Tuesday, 04 May, 2010
Prof. Hendrik Dietz joins CeNS as Extraordinary Member
Hendrik Dietz studied physics at the University of Paderborn, Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain), and the University of Munich and received a physics diploma in 2004 from the latter place. In early 2007 he was awarded a doctoral degree from the Physics Department of the Technische Universität München for his work on development and application of novel single-molecule methods for the mechanical and structural analysis of protein molecules. Hendrik Dietz then turned from proteins to DNA and joined a team of nanotechnology enthusiasts located at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School in Boston in order to conduct postdoctoral research on molecular self-assembly with DNA. In june 2009 Dietz returned to the Physics Department at the Technische Universität München as an assistant professor for biological physics.
Dietz's newly founded 'Laboratory for Biomolecular Nanotechnology' develops novel scientific devices and methods for applications in biomolecular physics, biological chemistry, and molecular medicine. A central focus is on investigating the physical details of intermolecular interactions, in particular protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions. To overcome critical experimental challenges that one faces when studying low-affinity biomolecular interactions, the Dietz lab is working towards taking advantage of the fine positional control afforded by molecular-self assembly with DNA origami to build nanometer-scale scientific devices that are used to interface and manipulate target macromolecules and that enable conformational read-out with single-molecule fluorescence methods and/or with transmission electron microscopy.