Primers, Plasmids and Proteins…

// 14.10.2016

First LRC Summer School in Jena

The first summer school of the LRC Bio/synthetic multifunctional micro production units – novel ways of compound development took place from 6th to 10th of October 2016 in Jena. It was organized by the team around junior research group leader Vito Valiante from the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans Knöll Institute (HKI).

Twelve young scientists from the five research groups of the LRC met in Jena to get to know different molecular biological methods. Coming from the scientific fields chemistry, physics, biotechnology and materials sciences most of the scientists were in uncharted waters, as claimed by the summer school. Besides two different cloning techniques, the participants learned about protein expression in yeast cells and conducted a classical activity assay hands on in the laboratory. In addition, Vito Valiante provided theoretical background information on cloning methods and primer design during a seminar series.

Especially for participants from other disciplines this insight was very important in order to understand basic principles, for example, the time line from cloning a plasmid to the purified protein. In addition to the excellent supervision in the laboratory, participants also lauded the general organisation of the summer school, for example the collective accommodation with a common kitchen and living room. Only through this extra time together in a relaxing atmosphere, a mutual exchange and contact between each other could at all develop.

„We gained an intensive insight in the daily work of the Jena biobrick group during those days. As a consequence, both links to our own subjects clearly emerged and future steps were discussed and planned together.“ the young chemist Pia Rosendahl reports.

Materials scientist Dr. Lizbeth Ofelia Prieto-López enthusiastically adds: „The summer school was a scientifically refreshing experience. It showed me a side of science that I had never explored before. It helped me understanding the relevance of the project and to have an easier interaction with the rest of the members of the different groups participating in the project.”

The summer school was completed by the Annual Congress of Biotechnology which took place on 11th and 12th of October 2016 in Jena (link).

The next summer school will take place from 24th to 27th April 2017 at the Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences (ISAS) in Dortmund. Participants will get an insight into analytical methods like spectroscopy and free flow electrophoresis. Furthermore, they will test a common demonstrator, i.e. a functional model of their team work.

The junior research group Biobricks of Microbial Natural Product Syntheses in Jena provides the basis for the other four junior research groups through the identification and cloning of particular gene clusters as well as the expression of respective proteins. The purified enzymes will then be immobilized in appropriate compartments of microfluidic flow cells and activated to produce molecular bricks of more complex chemical compounds. [SG]

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