Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Baumeister is Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (since 1988), and Honorary Professor, Physics Dept., TU Munich (2000).
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Baumeister - Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (since 1988), Honorary Professor, Physics Dept., TU Munich (2000); Wolfgang Baumeister has been honoured with numerous awards for his research including the Otto Warburg Medal of the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1998), the prize of the Geneva-based Louis-Jeantet Foundation for Medicine (2003), the Ernst Schering Prize (2006), the Schleiden Medal of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (2005) and the Harvey Prize in Science and Technology of the Technion, Haifa (2005).
Cryoelectron microscopy offers the key to investigate the structure of large, complex and flexible protein assemblies in its natural environment in intact cells and in isolated form to the quasi-atomic level. The department of Wolfgang Baumeister (Molecular Structural Biology) pioneered and developed the method of cryo-electron tomography which enables the researchers to visualize macromolecular structures in a functional and close-to-native state in frozen-hydrated cells. By recording micrographs from different viewing angles and integrating them to a 3D image (tomogram) the researchers study the structure of macromolecular assemblies in prokaryotic cells and of eukaryotic cellular components such as the nuclear pore complex, the actin filament network, and the pre- and postsynaptic structures of neurons in situ.
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Proteins are the molecular building blocks and engines of the cell and are involved in almost all processes of life. The scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) investigate the structure of proteins and how they function – from individual molecules up to whole organisms. With about 850 employees coming from 45 nations, the MPIB is one of the largest institutes within the Max Planck Society. In currently eight departments and about 25 research groups, scientists contribute to the newest findings in the areas of biochemistry, cell biology, structural biology, biophysics and molecular science.