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




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.

24.8.2016: Our manuscript 'Homeoviscous adaptation and the regulation of membrane lipids' has now appeared online and was published by the Journal of Molecular Biology (JMB). Our paper is a product of an inspiring collaboration with Bruno Antonny (Université Nice Sophia Antipolis and CNRS) and our friend Christer Ejsing (University of Southern Denmark).

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