Call 2023: Offering research internship for Students on Bachelor- or Master level (Deadline is September 15, 2022)

Call 2023: Offering research internship for Students on Bachelor- or Master level (Deadline is September 15, 2022)

The Max Kade Foundation (MKF, www.maxkadefoundation.org) supports an international research exchange between Vanderbilt and Leipzig Universities. Specifically, MKF provides funds of three‐four undergraduate students from each university to conduct a 10 week summer internship at the respective partner university. Travel costs and a weekly stipend are provided. They target rising junior and rising senior students at Vanderbilt University. To select the recipients of the stipend, we collect research project descriptions from around twenty core laboratories that support the collaboration between Vanderbilt and Leipzig Universities. Descriptions are provided by the graduate student or post‐doctoral mentor who will advise the undergraduate student. It is encouraged that the undergraduate student conducts research on the

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Virtual and In-Vitro Search of New Ligands for Adhesion G Protein-Coupled Receptor (Short Report by Richard Schreiter; Jan. – April 2022)

Virtual and In-Vitro Search of New Ligands for Adhesion G Protein-Coupled Receptor (Short Report by Richard Schreiter; Jan. – April 2022)

I took part in the Max Kade Foundation exchange program as a part of my 6 months long diploma, an additional and optional degree when studying pharmacy. Prior to my diploma and my stay in Nashville, research experiences were barely existent, as the study program of pharmacy does not notably focus on that. However, before deciding to pursue a diploma in this field, I made two internships of two weeks each that gave me a rudimentary insight into the wet lab and computational work. Also, first contact with the research field of adhesion coupled G protein receptors (AGPCRs) occured during that time because one of my projects covered the determination of

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Expression and purification of arrestin-3 for structural studies (Short Report by Emelyne Pacull; Feb. – April 2022)

Expression and purification of arrestin-3 for structural studies (Short Report by Emelyne Pacull; Feb. – April 2022)

My PhD research at Leipzig University focus on the Growth Hormone Secretagogue Receptor (GHSR), a receptor in our cell membranes involved in food intake and part of the G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) family, key targets of pharmacological drugs. More specifically, I am investigating the conformational changes of this receptor in the presence of its ligand ghrelin or other extra and intracellular partners, using solid state NMR. After having to cancel my exchange for the summer 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, I finally had the awesome opportunity to work in the lab of Prof. Dr. Vsevolod V. Gurevich from February to April 2022. The main goal of this exchange was to

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Bridging Drug Discovery Pipelines for Challenging Protein Targets in the Institute for Drug Discovery and MeilerLab Vanderbilt  (Short Report by Fabian Liessmann; Jan. – March 2022)

Bridging Drug Discovery Pipelines for Challenging Protein Targets in the Institute for Drug Discovery and MeilerLab Vanderbilt (Short Report by Fabian Liessmann; Jan. – March 2022)

As the chemical space is incredibly large with up to estimated 1060 molecules defined as small-molecule ligand, sophisticated and benchmarked methods and pipelines for screening this huge space in a fast and reliable manner are needed. In recent year, virtual ultra-large library screening has witnessed a rapid development with increasing computational power, but also growing available commercial make-on-demand libraries, like the REadily AccessibLe (REAL) libraryof Enamine Ltd. with currently 21 billion chemicals. Pipelines for screening huge databases are available but rely heavily on screening all the compounds. In the Institute for Drug Discovery in Leipzig an in-silico ultra-large library screening pipeline using flexible models of GPCRs was developed, tested, and established.

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Call 2021: Offering research internship for Students on Bachelor- or Master level

Call 2021: Offering research internship for Students on Bachelor- or Master level

The Max Kade Foundation (MKF, www.maxkadefoundation.org) supports an international research exchange between Vanderbilt and Leipzig Universities. Specifically, MKF provides funds of three‐four undergraduate students from each university to conduct a 10 week summer internship at the respective partner university. Travel costs and a weekly stipend are provided. They target rising junior and rising senior students at Vanderbilt University. To select the recipients of the stipend, we collect research project descriptions from around twenty core laboratories that support the collaboration between Vanderbilt and Leipzig Universities. Descriptions are provided by the graduate student or post‐doctoral mentor who will advise the undergraduate student. It is encouraged that the undergraduate student conducts research on the

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Short Report by Sarina Rudolf:  Incorporating crosslinking data into Rosetta to dock NPY and Y5R . (Oct. – Dec. 2019)

Short Report by Sarina Rudolf: Incorporating crosslinking data into Rosetta to dock NPY and Y5R . (Oct. – Dec. 2019)

In the recent years, we pursued the goal to map the binding site of the ligand NPY at human neuropeptide Y5 receptor (Y5R). Therefore, we applied an approach called genetic code expansion to incorporate a photoreactive amino acid at a desired site at the extracellular part of the receptor. The obtained photocrosslinking-data revealed the proximity of several receptor positions to NPY in the ligand-receptor complex. Hence, giving us deeper insights into the receptor-binding pocket. For the visualization of my experimental data in a comparative model, I got the opportunity to perform the computational modeling in the laboratories of Jens Meiler at the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In the course of

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Short Report by Victoria Most:  The sun in Nashville and a light-sensitive protein. (Aug.-Nov. 2019)

Short Report by Victoria Most: The sun in Nashville and a light-sensitive protein. (Aug.-Nov. 2019)

As a Master candidate of the Biochemistry program at Leipzig University I focus on analytics and structural biology. My studies mainly concentrated on performing experiments in the wet lab and I had only little knowledge of Rosetta and scientific programming.               During my stay I worked on the computational modelling of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) using the Rosetta homology modelling protocol. GPCRs are membrane proteins, which are crucial for translating extracellular signals into an intracellular response. It has been shown that these proteins are prone to misfolding during insertion into the membrane. During my research I tried to model a proposed misfolded state of the light-sensitive GPCR Rhodopsin[1] and managed to

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Call 2020: Offering research internship for Students on Bachelor- or Master level

Call 2020: Offering research internship for Students on Bachelor- or Master level

The Max Kade Foundation (MKF, www.maxkadefoundation.org) supports an international research exchange between Vanderbilt and Leipzig Universities. Specifically, MKF provides funds of three‐four undergraduate students from each university to conduct a 10 week summer internship at the respective partner university. Travel costs and a weekly stipend are provided. They target rising junior and rising senior students at Vanderbilt University. To select the recipients of the stipend, we collect research project descriptions from around twenty core laboratories that support the collaboration between Vanderbilt and Leipzig Universities. Descriptions are provided by the graduate student or post‐doctoral mentor who will advise the undergraduate student. It is encouraged that the undergraduate student conducts research on the

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Short Report by Johanna Tiemann: Arrestin interaction with SRC family kinases. (Apr. 2019)

Short Report by Johanna Tiemann: Arrestin interaction with SRC family kinases. (Apr. 2019)

Johanna K. S. Tiemann1, Prof. Dr. Vsevolod Gurevich2, Dr. Sandra Berndt2 1. Leipzig University 2. Vanderbilt University The aim of my exchange was to deepen the collaboration between the laboratory of Prof. Peter Hildebrand and Prof. Tina Iverson and Prof. Seva Gurevich and to push the project on the investigation of arrestin interactions with SRC family kinases forward. Arrestin is a key intracellular downstream signaling molecule, mediating G protein-coupled receptors and other proteins such as kinases. Those proteins are involved in tumor progression and metastasis, their study, therefore, of noticeable interest. Especially the interaction of arrestin with kinases, in particular, SRC family kinases is so far barely understood. Through the established

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Short Report by Paul Eisenhuth: Rosetta docking of allosteric modulators to the Y4 receptor. (Sept. – Dec. 2018)

Enhancing pathogenicity prediction from structure and evolution with machine learning Currently I am enrolled in a Computer Science Master program at the University of Leipzig. Since my program offers no practical experience in scientific research I was excited when I got offered to participate in the Max Kade Foundation Fellowship. During my ten weeks stay I started a completely new project with the goal to develop a pathogenicity prediction score on point variants in human genes incorporating structural and evolutionary features. Obviously, the scope of this project was way to big to be fulfilled during ten weeks only, so I aimed to collect some data, calculate features and train a machine

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Short Report by Tobias Fischer: Investigation of Ligand Binding at the Chemokine-Like Receptor 1. (Sept. – Dec. 2018)

Short Report by Tobias Fischer: Investigation of Ligand Binding at the Chemokine-Like Receptor 1. (Sept. – Dec. 2018)

I am a PhD student in Leipzig in the lab of Annette Beck-Sickinger. My research focuses on investigation of ligand-binding at a speci c G protein-coupled receptor, the chemokine-like receptor 1. This receptor is involved in multiple in ammatory diseases and therefore is a promising drug target. While we have the possibility to investigate the pharmacology of this receptor here in Leipzig, the lab of Jens Meiler at Vanderbilt offers computational methods to improve understanding of this receptor on a molecularlevel. Hence, I spent 10 weeks in Vanderbilt, where I had the possibility to learn using the software suite Rosetta, which includes a variety of algorithms for protein structure prediction and is

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Short Report by Anja Wieprecht: Identification and verification of interaction partners of adhesion G protein-coupled receptors. (Aug. – Oct. 2018)

Adhesion G protein-coupled receptors (aGPCRs) are expressed in various cell types, including cells of the immune system and central nervous system. Furthermore, they were reported to be involved in tumorgenesis. Besides their physiological relevance the majority of them have not been functionally characterized in detail. Notably, in contrast to other GPCRs this class of receptors possess an autoproteolytical site within their N-terminus at which they are cleaved. It is known that aGPCRs can be activated by their Stachel-sequence, a short tethered agonist sequence N-terminal of this cleavage site. However, both the binding pocket and the mechanism of its activation remain to be characterized. Using the smallest and noncleaved GPR114 as a

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Researchers of Vanderbilt and Leipzig University discover ligand binding modes at the neuropeptide Y Y1 receptor

Researchers of Vanderbilt and Leipzig University discover ligand binding modes at the neuropeptide Y Y1 receptor

(30/04/2018 by Anett Albrecht): A joint publication of Leipzig and Vanderbilt scientists was published in April 2018 in the prestigious journal “Nature”. The article continues the series of numerous publications that have emerged already from the long-term collaboration between the Leipzig and Vanderbilt University. Abstract: Neuropeptide Y (NPY) receptors belong to the G-protein-coupled receptor superfamily and have important roles in food intake, anxiety and cancer biology 1,2 . The NPY-Y receptor system has emerged as one of the most complex networks with three peptide ligands (NPY, peptide YY and pancreatic polypeptide) binding to four receptors in most mammals, namely the Y1, Y2, Y4 and Y5 receptors, with different affinity and selectivity 3

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Universities extend partnership by another ten years

Universities extend partnership by another ten years

[press release written by Susann Huster/Anett Albrecht, April 10, 2018] The cooperation between the University of Leipzig and Vanderbilt in Nashville (USA) has been contractually sealed for another ten years. A few days ago, the rectors of both universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The American Max Kade Foundation had previously approved an application for funding from project leaders Prof. Dr. Annette Beck-Sickinger from the Institute of Biochemistry at the Leipzig University and Prof. Dr. Jens Meiler from Vanderbilt University: The foundation will also support the exchange with 50,000 dollars (40,000 euros) per year between 2017 and 2021. “We hope that the already established excellent relations with Vanderbilt University will continue

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Researchers of Vanderbilt and Leipzig University discover small-molecule modulators of the human Y4 receptor

Researchers of Vanderbilt and Leipzig University discover small-molecule modulators of the human Y4 receptor

