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The Friedrich Miescher Laboratory celebrates forty years of successful research

The Friedrich Miescher Laboratory celebrates forty years of successful research


Tübingen, June 30, 2009. The Friedrich Miescher Laboratory (FML) on the Max Planck Campus in Tübingen celebrates its fortieth anniversary on the 3rd of July 2009. The FML was named after the Swiss physician and biologist Friedrich Miescher, who discovered the DNA 140 years ago in Tübingen. Renowned scientists, among them Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, worked at the FML. Currently, four junior research groups at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory investigate how the genetic information is encoded on the DNA and faithfully inherited.

Employees of the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory, Image: Bernd Schuller / Friedrich Miescher LaboratoryThe Friedrich Miescher Laboratory (FML) was founded in 1969 by the Max Planck Society to support young researchers. It offers outstanding junior scientists the opportunity to establish research groups, realize their own research ideas and launch an independent research career. In the last 40 years more than 25 junior research groups worked on different biological questions at the FML.

Currently, the FML hosts four research groups, three of which focus on cell division. The group of Silke Hauf investigates how the genetic information is faithfully distributed to the two daughter cells during cell division. Dmitri Ivanov and his colleagues explore the protein complex, which connects the identical copies of the DNA until they are distributed to the daughter cells. The group of Wolfram Antonin studies how the DNA is surrounded by a nuclear envelope at the end of cell division. In addition, Gunnar Rätsch and his coworkers develop modern computational methods for gene identification.

The scientists of the individual groups share equipment and jointly manage the organization of the laboratory. “The close collaboration among the groups and the international atmosphere on the campus create an inspiring research environment” says Wolfram Antonin (36), group leader at the FML.

 “The time at the FML laid the foundation for my scientific carrier” says Reinhard Kurth, who headed the Robert-Koch Institute in Berlin until 2008. “Here I had the freedom to realize my own ideas and to develop independently from existing departments and their directors”. Together with Friedrich Bonhoeffer, Reinhard Kurth was among the first scientists working at the FML. In the 1980s, Nobel laureate Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard was a group leader at the FML. Today, she is the director of the Department of Genetics at the neighboring Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology and is the managing director of the FML.

The FML is named in honor of the Swiss physician and biologist Friedrich Miescher who discovered nucleic acids 140 years ago at the castle of Hohentübingen. Nowadays we know that the identified substance is deoxyribonucleic acid, abbreviated as DNA. DNA is found in all cellular nuclei and is the carrier of the genetic information.

Notes for editorial offices:
A scientific symposium to celebrate the anniversary will be held at the 3rd of July (9.00-17.00) at the Max Planck House, Spemannstr. 36, in Tübingen. Upon request interviews with the group leaders of the FML can be arranged. Please notify us upon publication

Contact:
Dr. Wolfram Antonin
Phone: 0049 7071 601836,
Email: wolfram.antonin(at)tuebingen.mpg.de

Susanne Diederich (Press and Public Relations)
Phone: +49 7071-601-333
Email: presse(at)tuebingen.mpg.de


The Friedrich Miescher Laboartory (FML) is a research institution of the Max Planck Society. It is named after the famous Swiss Biologist Friedrich Miescher who discovered the DNA in Tübingen. The FML together with the Max Planck Institutes for Developmental Biology and Biological Cybernetics is located on the Max Planck Campus in Tübingen. Currently, four junior research groups work at the FML on a variety of biological questions.


Employees of the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory, Image: Bernd Schuller / Friedrich Miescher Laboratory

Employees of the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory, Image: Bernd Schuller / Friedrich Miescher Laboratory

Fission yeast cells during meiosis, a specialized cell division leading to the formation of gametes. One of the chromosomes is marked by a green fluorescent protein,  Image: Ashapurno Biswas / Friedrich-Miescher-Laboratorium

Fission yeast cells during meiosis, a specialized cell division leading to the formation of gametes. One of the chromosomes is marked by a green fluorescent protein, Image: Ashapurno Biswas / Friedrich-Miescher-Laboratorium

Wolfram Antonin wants to understand how the genetic information is surrounded by a nuclear envelope; Image: Bernd Schuller / Friedrich Miescher Laboratory

Wolfram Antonin wants to understand how the genetic information is surrounded by a nuclear envelope; Image: Bernd Schuller / Friedrich Miescher Laboratory

The group of Dmitri Ivanov studies how a ring-shaped protein complex holds two identical copies of DNA together until they are divided between the daughter cells; Image: Bernd Schuller / Friedrich Miescher Laboratory

The group of Dmitri Ivanov studies how a ring-shaped protein complex holds two identical copies of DNA together until they are divided between the daughter cells; Image: Bernd Schuller / Friedrich Miescher Laboratory

Silke Hauf aims to understand how the genetic information is faithfully distributed to the daughter cells during division, Image: Bernd Schuller / Friedrich Miescher Laboratory

Silke Hauf aims to understand how the genetic information is faithfully distributed to the daughter cells during division, Image: Bernd Schuller / Friedrich Miescher Laboratory

The group of Gunnar Rätsch develops bioinformatics methods that can be used to analyze how RNAs and Proteins are produced, Image: Bernd Schuller / Friedrich Miescher Laboratory

The group of Gunnar Rätsch develops bioinformatics methods that can be used to analyze how RNAs and Proteins are produced, Image: Bernd Schuller / Friedrich Miescher Laboratory

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