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Collaborative Research Center 1557

Functional plasticity encoded by cellular membrane networks

More about SFB 1557

Research Projects

Project P1 | Caroline Barisch

We exploit Dictyostelium infected with mycobacteria to investigate how pathogens reprogram metabolic lipid flows and impact the functional plasticity of the mycobacteria-containing vacuole membrane composition.

Project P2 | Kerstin Bartscherer

We take advantage of an ischemia model of highly regenerative spiny mice (Acomys) to ask how extracellular vesicles are formed in response to tissue damage and how they affect cardiac repair.

Project P3 | Maria Bohnert

We use microscopy-based screens to identify principles controlling the functional plasticity of lipid metabolism and inter-organelle lipid exchange, with a primary focus on sphingolipids, sterols, and storage lipids.

Project P5 | Katia Cosentino

We analyze the role of the membrane environment on regulatory mechanisms of Gasdermin recruitment and pore formation at the plasma membrane in pyroptosis, an inflammatory form of regulated cell death.

Project P6 | Florian Fröhlich

We determine the function and regulation of the key enzyme in sphingolipid metabolism, the serine palmitoyltransferase enzyme complex to understand metabolic sphingolipid fluxes.

Project P7 | Ayelén González Montoro

We study the contact sites of the vacuolar membrane formed by the protein Cvm1, as a model to understand how contact site plasticity can determine membrane homeostasis.

Project P8 | Michael Hensel

We explore how Salmonella infection and secretion of its effectors reprograms the mammalian endosomal membrane system to promote replication in its intracellular niche.

Project P9 | Joost Holthuis

We determine how imbalances in organellar lipid codes caused by pathogenic variants of sphingomyelin synthase SMS2 affect secretory pathway function in osteogenic cells to unravel the mechanistic basis of a severe bone disease.

Project P10 | Daniel Kümmel

We investigate the regulation of organelle identity by a guanine nucleotide exchange factor complex involved in planar cell polarity, termed Fuzzy-Inturned, and its substrate, Rab23 GTPase using a structure-function based approach.

Project P11 | Arne Möller

Using cryo-electron microscopy, we analyze the structure, dynamics and function of plasma membrane ABC transporters to understand their regulation by the membrane environment.

Project P12 | Achim Paululat

We focus on the biogenesis and plasticity of labyrinth channels at the plasma membrane of Drosophila kidney-like nephrocytes and their link to the endolysosomal system during growth and aging.

Project P13 | Jacob Piehler

We focus on class I/II cytokine receptors with important functions in hematopoiesis and immunity to understand how receptor assembly and effector recruitment is regulated by membrane properties and subcellular localization.

Project P14 | Christian Ungermann

We focus on signaling endosome biogenesis in the endolysosomal system and clarify the role of the lipid kinase complex Fab1 and its regulation by the nutrient regulated TOR1 kinase complex.

Project P15 | Roland Wedlich-Söldner

We focus on the role of lateral segregation for the regulation and functional plasticity of proton and nutrient transport systems in the yeast plasma membrane.

Analysis & Imaging

© Florian Fröhlich, Joost Holthuis & Stefan Walter

Project Z1: Mass spectrometry, quantitative lipid analyses and lipid tools

Florian Fröhlich & Joost Holthuis

This central project expands the consortium’s technical capabilities in analyzing lipid function by developing protocols for a rapid and efficient isolation of cellular organelles, establishing workflows for mass spectrometry-based analyses of organellar lipidomes and proteomes, and generating a toolbox of functionalized lipids for monitoring intracellular lipid flows, capturing lipid effector proteins, and manipulating subcellular lipid pools.

More about project Z1
© Dr. Lena Dehnen - Osnabrück University

Project Z2: High-resolution imaging across spatiotemporal scales

Dovile Januliene, Rainer Kurre & Katherina Psathaki

This project provides a platform for advanced imaging across different spatial and temporal scales to resolve the highly dynamic organization of proteins and lipids within cellular membrane systems. It will establish a platform for high-resolution macromolecular structure determination and time-resolved cryo-EM, implement and further develop advanced light and electron microscopy approaches, and establish lipid imaging at the highest spatiotemporal resolution using novel lipid tools.

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Information Infrastructure

© Susanne Kunis

Project INF: Structured storage, metadata annotation, and analyses of experimental data

Susanne Kunis, Michael Hensel & Arne Möller

This project will further develop the current platforms for image data management and provide data management for additional data formats from proteomics and lipidomics mass spectrometry and flow cytometry. The project will interface the current data management platforms with an electronic lab notebook system for demands of SFB 1557 to enable the digitization of instrumental and experimental metadata alongside the data generation in experiments and analyses.

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Career Support

© Jan-Hannes Schäfer - Osnabrück University

Integrated Research Training Group (IRTG)

The IRTG complements the experimental training with training in a broader spectrum of subjects and provides opportunities for networking and personal development. The program includes workshops on research methods, seminars on soft skills and networking opportunities through career seminars. All activities are embedded in a structured educational program with an individual development plan and a thesis advisory committee.

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© Simone Reukauf Fotografie

Gender equality and family friendliness

We strongly support female scientists and generally underrepresented scientists throughout their careers. To this end, we invest in various measures such as coaching and mentoring programs and work closely with the Equal Opportunities Office of Osnabrück University. Within the SFB, we encourage young students and scientists to participate in these programs and ensure gender balance and diversity.


© RG Chemical Education & Science Communication, RG Zoology

Outreach project of SFB 1557

Marco Beeken & Katia Cosentino

An outreach project will accompany SFB 1557 from an early stage with various innovative formats of science communication. The main aim is to present the central research questions of the SFB, and to explain how basic research in biology is linked to public interests. The project will promote the highly innovative infrastructural and technological portfolio offered by the SFB and the associated CellNanOs research building, which are flagships of the city and can be unique hubs for both research and public education.

More about our outreach work