Protein Engineering Group
Head: Dr. Andreas Ernst
Our long term research goals are to understand how proteins interact with their binding partners in the cellular environment and harness these interactions to modulate cellular responses in healthy or diseased cells. To achieve these goals we engineer the molecular details of protein interaction interfaces using a structure-guided protein design approach and phage display. We apply this approach to evaluate intracellular protein interactions for therapeutic use and to explore new avenues in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. We are looking anytime for motivated students and post-docs who would like to join our team here at the IBCII. We provide a state-of-the-art phage display lab in a strong cell biology environment. If you are interested please send us your cover letter, CV and short description of your research interest.
Dr. Andreas Ernst
Andreas Ernst studied Chemistry at the TU of Darmstadt and did his diploma thesis in the laboratory of Arne Skerra at the TU Munich. In a next step he moved to Zurich, Switzerland and worked in the laboratory of Andreas Plueckthun at the University of Zurich. Being fascinated by the possibilities of protein engineering, he did his Post-doc at Genentech in collaboration with Sachdev Sidhu on the specificity profiling of engineered PDZ domains. Later on he joined Sachdev Sidhu in Toronto to setup a high throughput laboratory to engineer antibody scaffolds and other proteins. In Toronto he pursued further his interest of modifying intracellular proteins and developed a phage display pipeline to engineer ubiquitin into potent inhibitors of enzymes in the ubiquitin proteasome system. In Feb 2013 he joined the Institute for Biochemistry II in Frankfurt to start his independent career.
Suchithra graduated with her undergraduate degree in Life Sciences from Brock University, Canada. She later moved to Sweden to commence her Master's program at Stockholm University under the supervision of Daniel Daley. Her thesis project was focused on modulating protein production in the upstream regulatory region between the Shine-Dalgarno sequence and the start codon. Since April 2015, Suchithra has been a part of Andreas Ernst's group to work on the SUMO E3 ligases and also towards generating synthetic antibody using phage display.
Dr. Mateusz Putyrski
Mateusz earned his PhD in 2011, expanding the palette of dimerizer-inducible signalling modules to heterotrimeric G proteins in the lab of Carsten Schultz, EMBL Heidelberg, Germany. After his postdoctoral time in the lab of Ivan Dikic from 2012 until 2015, his main interest in the lab of Andreas Ernst now is to combine chemical biology and protein engineering to develop synthetic antibodies and other intra- and extracellular affinity reagents for modulation of cell signalling pathways.
Svenja studied biology at Technische Universität Darmstadt. Her diploma thesis was about affinity maturation of a scFv-antibody using phage display with Prof. Harald Kolmar as her supervisor. In September 2013 she started her PhD in the Protein Engineering Group of Andreas Ernst at the Institute of Biochemistry II. Currently Svenja is studying the Ras signaling pathway.