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Retreat in Payerbach-Reichenau 2018

The Doctoral School's first retreat was held in Payerbach Reichenau at the seminar hotel Flackl from april 26th to 27th.

Our two invited speakers Eva-Kathrin Ehmoser and Markus Valtiner gave very enjoyable talks and contributed scientifically and personally to a vibrant atmosphere (abstracts below).

The PhD students were given a rather difficult task in which each student had to give a talk about another student's topic. Despite the very different fields from which the students originate, the contributions turned out very successful and were very well received.

We thank the organization team (Iris Dorner, Rafaela Conceicao, Andreas Rohatschek, Tobia Cavalli and Stefan Helfert)!



Markus Valtiner: Interaction forces at solid/liquid interfaces

Structure and molecular dynamics at solid/liquid interfaces are central to many applications and processesin biologic and biomimetic areas. These range from specific surface/molecule interactions in biological signaling, cell-cell adhesion and biomaterial degradation. Here, I will first provide a detailed overview on the chemical physics and our current understanding of solid/liquid interfaces and will discuss their technological importance. I will then specifically detail how force probe techniques allow us to study and understand processes at solid/liquid interfaces. Specific applications of force probe techniques in the field of electrolyte structuring and the study of dynamic single molecule/surface interactions will be discussed in detail. Finally, new ideas and perspectives for further unraveling structure and dynamics at solid/liquid interfaces will be discussed in relation to biomedical applications such as tissue gluing.

Eva-Kathrin Ehmoser: Lessons in synthetic bioarchitectures: synthesis and characterization of membrane proteins

The famous class of membrane proteins runs most relevant processes in our living world, however, it isstill notoriously difficult and often needs detailed analysis to synthesize and purify THE special membrane proteinof interest for structural, functional investigations. Membrane proteins are amphiphiles with a delicate structural-functional architecture and a perfect embedding into the surrounding lipid membrane of a cell. Time is ripe forpresenting an integrated approach in order to synthesize and purify membrane proteins in a generic, reproducibleformat compatible with industrial standards. We present a cell-free, (polymer) membrane assisted approach(iMAP) combined with an elegant immunoprecipitation strategy collecting proteopolymersomes from crude celllysates- protecting the functional-structural integrity and ensuring an unidirectional orientation of functional membraneprotein species. We present an enabling strategy to generate and purify any membrane protein species ina functional format, high synthesis yields in long term stability being embedded in a robust, polymeric membranearchitecture. The presented method challenges the paradigm of Membrane Proteins being notoriously difficult toobtain and to sustain – the future is for membrane proteins to be reproducible in structure and function as macromoleculararchitectures.

Source of the picture top right: www.flackl.at/outdoor.html