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Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is a higher education and research organisation with about 8000 employees, 18 500 students and total annual budget of about 700 million Euros. KIT was established on October 1st 2009 as a merger of Universität Karlsruhe (founded in 1825), one of Germany's leading research universities and Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (founded in 1956), one of the largest research centres in the Helmholtz Association. KIT's reserach profile is characterised by a strong focus on energy technology, nanotechnology and materials reserach, elementary particle and astrophysics as well as climate and environmental science reserach. It has significant competencies in the fields of information and communication technologies, mobility systems, optics nd photonics. KIT scientists are members of over 140 Institutes supported by excellent and worldwide unique scientific infrastructure, including ANKA synchrotron.
Role and expertise of KIT in the project
Within FOCUS project KIT group will conduct the following activities: i- molecular design of devices using DNA modified enzymes, cofactors and nanoparticles; ii- investigation of the reconstitution of enyzmatic activity; iii- expression of modified proteins and design of DNA sequences for immobilisation of nanowires; iv- developement of suitable protein activity tests and proteins tethered with photswitches; v- Investigation of surface enhanced Raman scattering properties of azo switches tethered to the enyzmes.
Dr. Ljiljana Fruk is active in the interdisciplinary field of bionanotechnology and her previous experience spans such areas or research as the use of advanced spectroscopic methods (surface enhanced Raman scattering-SERS) for analysis of biomolecules, chemical synthesis of protein tags, DNA and protein modification and artificial enzyme studies. Being trained as a chemist at the Unviersity of Zagreb ( undergraduate studies 95-99) and University of Strathclyde, Glasgow ( PhD 2000-2004) and then completing postdoctoral reaserach in one of the leading europen bionano labs, with PRof. Niemeyer in Dortumnd ( on Humboldt and Marie Curie Fellowship 2004-2008), she is now a group leader (2008) at the Centre for Functional Nanostructures, KIT, Karlsruhe. Her group is composed of both synthetic chemists and molecular biologist who are working on development of versatile and biofriendly linkers for nanoparticle biofunctionalisation and on use of such particles in design of intracellular probes and photoactivable devices. Dr. Martina Altemöller completed her degree at the University of Stuttgart and her PhD in organic synthesis at the University of Karlsruhe ( group of Prof. Podlech). She worked in the filed of microtoxin investigation and was successful in synthesising numerous natural products. Currently she is a postdoc in Fruk group working on the synthesis of nanoparticle linkers and their functionalisation with modified proteins. Miss Dania Kendziora completed her Bachelor and Masters in Chemical Biology at the University of Dortmund and moved on to Karlsruhe to work on her PhD. She has extensive experience in protein expression, design of protein-DNA conjugates and protein purification methods. Currently she is designing peptide and protein tagged nanoparticles for intracellular delivery.