Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology
Research at the IPMB is focussed on the development, investigation, and application of drugs and bioactive compounds, as well as on the elucidation of molecular and cellular mechanisms of action. This research integrates experimental approaches of chemistry, molecular and cellular biology, pharmacology, bioinformatics, and pharmaceutics. Main research areas of our institute include nucleic acids as tools and drug targets, development of new antiinfective drugs, molecular evolution & proteomics, research on neurodegenerative diseases, systems biology as well as drug targeting and transport.
Automatic Cell Tracking in Microscopy Images – Publication in „Nature Methods“
PD Dr. Karl Rohr and Dr. Nathalie Harder from the research group Biomedical Computer Vision, Dept. Bioinformatics have developed a new image analysis method for automatic tracking of cells in microscopy images. The method enables quantifying important biological processes such as cell migration and cell growth. At an international competition the method yielded the best result in detecting cell cycles and was among the top three methods with respect to the total number of top-3 ranks. The results of the competition of a total of 21 methods from 11 countries were published in the journal Nature Methods. The announcement of the University of Heidelberg can be found here.
HeiDelTec on the route to success
Heidelberg Delivery Technologies, HeiDelTec GmbH, a new start-up com-pany arose from the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology. After successful participation in the Exist-Research-Transfer Program of the BMWi the IPMB leads basic pharmaceutical research to practical ap-plication thus setting new pulses in the area of improving bioavailability and effectiveness of drug formulations. For further Information, follow this link.
Structure and Function of the first bacterial decapping enzyme: Publication in "Nature Chemical Biology"
The group of Prof. Andres Jäschke has unraveled the structure and function of the first bacterial RNA decapping enzyme in collaboration with American scientists. Until very recently, such mechanisms were thought to occur exclusively in higher organisms, but not in bacteria. More Information can be found here: "Eine schützende Kappe für die RNA von Bakterien".
Structure of Zika virus protease and inhibitor: Publication in "Science"
The group of Prof. Christian Klein co-authored a publication in "Science"that describes the three-dimensional structure of the Zika virus protease. This enzyme is a target protein for the discovery of antiviral drugs against Zika and related, emerging pathogens such as dengue and West Nile virus. See also: "Zika-Virus: Struktur eines Schlüsselenzyms aufgeklärt."
Protein Repairs Nerve Cell Damage
An international research team led by Heidelberg neurobiologist Prof. Dr. Ulrike Müller has succeeded in largely "repairing" the nerve cell damage found in a mouse model of Alzheimer´s disease. The researchers took a closer look at a key protein in Alzheimer's pathogenesis, APP, and one of its cleavage, products APPsα. Viral vector mediated expression of APPsα in the brain restored the number of synapses, improved synaptic communication and rescued memory impairments. These results show the therapeutic effectiveness of APPsα in the animal model and open up new perspectives for the treatment of Alzheimer's. More information can be found here.