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Einstein Foundation Grants Fellowships to Two International Junior Researchers at Freie Universität

Expertise from Abroad Contributes to Basic Research with Potential for Development of New Medicines

№ 378/2012 from Dec 12, 2012

The Berlin Einstein Foundation has granted fellowships to two international early-career researchers at Freie Universität Berlin. The new Einstein International Postdoctoral Fellows, Nuria Plattner and Kaan Atak, will start their research projects at Freie Universität in January 2013. The Einstein program for International Postdoctoral Fellows provides an opportunity for researchers who are based in Berlin to integrate an international postdoctoral fellow in their research group for a period up to five years.

The Swiss chemist Nuria Plattner will join the junior research group on Computational Molecular Biology at Freie Universität Berlin. The interdisciplinary team led by mathematician Frank Noé is working on mathematical approaches that would enable biophysicists to better study molecules and their movements. Currently, the computational cost for the simulation of molecular dynamics is so high that even supercomputers cannot deliver satisfactory results. Nuria Plattner aims to design a new simulation strategy to better analyze the organization of proteins in cells. The results could have potential for the development of new medications that are more effective with fewer adverse effects. "The Einstein Fellowship is giving me an opportunity to work in a research environment that offers excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration," said Nuria Plattner.

The research results of the Young Investigator Group for Functional Materials in Solution based at Freie Universität Berlin and headed by Emad Flear Aziz also have potential for medical research. Aziz, a junior professor of physics, has recruited a Turkish postdoctoral researcher, Kaan Atak, who specializes in metalloproteins. Metalloproteins are macromolecules that function, for example, as a catalyst in many processes in the human body. Kaan Atak aims to use X-rays to investigate the electronic structure and the ultra-fast movements at the active sites of metalloproteins. "Our studies are the key to understanding the chemical and biological functions of these molecules, which are so essential for health," said Aziz.

Further Information

Christian Martin, Einstein Stiftung Berlin, Coordinator, Communication and Development, Tel.: +49 (0)30 20370-248, Email: