CeNS Center for NanoScience LMU Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
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Kathrin Schwinghammer


Curriculum Vitae 

since 2011

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" 



since 2012

e-fellows.net fellowship

since 2011

Scholarship of the IDK-NBT (Elite Network of Bavaria)


Bayer Fellowship provided by Bayer Science & Education Foundation 

Research Project

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)