Dr. Robert Ernst    

Juniorprofessor for Biochemistry
BMLS - office 3.670
Max-von-Laue Str. 15
phone +49-69-798 42 524
fax +49-69-798-763 42 524




22.12.2016: Our lab will be moving in 2017 to the University of Saarland! We will establish our lab at the Medical Faculty in Homburg in the Institute of Biochemistry as successors of Professor Mathias Montenarh and his team.

27.10.2016: Kristina Halbleib wins the Poster price at the EMBO conference "Structure and function of the endoplasmic reticulum" in Girona.

This fantastic piece of work establishes in a wonderful collaboration with Inga Hänelt and Gerhard Hummer how aberrant membrane lipid compositions in the ER membrane activate the unfolded protein response. Freaking awesome! Congratulations Tina!

18.10.2016: Our manuscript 'Control of membrane fluidity: The OLE pathway in focus' has been accepted for publication by Biological Chemistry. Congratulations Steffi! 

The article summarizes our current understanding of the OLE pathway from S. cerevisiae, representing the best-studied, eukaryotic sense-and-control system regulating membrane lipid saturation.

Molecular Membrane Biology - Sensing and Signaling

Biological membranes are composed of thousands of interacting proteins and lipids. In fact, membrane proteins and lipids have co-evolved since the origin of life. Owing to their complex composition, biological membranes are extremely challenging to study. Our central interest is the crosstalk of lipids and proteins for the homeostasis of biological membranes. Which molecular events are underlying lipid induced cellular stress responses? Do, for example, lipids modulate general protein degradation? To address such questions appropriately, the lab follows a strictly interdisciplinary approach, combining biochemistry, biophysics and cell biology.

Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids have gained a celebrity status and are referred to as ‘bad’ and ‘good’ fats. It is well established that a continuous misbalance of these dietary fats induces massive cellular stress responses that can ultimately result in cell death. Until now, the molecular events underlying these phenomena are not understood. With quantitative lipidomics coming of age, membrane biochemistry is gaining a new focus. Now is the time to address fundamental questions regarding membrane complexity and function.

Resarch Projects