Research Focus

Our main research focus is on the characterization of the biological roles of posttranslational protein modifications and their underlying molecular pathways. Particular emphasis is placed on protein glycosylation and the function of glycans in different cellular processes ranging from protein quality control to plant cell wall biosynthesis and control of plant growth. Research in our institute also includes the identification of intracellular protein trafficking routes in the secretory pathway of specialized tissues as well as the elucidation of the mechanisms governing proteolytic processing events in cells and organisms.
We use advanced microscopy techniques for characterizing endomembrane compartments to understand their architecture, morphological dynamics and interactions and to utilize them in biotechnological approaches. In the context of optimizing plant-based expression systems, another interest is the engineering of molecular pathways towards the production of well-defined homogeneous glycoforms on therapeutically relevant glycoproteins. Targeted genetic modification of crop plants using CRISPR/Cas-based tools is used for improving quality traits of food and feed crops such as cereals, for generating mutants of academic interest, and for host plant engineering in the context of pharmaceutical protein production.

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