CRC 1551: Polymer Concepts in Cellular Function

The CRC 1551 is a newly-established DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) that will run initially for 4 years until 2027. The CRC aims to build an interdisciplinary think tank for polymer scientists and life scientists, bringing them together to study important biological questions from a polymer science perspective. Recently, awareness of the relevance of biomolecular phase separation has revolutionised biology. Phase separation is a fundamental polymer property, and its relevance in biology and ageing processes could have been appreciated decades ago. This is just one recent example showing how much the two disciplines still need to learn from each other. In this CRC, researchers will consider many more polymer concepts to study and understand biological processes. Interdisciplinary teams will study the polymer properties of DNA, RNA and proteins in order to understand how they dynamically interact, form higher-order complexes or organelles, and how their dynamic interplay governs key cellular processes. The important aims are to understand how DNA, RNA and intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) encode molecular function and how aberrant interactions between these biopolymers can lead to cellular dysfunction and contribute to the ageing process and age-associated diseases.

The CRC 1551 includes scientists from the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), the faculties of Biology, Physics and Chemistry of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), JGU’s University Medical Center and the Max Planck Institute of Polymer Research.

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Prof. Dr. Edward A Lemke
JGU Mainz and Institute of Molecular Biology

Participating institutions: