Tuesday, 10 January, 2012
Dr. Carsten Grashoff joins CeNS as Extraordinary Member
Carsten Grashoff studied Applied Sciences at the University of Freiberg and received his Diploma degree for work on immunosuppressive properties of HIV surface proteins in 2002. He subsequently started his PhD studies at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried in the group of Prof. Reinhard Fässler, where he analyzed the role of the cell adhesion protein integrin-linked kinase (ILK). Using genetic mouse models he found, surprisingly, that ILK is dispensable as a kinase but critical for the organization of the f-actin cytoskeleton and the mechanical integrity of the cell. He was awarded his PhD by LMU Munich in 2007. The same year he joined the lab of Prof. Martin Schwartz at the University of Virginia (USA) to establish a technique capable of mapping tension within cells. Using an interdisciplinary, biophysical approach he developed a genetically encoded tension sensor module sensitive to forces in the range of single pico-Newton (pN). Application of this module to proteins allows, for the first time, visualization and measurement of mechanical forces across distinct proteins in living cells. Since 2010 Carsten Grashoff is an Emmy Noether group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. His group of Molecular Mechanotransduction is exploring molecular details of cellular mechanotransduction.