Molecular basis of sensory biology
Speaker of the RTG
Prof. Dr. Karl-Wilhelm Koch
Raum: W4 1-137
Dr. Kristin Tietje
+49 (0)441 798-3882
Finance and Administration
+49 (0)441 798-3336
+49 (0)441 798-193336
Molecular basis of sensory biology
Welcome to the third cohorte of PhD students!
Kick-off and farewell meeting 2019
The RTG aims at investigating how environmental stimuli are sensed and processed by different organisms. Animals have developed a complex variety of sensory receptor cells for physical and chemical stimuli in response to millions of years of evolutionary pressures. Sensory receptor cells process the incoming information by intracellular molecular components leading to a cellular response. The research program of the RTG involves thesis projects that aim at understanding the common principles of sensory processing from a molecular biological, chemical and physical perspective. It includes research topics on a wide variety of senses including vision, hearing, magnetoreception and chemoreception with a strong input from chemistry, biophysics and physics. Topics will address activation processes of receptor molecules, receptor-coupled signal transduction pathways and molecular switch mechanisms, but will also include studies on visual and auditory dysfunction. We expect mutual benefit from physical model systems and from biological concepts, which might lead to the development of new technical applications (e.g. biomedicine).
We address these central questions using different experimental strategies based on tools available in molecular and cellular biology, but input from biophysical techniques and the design and synthesis of chemical compounds (e.g. for fluorescence studies) are central to many projects as well. Consequently, the study programme will provide the students with strong skills in biology, chemistry and physics, thereby facilitating close collaboration and mutual exchange of ideas between these disciplines. It is further important that the students acquire background knowledge and practical experience with a range of different technologies, including those that are not directly related to their specific thesis project. The institutional framework in place at the University of Oldenburg and the educational programme of the RTG guarantees achieving these aims. Co-supervision of thesis projects by at least two principal investigators, special training workshops in techniques given by the principal investigators and visiting scientists, a network of existing (already funded) research and project groups, and their multidisciplinary colloquia are central parts of the qualification concept. PhD students will also enrol in the PhD programme “Neurosensory Science and Systems” that has been in place in Oldenburg since 2008.
On Oct 14 2020 the RTG SensoryBio orga team hosted the networking event "Meet the Postdoc!"
The concept behind the “Meet the Postdoc”-event was to create an opportunity for PhD students to get to know the postdocs of the Carl von Ossietzky University, in collaborating working groups from other universities, and former PhD students (now postdocs). At the core, were the ideas to:
1.) learn about qualities and skills they have to get into this position;
2.) get acquainted with the person behind the academic position
Idea 1. arose in order to create an event similar to a job fair, but from the academic point of view. It should show PhD students, by way of example, what may be useful traits and skills, should they want to stick to academic research. Additionally, the event would hand PhD students a small collection of expertise, should they need some help or input on specific topics.
Idea 2. sparked to resolve the assumption that one has to work 24/7 to stay in academia and “make it”. To show the humane or private side of the postdocs. What keeps them sane? How do they unwind? Stress management is a skill everyone needs, but not everyone has.
Taking the best approaches to both sides, the RTG Orga Team comprised this one-day online event. During the event postdocs present where they come from and what brought them to where they are, from a professional, but also a personal side. Personal contact would be more ideal and more to the spirit of such an event. However, with pandemic regulations still in place, the event has to take place online, which gave us the possibility to invite externals and not break with the flow of the platform. We as the Orga team hope that postdocs, as well as PhD students enjoy and embrace this event wholeheartedly.
- Henrik Mouritsen contributed to a German radio
report on the topic of quantum biology
- Nature-Article comment: 'Anthropogenic electromag-
netic noise disrupts magnetic compass orientation in
a migratory bird'
Cooperating SFB 1372
Magnetoreception and navigation in vertebrates: from
biophysics to brain and behaviour