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LMU–Todai Cooperation: Visiting Professor to the Department of Biology

Munich, 10/06/2008

Molecular biologist Professor Shoji Ohuchi from the renowned Institute of Medical Science of in the University of Tokyo will be working during the winter semester on a German-Japanese collaborative research project in the lab of Professor Dirk Schüler at the Department of Biology I. LMU has set up a visiting professorship for Professor Ohuchi as part of its research cooperation with the University of Tokyo, which was concluded last year as part of the institutional strategy “LMUexcellent”. 

In his research project, Professor Ohuchi plans to develop innovative magnetic nanomaterials that can later be used, for example, in nanobiotechnology and biomedicine. He adds his strengths to the competences of the research colleagues of Professor Schüler, who, for many years now, have been investigating specific bacteria that biomineralize iron inside them into magnetic crystals with perfect magnetic properties. These magnetic nanoparticles, the so-called magnetosomes, are organelles enveloped by a biological membrane that contains a number of specific bacterial proteins. In a model study, Professor Ohuchi now intends to introduce foreign genes into the bacteria, and thereby synthesize chimeric fusion proteins on the surface of the magnetosomes. "This would be an elegant way, for example, of synthesizing enzyme complexes and other biological macromolecules that can be manipulated magnetically," explains Professor Schüler.

The competences of the Japanese and German researchers complement one each another other ideally: Professor Ohuchi has many years of experience in analyzing and manipulating complex biological macromolecules, while Professor Schüler's laboratory is one of the few in the world mastering the technology to genetically engineer magnetobacteria.

For more information on the cooperation between LMU and the University of Tokyo, please click here.

Contact:
Professor Dirk Schüler
Dept. Biology I - Microbiology
Tel: ++49 (0)89 / 2180-74502
E-Mail:  dirk.schueler@lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Website: www.mikrobiologie.biologie.uni-muenchen.de

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