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CeNS Center for NanoScience LMU Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
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Opto-Mechanics of Single Molecules

Project: Single molecule methods allow to observe the conformational dynamics of individual molecules over extended time periods with subnm resolution. In our lab, we have developed high resolution optical tweezers that allow the manipulation of individual protein molecules. In this project, we like to combine single molecule mechanics with single molecule optical spectroscopy to observe force-induced binding events optically. In the first part, an exisiting optical tweezers setup will have to be modified and extended with single molecule fluorescence capability. In the second part of the project this setup will be used to study enzyme mechanics on the single molecule level. Ideally, the successful candidate will have  a background in experimental physics/biophysics and should not be afraid of an interdisciplinary project and environment.

1.         Zoldak G, Stigler J, Pelz B, Li H, Rief M Ultrafast folding kinetics and cooperativity of villin headpiece in single-molecule force spectroscopy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2013;45:18156-18161

2.         Zoldak G, Rief M Force as a single molecule probe of multidimensional protein energy landscapes. Curr Opin Struct Biol 2013;1:48-57

3.         Stigler J, Ziegler F, Gieseke A, Gebhardt JC, Rief M The complex folding network of single calmodulin molecules. Science 2011;6055:512-516

Group: Prof. Matthias Rief, Molecular Biophysics, Department of Physics, TU Munich

Prof. Rief's website