Research Fields at the Rudolf Virchow Center
The research pursued at the Center deals with target proteins – proteins that exert key regulatory functions, and therefore prime candidates not only for causing disease, but also for understanding and potentially diagnosing and treating disease.
Major questions regarding these proteins address their folding and mobility, the ways they are modified, and how they are ultimately degraded. Unraveling interactions between proteins and small ligands is essential to understand how the function of signaling proteins such as receptors can be regulated, and how activation switches work. Similarly, interactions between proteins and nucleic acids are fundamental for signaling pathways to the nucleus and for using and maintaining genetic information.
The research pursued at the Center can therefore be grouped into four research fields: (1) Protein Structure and Function, (2) Proteins in Cellular Signaling, (3) Nucleic Acid Binding Proteins, and (4) Proteins in Cell-Cell Interactions and Motility. The main projects reflect the focus on cell surface proteins and their signaling proteins, and on nucleic acid binding proteins. Although each group has its own research focus, many projects are carried out in inderdisciplinary collaborations providing different technologies or complementary biomedical expertise.