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25. Hermann Staudinger Lecture with Nobel Laureate Joachim Frank

Joachim Frank

Joachim Frank
Columbia University
New York, USA








Photo courtesy of Jorg Meyer/
Columbia University Medical Center

Visualization of Biomolecules in their Native States
When Jul 02, 2018
from 05:15 PM to 07:00 PM
Where Albertstr. 19, Anatomy Lecture Hall
Contact Name
Attendees Öffentlich / Open to public
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Visualization of Biomolecules in their Native States

On July 2, 2018 at 5:15 pm the 25th Hermann Staudinger Lecture will be held by Joachim Frank (Columbia University, New York, USA) in the Anatomy Lecture Hall, Albertstr. 19. Joachim Frank was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 together with Jacques Dubochet and Richard Henderson for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution. In the study of biomaterials, conventional electron microscopy for a long time was deemed not applicable as the high electron radiation destroys biological materials.

Applying mathematical and information technology methods, Joachim Frank already between 1975 and 1986 developed an image processing method to analyze fuzzy two-dimensional electron microscope images of biomolecules and to merge them into clear three-dimensional images of their molecular structure. The visualization of biomolecules has since revolutionized biochemistry und has broadened considerably the potential of electron technology in the study of living material. Visualizing, for instance, proteins that cause antibiotic resistance as well as mapping the surface of the Zika virus was made possible through this new technology.

In his lecture, the Freiburg Alumnus who studied Physics at the Albert-Ludwigs-University from 1960 to 1963 will speak on the significance of this new technology and implications for future research in e.g. molecular medicine.



For decades, structure determination of biological molecules has been dominated by X-ray crystallography, a technique which requires highly ordered crystals and usually depicts the molecule in a single conformation that is not necessarily relevant for its function. In contrast, single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is able to depict the molecule in all naturally occurring states and requires no crystals. Since around 2013, with the arrival of direct electron detecting cameras, near-atomic resolution (2-4 Å) is routinely achieved. A few examples illustrate that the impact of these new developments on biological knowledge and the future of Molecular Medicine will be substantial.