Welcome to the Research Training Group (RTG) 2039 - Molecular architecture for fluorescent cell imaging
The aim of this RTG is the development of tailor-made molecular fluorescent architectures for cellular imaging. The research and teaching program comprises the complete evaluation line from design, synthesis, bioconjugation, structure determination, photophysics and transport into cells to in vivo imaging of biological significance. One major focus is the development of bioconjugation strategies as the linking element not only on the molecular level between fluorescent probe and biomolecule, but also between chemistry and biology to achieve specific and selective supramolecular architectures for imaging. Secondly, a special focus will be put on the application of light as an additional trigger to switch optical properties, to induce energy transfer to tune the fluorescence readout, and to conjugate biomolecules to nanoparticles.
The participation of groups working in the field of chemical biology allows testing the synthetic fluorescent conjugates directly on biologically relevant processes and on a complex biological level. This includes not only selected cell lines, but also zebrafish and mice as established animal models. Theoretical and physical chemistry will guide the design of the fluorescent probes by description of the photophysical processes, molecular dynamics and quantum chemistry. The participating physics group (being cooptated at the Faculty of Chemistry and Biosciences) strengthens the RTG by state-of-the-art high resolution fluorescence microscopy for testing the new fluorescent architectures in a complex biological context.
We anticipate that the innovative molecular architectures developed in this RTG will pave the way to advanced fluorescence imaging of complex biological systems. The interdisciplinarity of the research program, involving chemistry, biology and physics, will be reflected into the teaching program. This multifaceted scientific education is generally not available during a PhD phase. Regular thematic lectures and seminar days, individual lab rotations, as well as annual workshops will yield a highly interdisciplinary teaching program. Moreover, we will offer training units for important "soft skills", like lecturing abilities, scientific creativity, publishing, ethics, and career development. We plan a structured teaching and supervision concept aimed at giving to the students both the necessary interdisciplinary scientific and networking competences to support their PhD work and future career in the best possible way.