Molecular Mechanisms of Membrane Organization

New research group leader joins the MPI-CBG

Alexander von Appen © MPI-CBG

While researchers know that membrane organization is essential for cellular life, the underlying molecular mechanisms that balance the dynamic shapes and functions of the diverse membrane organelles throughout a cell’s lifespan are largely unknown. To resolve this mystery, the new MPI-CBG research group leader Alexander von Appen wants to address the central question: “What mechanistic and structural principles grant membrane organelle organization?” By addressing this question with integrated structural biology, the von Appen lab aims at exploring fundamental biology and hopes to learn how dysregulation of these processes causes human disease. 

Alexander says: “When I visited the MPI-CBG for the first time and entered the building, I saw people engaged and chatting, which gave me a very vivid impression and I had a wonderful feeling about this place. I am excited about doing some interesting science here in Dresden.”

Alexander studied Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Heidelberg, where he had the chance to explore biology from different angles applying a variety of different techniques. He then stayed in Heidelberg to do his PhD at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in the group of Martin Beck. After his time in Heidelberg, Alexander decided to see other parts of the world and joined Adam Frost’s lab at the University of California in San Francisco for his postdoctoral studies. Since April 2021, he is a research group leader at the MPI-CBG where he studies the structural self-organization of membranous organelles.

Welcome to the MPI-CBG, Alexander!