Chemical Biology of Signal Transduction
Novel Tools for Probing the Signaling-metabolism-interface: Inositol Polyphosphates and more
Cells are able to constantly process information about their environment and their internal status via highly regulated signaling networks. Since deregulation of cellular information transfer is associated with a wide range of diseases, a detailed annotation of signaling events in healthy and diseased states can highlight new avenues for therapeutic intervention. One group of messengers of particular interest to our group are inositol poly- and pyrophosphates (InsPs and PP-InsPs). These molecules have emerged as central regulators of cell homeostasis, and genetic studies in mice and humans implicate PP-InsPs in a host of processes, including weight gain, fertility, longevity, and tumor metastasis. However, it is not well understood how these molecules exert their effects at the molecular level. Using a multi-disciplinary approach involving techniques from organic chemistry, chemical genetics and genetics, molecular biology, and proteomics, our goal is to decipher the concrete signaling functions of InsPs and PP-InsPs and ultimately guide the development of new therapeutic strategies against cancer, diabetes and obesity.
Inositol phosphates - The more, the merrier - an online conference.
If you are interested in learning more about the researchers and current topics in the inositol polyphosphate field, we hold an annual online conference all about these interesting and understudied cellular messengers. For more information visit the conference website: https://rayblind.wixsite.com/inositolphosphates/info.
Research SectionChemical Biology
Dorothea grew up in the most beautiful city in Germany: Hamburg. She went to college at the University of Wuerzburg and did her Diploma work at UC Berkeley. She decided she liked the United States for many reasons that include Thanksgiving (and also German beers are overrated), so she stayed at Berkeley for her Ph.D. She worked in the Raymond and Bergman labs, studying host-guest systems and their application to catalysis. She then moved across the Bay to UCSF, where she joined the Shokat lab to investigate signal transduction pathways. She started her academic career at Princeton University but recently relocated to the FMP, Berlin.
Jenny grew up in the most “chemical” part of Germany near the Leuna- and Buna-plants. However, she decided to become an animal farmer first. After working in an Irish company for some years, she went back to school to be a bilingual secretary. Assisting the management of a consulting company in Berlin since 2010, she made time to study three evenings a week and graduated in business administration (B.A.). Having found her interest in academia, she switched to the International Office at Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development to support students going abroad and international students studying here. She is happy to assist the Fiedler and Hackenberger group in administrative matters. Chocolate is vital for her, she always stores a pile or two in her desk.
Growing up in the beautiful saxon countryside and graduating in Biotechnologie (B.Sc.) in a small town called Zittau, Lena decided it was time for some excitement. Berlin was calling and Lena, preferring good old work in a lab over dry studies, moved to start her first job at Jerini AG searching for small peptide drug compounds. When the company was sold (L. has nothing to do with that) Lena, figuring industry business was not her kind of thing, changed to academia and worked in N. Rajewsky's Lab at the MDC, focussing on microRNA studies in C. elegans, followed by the Haucke Lab at the FMP. She is happy to join the Fiedler Lab to support the biological part of the group and learn something about those phosphates everyone keeps talking about. Lena loves high mountains, swing dancing, cinema and eating a proper steak in Argentina.
Neelay usually has quick answers to quite a few unique questions— ‘How many eppendorfs does it take to make a crown?’ ‘Can I grow a regal moustache?’ ‘How does it feel to act in a movie?’ The science-y questions that he gets on the other hand, are never so straight forward and he enjoys that. Right from his Masters in Biotechnology (IBB, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India) to his PhD in Biology (IISER, Pune, India) to his current role as a postdoc at the FMP Berlin, Neelay has sought to be adventurous with biological sciences. During his PhD, he studied lipid biochemistry underlying (i) PHARC (Polyneuropathy Hearing loss, Ataxia, Retinal pigmentation, Cataract - a neurodegenerative disease), and (ii) phagocytosis - by using mass spectrometry. He was born and raised in Pune, India - known as the Oxford of the East, an iconic cultural city. The deep-rooted culture of Indian classical music there inspires him. He is a trained classical singer and has been studying music for over a decade. That artistic pursuit continues along with his scientific research. Neelay moved to Berlin to join the Fiedler Lab to expand his expertise in mass spectrometry and also to add more flavour to the melting-pot of culture that is Berlin.
