Director, Department of Protein Evolution
Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology
Life today results substantially from the chemical activity of proteins. We study how the first proteins arose at the origin of life and how they evolved into the diversity of forms observable today. Since chemical functionality guides their evolution, we also study how changes in protein structure create new functionality, both by attempting to functionalize newly created proteins in vitro and by exploring structure-function relationships in natural proteins. To this we bring to bear methods in bioinformatics, protein biochemistry and structural biology.
Current Research Topics
- Development of bioinformatic tools for protein sequence analysis and structure prediction MPI Bioinformatics Toolkit (toolkit.tuebingen.mpg.de)
- Reconstruction of protein evolution, CLANS
- Coiled coils COILS/PCOILS, REPPER, samCC