Eda Samiloglu Tengirsek receives a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation

Eda Samiloglu Tengirsek, a student in Gatsogiannis' laboratory, has been awarded a prestigious Ph.D. fellowship in Structural Biology by the German National Academic Foundation. The foundation supports particularly gifted doctoral candidates with exceptional academic or artistic talents and personal qualities that can be expected to make an outstanding contribution to society as a whole.  

A close-up of biological nanomachines: Researchers at Münster University take a deep look at peroxisomal processes, September 2023

Study published in Nature Communications
Taking a close look at peroxisomes: Prof. Dr. Christos Gatsogiannis and Maximilian Rüttermann
© Karthik Subramaniam Kalyankumar

Every system has its waste disposal system. The cell organelles known as “peroxisomes” dispose toxic substances and fats in the human body, among other things, and, in doing so, they prevent serious illnesses. The “Pex” group of proteins (peroxisomes biogenesis factors) keep these “detox units” functioning properly – and a team of researchers at Münster University headed by Prof. Christos Gatsogiannis have now been the first to show, at the atomic level, how these highly complex processes proceed. The success story – now acclaimed with the study being published in the journal Nature Communications – was made possible as a result of the University’s new high-tech microscope.

Please find press-release here.

Rare and powerful: Cryoelectron microscope inaugurated, April 2023

Technology enables insights into cells down to atomic resolution / Symposium at the Center for Soft Nanoscience
The new high-performance cryo-EM, one of the most powerful of its kind in the world, has now been inaugurated at Münster UM. From left: SoN Co-Speaker Prof. Dr Bart Jan Ravoo, Prof. Dr Jürgen Klingauf, Dean of Medicine Prof. Dr Frank Ulrich Müller, Rector Prof. Dr Johannes Wessels, SoN Co-Speaker Prof. Dr Christos Gatsogiannis (Head of Cryo-EM) and SoN Founding Director Prof. Dr Helmut Zacharias

At an opening symposium with around 150 guests, a technically outstanding high-performance cryoelectron microscope ("cryo-EM") was officially inaugurated at the Center for Soft Nanoscience (SoN) of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU) on 19 April (Wednesday). The device is one of the most powerful of its kind in the world and, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Christos Gatsogiannis, will in future be used by around 20 working groups and research associations from the disciplines of medicine, biology and chemistry. It is intended to contribute to the University of Münster maintaining and expanding its leading role in multiscale imaging internationally.

Plese find the official press-release here.

Scientists receive a boost for research with cutting-edge imaging methods, June 2022

The German Research Foundation and State of NRW grant Münster University 7.5 million euros for a cryo-electron microscope
Molecular 3D model of a toxin (diameter eight nanometres) from cryogenic electron microscope images (in the background). Such studies will soon be possible at the University of Münster.
© Maximilian Rüttermann - AG Gatsogiannis

Many scientists have longed for it and now it is coming to be: following approval of their application to the German Research Foundation’s "Large-scale Research Equipment" funding programme, researchers from the University of Münster will receive equipment for high-performance cryogenic electron microscopy. The equipment will enable the researchers to make molecular processes visible – for example, in human cells – and to examine particles such as viruses and synthetic nanostructures three-dimensionally, down to their individual atoms. The German Research Foundation and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia are providing a total of 7.5 million euros for the preparatory equipment and the latest-generation high-resolution microscope, which will be located in a purpose-built laboratory at the Center for Soft Nanoscience (SoN).

And here the official press-release.

Neurotoxin Black Window Spider, November 2021

When spider venom attacks the nerves: research team examines neurotoxin from a Black Widow
The team used cryo-electron microscopy to reveal the structures of toxins specific to insects and crustaceans
Photo: nickybay.com; Figure: Gatsogiannis Group

Although many people lose their nerve and panic when they see a spider, only very few of the creatures are actually dangerous. The Black Widow, however, is a force to be reckoned with: it catches its prey by means of nerve poison – to be precise, latrotoxins (LaTXs). Prof. Christos Gatsogiannis from the Institute of Medical Physics and Biophysics at Münster University investigated the substance – also with a view to medical applications. Using cryo-EM Gatsogiannis’ team succeeded in explaining the first structure of an LaTX. The research team’s findings have now been published in the Nature Communications journal.

Here you can find the Publication in Nature Communications.

And here the official press-release. You can listen to a live interview with Prof. Dr. Gatsogiannis by the radio station Radioeins here.

How peroxisomes "fish" for their enzymes: Scientists reveal the structure of the peroxisomal docking complex, December 2020

How peroxisomes "fish" for their enzymes: Scientists reveal the structure of the peroxisomal docking complex
Scheme of the peroxisomal Pex14pPex17p docking-complex, elucidated with electron cryo-microscopy (Fig.: Gatsogiannis)

Freiburg/Bochum/Münster - Peroxisomes are vital membrane-enclosed organelles that are found in every cell and are responsible, among other things, for its detoxification. For this purpose, they are equipped with an arsenal of enzymes. A team of scientists from the Universities of Freiburg, Bochum and Münster has now elucidated the first structure of the docking apparatus of peroxisomes, which captures enzymes for transport into the peroxisomes. The results were obtained in the DFG Research Unit "Structure and Function of the Peroxisomal Translocon" and have been published in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America" (PNAS).

Here you can find the Publication in PNAS.

And here the official press-release.