Tim grew up in the exciting city of Berlin, where he finished high school in 2013. After he couldn't decide whether to study some language or chemistry, he eventually chose the latter and definitely more promising path. For his Bachelor thesis in the Börner group at Humboldt University, and a research internship in the Perrier group at Warwick University, Tim investigated different types of peptide-polymer-conjugates. To broaden his scientific horizon he joined the Fiedler group for his Master thesis and learned a lot about chemical biology. The intriguing project and the nice working atmosphere prompted him to extend his stay for his PhD studies, where he interrogates the inositol pyrophosphate metabolism by a chemical-genetic approach. When he isn't occupied with chemistry, he enjoys playing the incredibly thrilling and upcoming sport Darts - and yes, it is a sport.
Meike was born and raised in Aalen, a small town in southern Germany, where she has tasted the best pretzels so far. She combined her passion for food and chemistry and studied food chemistry at TU Munich (B. Sc.). Eager to learn more about organic chemistry and biochemistry, she changed to LMU Munich for a master program in biochemistry. Here she also got introduced to chemical biology for the first time. Meike finished her studies with a M. Sc. in toxicology from TU Kaiserslautern. She then joined the Fiedler lab for her PhD to unite her interests in metabolism, analytics and chemical biology. In her spare time, Meike likes to do sports (e.g. bouldering, hiking, circuit training, yoga or pilates), explores the culinary world and spends time with friends and family.
Simon was born in the West German city of Essen and was raised in Bochum, where he finished school in 2013. After finding out that there are other cities with currywurst he moved to Berlin and started studying chemistry at Humboldt-University. He did his bachelor thesis in the Seitz group where he studied a modification for FIT-PNA probes. After his research internship at BAM in the group of Michael Weller, Simon decided to join the Fiedler group for his master thesis (and subsequently his PhD). In his spare time Simon enjoys dancing salsa and visiting football matches.
Arif was born and raised in Berlin. Ever since he was in high school, he was fascinated by biological processes in the human body. After realizing that nearly everything is based on chemistry, he decided to study chemistry at Humboldt-University, where he did his Bachelor thesis on chemoselective antibody modification in the Hackenberger group. After an internship in the medicinal chemistry department of the Bayer AG, he was keen to combine chemistry and biochemistry, so he joined the Fiedler group for his Master thesis. After his Master thesis, he was seeking for a new adventure outside Germany, so he joined the Novartis AG for a six month internship in Switzerland. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in the Fiedler group, where he is investigating the chemical pyrophosphorylation of pharmacologically relevant proteins. In his spare time Arif enjoys hiking, drinking black tea with an excessive amount of sugar, spending time with his family and friends, and spending way too much time to improve his Muay Thai skills.
Björn was born and raised in Kassel before he started his bachelor’s studies in chemistry at the Technical University of Berlin in 2016. Subsequently, he was drawn to the Philipps-University of Marburg for his master’s studies to learn more about medicinal chemistry, for example, in the group of Prof. Mathias Senge at Trinity College Dublin during an Erasmus program. His master’s thesis with Prof. Olalla Vázquez focusing on the synthesis and analysis of fluorescent bacteria markers was followed by a six-month voluntary industry internship with Nuvisan Pharma Services in Berlin where he gained insights into drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics. In July 2022, Björn joined the Fiedler group as a PhD candidate to investigate synthetic strategies for peptide- and protein-polyphosphorylation. Besides the lab work, he enjoys playing the piano, listening to podcasts, and visiting the gym.
Leonie grew up in Stuttgart in the south of Germany and studied biochemistry in the beautiful medieval town Tübingen, where she worked on specificity profiling of sortase enzymes in Dirk Schwarzer’s lab. After an MSc. thesis in industry, working with Boehringer-Ingelheim in formulation development of therapeutic antibodies, she decided to come back to academia for her PhD. Ever since her time as an Erasmus student in Uppsala, Sweden, she loves bouldering, and she also dances Salsa with some other group members.
Sarah grew up in a small town in Lower Saxony called Dinklage. After school, she stayed for a voluntary year in a children's sports club back home. Then she decided to move from the flat north of Germany to the idyllic, hilly university town of Tübingen to study pharmacy. During her studies, her scientific interest deepened and she became particularly interested in the chemical and biological aspects of pharmacology. Therefore, she additionally completed a master's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies. Following, she wrote her master's thesis in the field of natural product chemistry, based on her interest in analytics, among other things. She then joined the Fiedler group and is excited to be part of the group's multidisciplinary research approach around the metabolism of inositol poly- and pyrophosphates. In her spare time, she likes to do sports, especially ball sports. She has done different sports e.g. handball, basketball and water polo in the last years and is looking forward to the great possibilities in Berlin. She also enjoys baking, board games and playing the piano from time to time.
