. It is a distinction for young researchers and provides further incentive for excellent achievements in their research work. The recipients were chosen by a selection committee in Bonn appointed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

"I am very happy about the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Preis. It is a great honor and a valuable award that enables me and my group to use the prize money to promote new project ideas" says Eva Nowack.

The Emmy-Noether group leader was able to prove that, contrary to established theory, organelles were  acquired more than twice in eukaryotic evolution. This gives her valuable insights into intermediate stages of integrating a bacterial endosymbiont as a eukaryotic cell organelle.

"As an outstanding junior scientist in the field of organelle evolution, Eva Nowack is awarded the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize. Her pioneering work on the photosynthetic amoeba Paulinella chromatophora already resulted in pioneering discoveries that broke the scientific view of the evolution of photosynthetic organelles and are equally crucial to the overall development of eukaryotic cell compartments. Despite being at a relatively early stage of career, her results have already found their way into textbooks of biology" emphasizes Prof. Michael Feldbrügge in his assessment.

A total of 140 researchers from all disciplines had been proposed for this year's competition. "The outstanding CVs and high-quality work of the candidates made it a very gratifying task for the committee to select the winners among them," said the chairperson of the selection committee, the mathematician and DFG Vice-President Prof. Dr. med. Marlis Hochbruck. The award will be presented on May 29, 2018 as part of a festive event in Berlin.

Dr. Nowack is also involved in the research network of SFB 1208 on the dynamics of membrane systems as well as in the Manchot graduate school "Molecules of infection" at the Heinrich Heine University. In the SFB 1208 she investigates the processes at the contact zone between the host cell and its newly acquired photosynthetic organelles in the amoeba Paulinella chromatophora (http://www.sfb1208.hhu.de/en/projects-and-groups/a09-en.html).

Weiterführende Informationen:
Die Verleihung der Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Preise 2018 fand am 29. Mai in Berlin statt.
Ausführliche Informationen zum Preis und den bisherigen Preisträgerinnen und Preisträgern finden sich unter: www.dfg.de/maier-leibnitz-preis


„Dynamics of Membrane Systems“: 1. International Conference in Düsseldorf

18.09.2017 – On 13.-15. September 2017, the CRC 1208 of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of Heinrich-Heine-University held his first international conference.

Prof. Dr. Lutz Schmitt, chair of the CRC 1208, welcomed all participants in the „K20 - gallery of art“ in Düsseldorf.

International renowned invited speakers as well as young group leaders of the CRC provide insights into the molecular processes in and at the membrane systems inside and between cells. Main topics were „membrane transporters“, „vesicular transport in biogenesis“, „endomembrane (organelle) communication“ and „intercellular communication – pathogenicity“. These were completed by the part „emerging techniques“, which elucidate the range of structural, biochemical and cell biological technologies, necessary to decipher the multidimensional interplay between components of different membrane systems and the membranes themselves.

In the foyer of the Trinkaus-Auditorium participants, invited guests and member of the CRC discussed their projects presented on posters and take the advantage to initiate new or enhance established cooperations.

After this successful meeting the CRC 1208 is looking forward to the next symposia, planned for May 2018 and March 2019.



New Professorship for Synthetic Membrane Systems within CRC 1208:

A Warm Welcome to Alexej Kedrov!

On Friday, July 7, 2017, Dr. Alexej Kedrov was appointed to the new professorship „Synthetic Membrane Systems“ at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The professorship (W1 tenure track W2) is embedded in the Collaborative Research Centre 1208 „Identity and Dynamics of Membrane Systems – From Molecules to Cellular Functions“. Professor Lutz Schmitt, speaker of the CRC 1208, is convinced that the new techniques and systems of Professor Kedrov will strengthen the CRC 1208.

Prior to joining Heinrich Heine University, Alexej Kedrov was project leader at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and senior researcher at the University of Groningen. He completed his doctoral thesis „Observing molecular interactions that determine stability, folding, and functional states of single Na+/H+ antiporters” in 2006 at the Technical University of Dresden & International Max Planck Research School. His research interest and expertise focus on effects of macromolecular crowding on membrane-associated processes. He is aiming to investigate molecular recognition, assembly and folding processes in de novo designed crowded membranes by combining biophysical, biochemical and synthetic biology approaches.
Soon, further information will be available here.


Prof. Dr. Alexej Kedrov
Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf
Building 26.32.03 Room 29.
Universitätsstr. 1
40225 Düsseldorf
E-mail: kedrov@hhu.de
Phone: 0211-81-13731

Spokesman of SFB 1208

Prof. Dr. Lutz Schmitt

Universitätsstraße 1
Building: 26.42
Floor/Room: 03.27
Phone +49 211 81-10773
Fax +49 211 81-15310

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