(07/04/2016 by Anett Albrecht): A joint publication of Leipzig and Vanderbilt scientists was published in June 2016 in the prestigious journal “PLoS One”. The article continues the series of numerous publications that have emerged already from the long-term collaboration between the Leipzig and Vanderbilt University. Abstract: The human neuropeptide Y4 receptor (Y4R) and its native ligand, pancreatic polypeptide, are critically involved in the regulation of human metabolism by signaling satiety and regulating food intake, as well as increasing energy expenditure. Thus, this receptor represents a putative target for treatment of obesity. With respect to new approaches to treat complex metabolic disorders, especially in multi-receptor systems, small molecule allosteric modulators have been

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Journal of Biological Chemistry selects Vanderbilt-Leipzig article as paper of the week

Journal of Biological Chemistry selects Vanderbilt-Leipzig article as paper of the week

The joint publication of Hu, Stern, Gimenez, Wanka, Zhu, Rossi, Meister, Inoue, Beck-Sickinger, Gurevich and Wess was named as “Paper of the Week” by the Journal of Biological Chemistry’s editorial board, landing it in the top 2 percent of all papers published over the year in the journal. The joint publication focussed on designer receptors exclusively activated by a designer drug – short DREADDs. This are CNO sensitive designer G protein-coupled receptors which are able to activate heterotrimeric G proteins and also trigger arrestin-dependent signaling. In the present study the development of a mutationally modified version of a non-biased DREADD derived from the M3 muscarinic receptor that can activate Gq/11 with

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Scientists of Vanderbilt and Leipzig University improved drug effects of Indomethacin

Scientists of Vanderbilt and Leipzig University improved drug effects of Indomethacin

(Leipzig/Nashville, 02/03/2016): Scientists at Leipzig University and Vanderbilt University (USA) reduced the side effects of Indomethacin by altering the so-called boron cluster molecule of this drug. This molecule have a spherical shape – composed of boron, hydrogen and carbon atoms. The active ingredient causes an inhibition of the enzyme cyclooxygenase, which plays an important role in production of inflammations and pain. But Indomethacin also leads to severe side effects. The scientists changed the drug, so that it blocks only the pathological form of the enzyme. The other form, which controls important physiological processes in the body, would barely be affected. The results underline the potential of boron clusters in pharmacytical application

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Professor Jens Meiler received Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award

Professor Jens Meiler received Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award

(by David Salisbury, Vanderbilt University): Associate Professor of Chemistry Jens Meiler has received a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn, Germany. The award is given to scholars based on their “outstanding research accomplishments and exceptional promise for the future.” Individuals are nominated by German scholars and must have received their Ph.D. in the last 18 years. In addition to a monetary prize, award winners are invited to spend a period of up to one year collaborating on a long-term research project. Meiler, who has an international reputation in the field of structural biology, will be collaborating with colleagues at Leipzig University on studies of

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Research stay at the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC)

Research stay at the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC)

by Thomas Ebert (postdoc at Leipzig University): From January 3rd, 2014 – April 4th 2014, I had the opportunity to stay at the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, Tennessee as a visiting scholar. In our group in Leipzig (headed by Prof. Mathias Fasshauer), we focus on adipocyte-secreted proteins, so called adipokines, in renal dysfunction. To investigate adipokines in diabetic nephropathy (DN), a severe consequence of long-term diabetes mellitus, animal studies are vitally important. The group of Prof. Raymond C. Harris (Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at VUMC) introduced the enos db/db-mouse as the currently best mouse model to study

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Leipzig Post-Doctoral Fellow in Nashville / Vanderbilt University

by Stephan Theisgen (Post Doc at Leipzig University): From 16th September to 14th October I had the opportunity to visit Prof. Jens Meiler’s Lab where I wanted to perform some structural computations to complete a pending scientific paper. This turned out to be a major task for 4 weeks only. But together with Dr. David Nanneman, Stephanie Hirst DeLuca and Sam DeLuca, we managed to finish this ambitious project successfully. In the process, I learned a lot about computational structural biology and became familiar with an important method in this field. Beside the heavy scientific work, I enjoyed very much the special southern cuisine, visiting downtown Nashville and of course some

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New Grant supports joint Research Project between Vanderbilt and Leipzig Universities