Being born in Waren on the Müritz but growing up in the Berlin district Friedrichshain Minh early appreciated the advantages of living in the centre of this manifold city. After his Abitur and a coin toss Minh decided to study chemistry at the Humboldt University where he did his bachelor thesis on organocatalysis. Minh came to the Fiedler group for a short research internship but got stuck here somehow and is currently doing his PhD thesis. In his spare time Minh likes indoor-bouldering, JRPGs, board games and making jokes about the outskirts of Berlin (like Spandau).
Atharva was born and raised in one of the most liveliest cities in India: Pune. Being a nature and sci-fi movies enthusiast, he was drawn to the beautiful and fascinating field of biology. That is why he decided to study microbiology for his Bachelor’s degree which, according to him, was one of the few fantastic decisions in his adulthood. Being an adventurous person, Atharva chose to do his master’s in the foreign and beautiful city of Bremen. He did his master’s thesis at Prof Janine Kirstein’s lab where he worked on the role of chaperones in neurodegenerative disorders using an awesome animal: C. elegans. Since he also loved studying chemistry in his bachelor’s courses, next Atharva wanted to do research on the interface of biology and chemistry. Serendipitously, he came across the Fiedler group and having loved the cool research and the amazing people, he joined our lab for his PhD. In his free time, Atharva likes to wander in nature, wall-climbing, playing badminton, reading about the astronomy, and fantasising about human colonisation of the red planet.
Annika was born and raised in Berlin Neukölln and finished high school in 2015. Since 8th grade, when she first saw the periodic table, she wanted to study chemistry and as she was visiting extensively the “long nights of sciences” the HU was her University of choice. For her Bachelor´s Thesis she joined the Fiedler lab and worked on mass spectrometric investigations of pyrophosphorylated peptides. She continued her studies at the HU, enjoyed a semester oversees in Australia, mainly watching kangaroos and koalas while studying nitrate radicals at the Uta Wille lab. Afterwards, she finished her studies with her Master´s Thesis at the Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, developing new methods for the detection of sulfur mustard poisoning. As she never forgot her fantastic time at the FMP she now returned for her PhD. In her spare time she likes to cook food from all over the world and host board-game evenings with friends and family.
Sandra was born and raised in Hamburg, in the north of Germany. Although she knew that she would miss Franzbrötchen and Schietwedder, she decided to go further south and study Biochemistry at the University of Bayreuth (B.Sc.). During her Bachelor's studies she discovered an interest in Organic Chemistry. Therefore she decided to combine both of the fields and study Chemical Biology at the Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena (M.Sc.). She spent one semester abroad at the University of Oulu in the beautiful and cold country of Finland where she went ice hole swimming at -23 °C. In her spare time she loves indoor and outdoor climbing.
PhD student 2010 – 2015 | Current position: Medical Director at Oxford PharmaGenesis, Morrisville, PA
PhD student 2013 – 2018 | Current position: Lecturer at Stanford University Department of Chemistry
Postdoc 2017 | Current position: Senior Scientist at AstraZeneca, London
PhD student 2010 – 2015 | Current position: Scientist at Frontier Medicines, Boston, MA
Postdoc 2011 – 2012 | Current position: Senior Scientific Editor at Cell Press, Cambridge, MA
Postdoc/Lab Manager 2011 – 2015 | Current position: Manager at Chobani Labs, North Brunswick, NJ
PhD student 2017 – 2022 | Current position: Postdoc at Novartis, Basel
Postdoc 2013 – 2015 | Current position: Chief of Staff R&D at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA
PhD student 2015 – 2020 | Current position: Scientific Project Manager and Industry Liaison at EU-OPENSCREEN, Berlin
Postdoc 2016 – 2020 | Current position: Researcher at CEA-Grenoble
PhD student 2012 – 2017 | Current position: Senior Scientist at Orca Bio, Menlo Park, CA
Postdoc 2016 – 2018 | Current position: Managing Business Analyst at Capgemini, Berlin
Postdoc 2017 – 2021 | Current position: Project Lead at Boehringer Ingelheim, Biberach
PhD student 2012 – 2018 | Current position: Postdoc with Heather Christofk, UCLA
PhD student 2015 – 2019 | Current position: Postdoc with Robbie Loewith, Université de Genève
Postdoc 2012 – 2015 | Current position: Assistant Professor of Chemistry at University of Iowa
PhD student 2010 – 2015 | Current position: Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Westlake University, China
PhD student 2011 – 2016 | Current position: Director at Bristol Myers Squibb, New Brunswick, NJ
The group is always looking for motivated PhD students and PostDocs. We also provide opportunities to conduct research for a Master or Bachelor Thesis. Please send applications, containing a short letter, a CV and two contacts for a letter of recommendation to Dorothea Fiedler (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).