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Reverse engineering the vertebrate molecular machinery for magnetic biomineralisation

Objective

In order to understand distributed biological networks and invent effective molecular therapies, we need to be able to image and control molecular processes across entire live organisms.
Although an arsenal of genetically encoded fluorescent sensors and light-activated proteins has recently been developed to visualize and manipulate cellular activity, these methods all suffer from the poor penetration of light through biological tissue, which makes them rather invasive for practical in vivo use in animal models and prevents whole-organ coverage.
To overcome these substantial limitations of optical methods, I thus propose a reverse engineering project to functionally dissect the molecular machinery for magnetic biomineralisation in eukaryotic cells and build a new bioengineering platform for genetically controlled bio-magnetic interfaces. To achieve this goal, we will use a combination of magnetic cell sorting and biophysical characterization, targeted analysis and -omics approaches as well as genetic tools. This scientific program will break the ground for non-invasive sensing and actuation of molecular processes via magnetic fields based on genetic control over the biosynthesis of magnetic biominerals.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins

Call for proposal

ERC-2012-StG_20111109
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

KLINIKUM RECHTS DER ISAR DER TECHNISCHEN UNIVERSITAT MUNCHEN
Address
Ismaninger Strasse 22
81675 Muenchen
Germany
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 649 598
Principal investigator
Gil Gregor Westmeyer (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Renate Rädlein (Mrs.)

Beneficiaries (2)

KLINIKUM RECHTS DER ISAR DER TECHNISCHEN UNIVERSITAT MUNCHEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 649 598
Address
Ismaninger Strasse 22
81675 Muenchen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Gil Gregor Westmeyer (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Renate Rädlein (Mrs.)
HELMHOLTZ ZENTRUM MUENCHEN DEUTSCHES FORSCHUNGSZENTRUM FUER GESUNDHEIT UND UMWELT GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 819 502
Address
Ingolstadter Landstrasse 1
85764 Neuherberg
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Juergen Ertel (Dr.)