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20.02.2019, 15:30 Uhr

Klasse für Naturwissenschaften und Medizin, 597. Sitzung

Vortrag 1: "Molecular Systems Engineering with DNA"; Prof. Dr. Hendrik Dietz, München. Vortrag 2: "Molekulares Design des Nierenfilters: Die Nephrologie auf dem Weg zur Präzisionsmedizin"; Prof. Dr. Thomas Benzing, Köln

Vortrag 1

Das Erschaffen von künstlichen molekularen Maschinen und Motoren ist eine ungelöste Herausforderung. Solche Maschinen könnten vielerlei Anwendungen finden, angefangen von der Katalyse chemischer Reaktionen bis zum Antrieb für Wirkstoff-Transporter. Ein zentrales Hindernis ist dabei die Schwierigkeit ausreichend komplexe molekulare Strukturen zu konstruieren. Ein weiteres Problem betrifft ein unzureichendes Verständnis der notwendigen Mechanismen um eine gewünschte Funktion zu erreichen. Derzeit konzentriert sich Dietz auf DNA als Konstruktionsmaterial. Es gelingt damit zunehmend komplexere Objekte zu erzeugen, die bereits als Werkzeuge für Präzisionsmessungen in der biophysikalischen Grundlagenforschung verwendet werden können.

Prof. Dr. Hendrik Dietz hat an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) in Physik diplomiert und anschließend der Technische Universität München auf dem Gebiet der Biophysik promoviert. Nach einem zweijährigen Forschungsaufenthalt als Post-Doc an der Harvard Medical School kehrte er 2009 als außerordentlicher Professor an die TUM zurück. Seit 2014 ist er ordentlicher Professor und leitet das Labor für Biomolekulares Design. Für seine Forschung erhielt Dietz mehrere Preise, u.a. den Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Preis der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft. Seine Forschung zielt darauf ab, komplexe molekulare Strukturen zu konstruieren, um molekulare Werkzeuge und Maschinen für verschiedene Zwecke zu erschaffen.

Vortrag 2

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is becoming an increasingly prevalent condition affecting almost 10% of the population in the Western societies. The majority of kidney diseases that progress to CKD start in the glomerulus, the renal filtration unit, as a consequence of a limited capacity of glomeruli for regeneration and the limited ability of terminally differentiated glomerular podocytes for self-renewal. Podocytes enwrap the glomerular capillaries and elaborate primary and interdigitating secondary extensions that are connected by a membrane like cell junction, called the slit diaphragm. Over the past decade we showed that proteins residing at the slit diaphragm form an evolutionarily conserved mechanosensitive multiprotein complex that controls podocyte viability and function. Studies in C. elegans revealed a role for lipid-protein interactions at the slit diaphragm complex in mechanosensation and identified new components of the megadalton lipid-protein supercomplex at the filtration slit. These studies initiated new spurt of research worldwide that profoundly changed our view of glomerular filtration, the regulation of kidney function and our understanding of renal disease. In this presentation we will review the current view of the design of the glomerular filtration barrier of the kidney and provide insight into the development of new targeted treatment options.  

Prof. Dr. Thomas Benzing received his MD and clinical training at the University of Freiburg, Germany. During his postdoctoral research at the Institute of Cardiovascular Physiology, University of Frankfurt and at Harvard Medical School, Boston, he focused on various aspects of signaling in kidney disease. He was a Heisenberg Fellow of the DFG and W3 Professor of Nephrology at the University of Freiburg. Since 2007 Benzing is Professor and Chairman of the Department II of Internal Medicine and Director of the Kidney Research Center Cologne.  His research is focused on the pathogenesis of genetic kidney diseases, with an emphasis on signal transduction and protein interactions. Benzing and his team studied human genetic kidney diseases to better understand the molecular pathophysiology underlying various renal diseases. Utilizing the power of mass spectrometry based proteomics, advanced signaling research including in vivo monitoring of signaling events, the model organisms C. elegans and Drosophila melanogaster and CRISPR/Cas-based genome engineering in mice they have developed a research program with two major research interests, podocyte biology and glomerular disease pathogenesis as well as the molecular pathophysiology underlying cystic kidney diseases. Benzing has pioneered podocyte signaling research. Together with collaborating investigators all over the world he deciphered the function of protein complexes at the filtration barrier and their role in controlling glomerular biology. Some of these findings are currently being translated into new treatment options for patients with glomerular disease. Moreover, Benzing and his team have investigated signaling through cilia, sensory organelles that play a role in controlling animal survival, longevity and tissue homeostasis. Cilia-associated proteins are mutated in cystic kidney disease and a variety of other disorders, now being recognized as ciliopathies. Recently, they identified novel longevity pathways and showed that these pathways control susceptibility to insults and age-related acute and chronic kidney injury. Benzing has trained more than 50 PhD and MD students, members of his group rose through the ranks up to leading positions in various countries. Thomas Benzing has been awarded with numerous prizes and awards including the Volhard Prize of the German Society of Nephrology, the Ernst Jung Prize in Medicine as well as honorary fellowships by several societies including the American Society of Nephrology. He is elected member of the Ludwig Heilmeyer Society, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and was recently elected as the first ever international member of the American Clinical and Climatological Association (ACCA).