Scientific Highlights from Research Division
Biology and Chemistry (BIO)
Dr. Petr Skopintsev received PSI Thesis Medal 2021 for his work on the sodium pump KR2.
The European Research Council (ERC) is funding an interdisciplinary collaborative project with 10 million euros for the structural and biophysical analysis of selected photoreceptors and their development into "OptoGPCRs", light-controlled molecular switches with a wide range of applications in biology and medicine.
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have succeeded for the first time in recording a light-driven sodium pump from bacterial cells in action. The findings promise progress in developing new methods in neurobiology. The researchers used the new X-ray free-electron laser SwissFEL for their investigations.
At the neutron source SINQ, PSI researchers are producing special radionuclides that aid in the development of new and more effectively targeted cancer therapies. In this they collaborate closely with the clinics in the surrounding area.
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have elucidated an important part of a siganalling pathway that transmits information through the cell membrane into the interior of a cell. This exists in all mammals and plays an important role, among other things, in the regulation of the heartbeat. The new findings could lead to new therapies.
Gebhard Schertler is head of the research division Biology and Chemistry at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and professor for Structural Biology at ETH Zurich. In this interview he talks about biological research at PSI and the future of drug development.
Using X-ray laser technology, a team led by researchers of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI has recorded one of the fastest processes in biology. In doing so, they produced a molecular movie that reveals how the light sensor retinal is activated in a protein molecule. Such reactions occur in numerous organisms. The movie shows for the first time how a protein efficiently controls the reaction of the embedded light sensor.
With the X-ray laser SwissFEL, researchers at PSI want to produce movies of biomolecules in action. This can reveal how our eyes function or how new drugs work.
With a new method for modifying antibodies, Philipp Spycher, winner of a Founder Fellowship at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, wants to develop drugs that are more stable and, thus, have fewer side-effects.