The Centre for Synthetic Biology currently hosts the following projects:
The vision of the DaVinci-Switches ERC project is to develop informative computer models and complementary laboratory methods for the design of switchable proteins controllable via external stimuli. For this, Niopek’s team will combine methods for directed protein evolution in the laboratory with high-throughput screening approaches and artificial intelligence. The resulting protein switches will then be used, among other things, to replace damaged tissue by transiently activating cell division and direct cell identity, thus opening new avenues in regenerative medicine.
In a joint DFG project, the labs of Gerhard Thiel and Kay Hamacher use a learning-by-building approach to construct and understand the architecture of voltage dependent K+ ion channels. The functional analysis of synthetic channels from defined voltage sensors, linkers and pores in combination with theoretical calculations will provide valuable information on the mechanic connections in these modular channel proteins.
The group of Viktor Stein has secured funding by the DFG for a foundational SynBio project. The project aims to engineer a new class of protein interaction switches that mediate the association of any two proteins in response to a distinct molecular queue. Once signals are received, they are processed through circuits of mutually regulating proteases that exert bistable signalling dynamics.