Ruhr University Bochum

At the Department of Biophysics at the Ruhr University Bochum Molecular biology, X-ray structure analysis, optical spectroscopy, in particular vibrational spectroscopy as infrared (IR) and Raman, are all well established. In particular time-resolved Fourier transform (trFT) IR difference-spectroscopy enabled atomic insight into the dynamics of numerous protein reaction mechanisms and interactions. These include bacteriorhodopsin, rhodopsin, photosynthetic proteins, GTPases, and ATPases. Molecular dynamic (MD) simulation - performed to complement the experiments - is well established at both the Biophysics department in Bochum and at the Max Planck Partner Institute PICB in Shanghai. The combined effort of X-ray, trFTIR and biomolecular simulation was the key to the outstanding in-depth comprehension of the proton passage through the proton pump bacteriorhodopsin via protein-bound water molecules. Current studies focus on small GTPases of the Ras superfamily and their interaction network. Furthermore Prof. Gerwert is spokesman of the Protein-research Unit Ruhr within Europe (PURE) which was founded in 2010, supported by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. PURE focusses on translating results into early diagnosis and prevention of various diseases including cancer, Parkinsons and Alzheimers.PURE combines fundamental research with concrete diagnosis and therapy approaches in search for prognostic proteins - termed biomarkers.