PhD student in the group of Prof. Patrick Cramer, LMU Munich
Foreign Research Intern in the Lab of Assist. Prof. Howard C Hang, Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Microbial Pathogenesis, Rockefeller University, New York City
2008 - 2010
Master of Science in Biochemistry, LMU Munich
Topic of Master Thesis: "Functional analysis of the Salmonella T3SS effector SseJ in host cells "
2005 - 2008
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry, LMU Munich
Topic of Bachelor Thesis: "Expression and purification of Rba50 and variants of Rtr1 and analysis of interaction with RNA polymerase II"
Scholarship of the IDK-NBT (Elite Network of Bavaria)
Bayer Fellowship provided by Bayer Science & Education Foundation
Mitochondria are responsible for the metabolic energy production of organisms in form of ATP. These cellular “powerstations” are also involved in a variety of other catabolic and anabolic reactions or in apoptotic regulation. In mammals, many diseases are suggested to be linked to mutations in the mitochondrial genome which is transcribed by the mitochondrial RNA polymerase (RNAP). Based on the recently published structure of human mitochondrial RNAP (Ringel et al., Nature 2011) my PhD project focuses on the structural elucidation of this enzyme in its functional states during the mitochondrial transcription cycle by X-ray crystallography. Structural analysis of the mitochondrial RNAP in combination with RNA/DNA oligonucleotides or in complex with transcription factors can reveal the regulatory mechanisms of the individual stages during transcription of the mitochondrial genome (e.g. pre-initiation, initiation, elongation, termination). In a more long term view the deeper understanding of the unique features of transcription by mitochondrial RNAP assists the future design of more effective mitochondrial-targeting and antiviral drugs.
AL. Starosta, H. Qin, A. Mikolajka, GY. Leung, K. Schwinghammer, KC. Nicolaou, DY. Chen, BS. Cooperman, DN. Wilson:
"Identification of distinct thiopeptide-antibiotic precursor lead compounds using translation machinery assays."
Chem Biol. 16(10),1087-96 (2009)