GRK 2243 "Understanding Ubiquitylation: From Molecular Mechanisms to Disease"

Scientific Environment

The University of Würzburg is internationally renowned for its strength in the life sciences. This success is based on decades of close cooperation between the Natural and Life Sciences faculties and the Faculty of Medicine, with a long tradition of cross-disciplinary research. A long-standing focus of biomedical research at the University of Würzburg has been the identification, biochemical characterization, structural analysis and in vivo study of proteins that cause human diseases. This research area spans several faculties (Biology, Chemistry & Pharmacy, Medicine and Physics) and is supported by strong methodological expertise in structural biology, computational and advanced imaging techniques, and a broad spectrum of state-of-the-art biochemical, cell biological and in vivo analysis technologies.

The GRK 2243 is embedded in this strong biomedical research environment. The majority of the participating researchers is located at one of two renowned institutes for basic biological and biomedical research, i.e. the Biocenter and the Rudolf Virchow Center for Integrative and Translational Bioimaging. Additional PIs are located at the Comprehensive Cancer Center Mainfranken, an integrative center for the treatment of and research on cancer that is funded as a Center of Excellence by the Deutsche Krebshilfe, and at the Institute of Pharmacy. See here for a more comprehensive overview of research institutions in the life sciences in Würzburg.

A major asset of both the Biocenter and the Rudolf Vorchow Center is the availability of central technology platforms. Of particular relevance to the GRK 2243 are the central facilities for mass spectrometry of proteins and metabolites, functional genomics, imaging (fluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy and correlative light microscopy), and cryo electron microscopy. Furthermore, both centers participate in national and international research initiatives relevant to the topic of the GRK 2243. 

The doctoral researchers of the GRK 2243 will be integrated in the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS), which provides structured doctoral training in the life sciences at the University of Würzburg. The GSLS is part of the University of Würzburg Graduate School (UWGS), which has introduced common and high standards for doctoral training in all its graduate schools. Five faculties (Biology, Medicine, Chemistry & Pharmacy, Physics and Human Sciences) jointly form the GSLS. To date more than 200 principal investigators and 370 doctoral researchers are registered in the GSLS. The GSLS confers two doctoral degrees, Dr. rer. nat. and PhD. It is composed of five sections representing the major fields of life sciences research in Würzburg, namely Biomedicine, Clinical Sciences, Infection & Immunity, Integrative Biology and Neuroscience. Each section is comprised of different programs of about 15 - 25 doctoral researchers. These programs provide a scientific as well as social “home” for the doctoral researchers. The doctoral researchers of the GRK 2243 will belong to the section Biomedicine.

Innovative teaching programs prepare the ground for successful biomedical research in Würzburg. In particular, the strongly research-focused Bachelor and Master programs Biochemistry, Biomedicine, Biology and FOKUS Life Sciences attract excellent students from Germany and abroad and prepare them for a successful PhD project within the GSLS. A fast-track option for top undergraduate students into the PhD already exists for the FOKUS Life Science MSc program, and is currently being implemented for the Biochemistry MSc program. All researchers participating in the GRK 2243 are strongly committed to these teaching programs and actively participate in the supervision of Bachelor, Master and PhD theses.