Structural Biology Group

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The research of our team focuses on proteolytic enzymes, their cofactors, substrates and inhibitors. Proteolytic enzymes are master switchers in health and disease. By their highly specific recognition and modification of protein substrates, proteases serve as signaling and decision matrices. Of particular interest to us are proteolytic actions in the field of immunology/allergy, blood coagulation, and cancer.

We employ a broad spectrum of biochemical, biophysical and computational techniques to characterize the molecular function of important target proteins. Most importantly, we use x-ray crystallography to determine the three-dimensional architecture of the molecular targets. The structural information guides us to rationalize and experimentally test hypotheses about possible molecular mechanisms of action as well as their significance in the molecular, cellular and systemic context.

Questions of immunological interest are linked to the cellular pass control which is implemented via antigen processing and presentation. Each cell has to identify itself towards the immune system by presenting intracellular peptides at the cell surface. Despite its enormous efficiency, some harmful cells escape the screening (pass control) of the immune system, e.g., by presenting unsuspicious peptides only. On the other side, allergens, which are harmless proteins, can trigger excessive immune reactions. We investigate the complex protease machines involved in antigen processing. A detailed understanding promises treatment options against immunological and infectious diseases, and also tumors.

The (innate) immune system is multiply linked to the blood coagulation system which primarily serves to stop life-threatening bleeding without causing fatal vessel occlusions (thrombosis). For this purpose nature employs a molecular proofreading principle that requires simultaneous and concerted molecular actions. We investigate disharmonies in these molecular orchestra that lead to bleeding disorders such as hemophilia.

Research Projects

This resarchgroup is member of the international "PhD program ICA" of the University of Salzburg and the FWF, and a member of the  " Allergy-Cancer-BioNano Research Centre " of the University of Salzburg.

 

  • News
    The Salzburg political scientist Andreas Dür receives the award from the state of Vorarlberg.
    International Workshop / 12th Meeting of the European Study Group of 19th Century American Literature 13 September. KEYNOTE: Marion Rust (University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA), ''’How d'ye like my play?’ Getting the Jokes in Slaves in Algiers", (14:30) at the KunstQuartier, Bergstr. 12a, W & K-Atelier, 1st floor www.w-k.sbg.ac.at/de/kunstpolemik-polemikkunst/aktuelles
    Dr. Christina Straub will hold a guest lecture on 24 August, 2018, at 11:00 in Hörsaal 421 of the NW-Faculty on the topic, "Ecological Genetics of Resident Pseudomonas Syringae on Kiwifruit". The Department of Life Sciences invites you to join us!
    Monday, 20 August, 12:30 - 15:00, Unipark Salzburg, Georg-Eisler-Saal
    Fear as an underlying feeling of the present, whose pathological formation is to be resisted was the topic dedicated to the Salzburger Hochschulwochen 2018.
    Those who sleep well, learn better. This has now been confirmed by a long-term study of students. Specifically, Salzburg sleep researchers, led by Kerstin Hödlmoser, found in an 8-year comparison that a certain brain wave pattern plays a key role in consolidating information during sleep.
    On Saturday, 22 September, 2018, at 11:00, the Botanical Garden will be displaying the images of the artist, Karin Wimmeder. Only in fair weather. Alternative date: Saturday, 29 September, 2018, 11:00. Musically accompanied by the rhythm group "Schlagartig.org".
    From 31 July to 31 August, 2018, the Salzburg Literary Archive will be showing the exhibition "Raus aus der Stadt! Hofmannsthal und das Junge Wien auf Sommerfrische". Outside of Vienna, this is the only ensemble of exhibitions initiated by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography titled "Das Junge Wien. Natur plus X" on the author group, Jung-Wien - Hugo von Hofmannst
    The 6th Salzburg Summer School will take place from 3 to 4 September, 2018. For two days, a comprehensive pedagogical summer education program will be offered to teachers and student teachers of all types of schools and subjects. Registration is possible.
    From Hortus Medicus to Pharma Research. An exhibition of the Association of Botanical Gardens 2018.
    On 6 December, 2018, the University of Salzburg will host the WTZ Training Days on the theme of communication, dissemination and distribution in H2020 projects.
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