The highly interdisciplinary project is directed to elucidate structure-function relationships of a novel photoreceptor, a rhodopsin from abundant freshwater microbes. In the coming three years Prof. K. T. Forest will work together with the groups of Prof. P. Hildebrandt (TU Berlin), Prof. T. Friedrich (TU Berlin), Prof. M. A. Mroginski (TU Berlin), Dr. P. Scheerer (Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin), and Prof. P. Hegemann (HU Berlin), who support the project with methodological expertise in spectroscopy, theory, structural biology, and electrophysiology. The investigations will add novel components to the optogenetic tool kit for light-driven neurobiological signalling.
Prof. K. T. Forest is an internationally renowned scientist who coined the field of photoreceptor research in the past years, i.e., by the first high-resolution structure determination of phytochrome, the generation of far-red fluorophores with applications in imaging, and substantial contributions towards understanding formation and stability of the unusual knot in the phytochrome typology.
We are happy to welcome Prof. K. T. Forest as an outstanding multidisciplinary scientist with excellent international reputation who has already established an impressive network with laboratories in Berlin. We are looking forward to the inspiring collaboration in the field of photoreceptor research and the strengthening of the ties between Berlin and the University of Wisconsin.