Annette Beck-Sickinger and Torsten Schoeneberg from Leipzig University and Jens Meiler from Vanderbilt University receive a grant “Ensemble Docking Interrogates Structural Determinants of Ligand-Protein Interactions” that is jointly funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). The grant will develop a novel docking algorithm that leverages Structure-Activity-Relations (SAR) and apply this algorithm to understand regulation of G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs). Project Summary

Collaborative Paper published in “Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry”

Researchers of Leipzig and Vanderbilt Universities published a paper in the journal “Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry” showing the results of their collaborative project on carbaborane research. The paper, published in March 2011, describes new synthesis strategies of indomethacin derivatives with inorganic carbaborane clusters. Indomethacin is a very potent cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 inhibitor with clinical significance as anti-inflammatory drug , The carbaborane-modified drug candidates showed also COX inhibition activity, depending on the carbaborane isomer and the connection pattern. The results gave general insights into the applicability of carbaboranes as drug entities. Synthesis and evaluation of carbaborane derivatives of indomethacin as cyclooxygenase inhibitors Matthias Scholz(1), Anna L. Blobaum(2), Lawrence J. Marnett(2) and

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3rd Vanderbilt-Leipzig Cooperation Workshop

3rd Vanderbilt-Leipzig Cooperation Workshop

The 3rd Cooperation Workshop of Leipzig and Vanderbilt Universities took place in Leipzig on May 25th until 29th, 2011. It was organized by the Top-Level Research Area 3 “Molecular and Cellular Communication” (PbF3) Six faculty from Vanderbilt University visited Leipzig, participated in a scientific symposium, and used the opportunity to get in touch close contact with researchers from Leipzig University and non-university institutions. The guests were heartily welcomed by new university rector, Prof. Dr. Beate A. Schücking on Wednesday evening at the top of Leipzig’s old university building, now the Panorama Tower in the city center. On Thursday, a public scientific symposium took place at the seminar building, eagerly visited by

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Collaborative Paper published in Journal of Biological Chemistry

First results of the successful collaboration between Leipzig University (Germany) and Vanderbilt University, Nashville (Tennessee, USA) have been published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry by end of 2010. Researchers from the labs of Annette G. Beck-Sickinger (Leipzig University) and Vsevolod V. Gurevich (Vanderbilt University) investigated the mechanism and regulation of neuropeptide Y2 receptor internalization. For the first time, the corporate publication “Ligand-induced internalization and recycling of the human neuropeptide Y2 receptor is regulated by its carboxyl-terminal tail” reports on specific sequences located in the receptor’s C-terminus which determine arrestin-dependent/independent internalization and recycling events, thus contributes to a better understanding of the regulation of G protein-coupled receptor trafficking pathways. Cornelia Walther,

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2nd Scientific Workshop at Vanderbilt, November 2010

During November 10th – 14th, researchers from Leipzig University in Germany will visit Vanderbilt to deepen and expand a collaboration between the two Universities. Faculty from Leipzig University will present their research in a kick-off symposium on November 10, 1:30pm in 208 Light Hall. A wine and cheese reception will follow the presentations at 5:30pm, where the faculty will be present to discuss their research. This collaboration is supported by Vanderbilt’s International Office, the Institute for Chemical Biology, the Department of Chemistry, and the School of Arts & Sciences. This collaboration is also supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the PbF3 of Leipzig University. On November 10th, 2010 in

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Kick-off meeting in Leipzig, June 2010

The Kick-off meeting of the establishment of a university partnership between Vanderbilt and Leipzig University took place in Leipzig from June 16th to 20th. During this first joint scientific workshop seven researchers from Vanderbilt University presented their research an audience of Leipzig faculty and students. Topics of the workshop were parts of research of both universities in the natural and life sciences (organic chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, bioinformatics, and biomedicine). Besides the workshop we organized multiple face-to-face meetings with work groups from Leipzig University and introduced the visitors to Leipzig and its research institutions. Until now exists several cooperations of researchers from both universities, for instance in the areas of G-protein coupled

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