Wombacher Laboratory

Chemical Biology

Welcome to the Wombacher Lab

The Chemical Biology-laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Richard Wombacher is part of the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology (IPMB) at the Ruprecht-Karls-University in Heidelberg (Heidelberg University). The research of our laboratory focuses on the development of chemical tools to study biological processes. This approach is multidisciplinary, utilizing organic synthesis, molecular biology techniques and biophysical methods. The central goal of our research is to extend the power of synthetic chemistry to complex biological systems. One of our major interests is the development of methods for the selective labeling and imaging of biomolecules (e.g. proteins) with small molecule probes inside living cells. This will lead to the development of new and powerful methods that allow to observe and manipulate dynamic biological processes in living cells.

Current projects explore the application of “chemical tags” in fluorescence labeling and super-resolution microscopy, the development of small peptide tags and chemical tools for protein regulation.

Research

As a chemical biology group, we have the overarching goal to extend the power of synthetic chemistry to complex biological systems. One of our major interests is the development of methods for the selective labeling of biomolecules (e.g. proteins) with small molecule probes inside living cells and its application for biophysical methods. Design and synthesis of probes and markers, is an essential part of our work to provide tailor made molecules for advanced biophysical methods to study specific biological questions. The long term goal of this research is to develop methods and probes that allow dynamic biological processes to be observed and/or manipulated in living cells.

Current research topics of the lab:

·   selective protein labeling in complex biological systems (living cells, in vivo)
·   development and application of bioorthogonal chemistry
·   development and application of biophysical probes (single molecule imaging, super-resolution microscopy, molecular and metabolic imaging)
·   protein/enzyme regulation by using light as an external trigger

People

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Richard Wombacher, Dr. rer. nat.

Richard Wombacher is junior group leader at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology (IPMB) at the Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg.
He graduated in chemistry at the Free University of Berlin and received Ph.D. at the Ruprecht-Karls University working in the field of RNA chemistry and RNA catalysis. After a post-doc in the laboratory of Prof. V. W. Cornish at the Columbia University in New York, he started his own research group at the Ruprecht-Karls University, working in the field of chemical biology. His research is focused on the development and application of chemical tools for protein modification and control of protein function.

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Mathis Baalmann, M.Sc.

Project: Development of  protein specific capture probes for mapping protein-protein interactions

Mathis Baalmann studied Molecular Biotechnology and received his Master’s degree in 2015. He is currently working towards his PhD in the Wombacher Lab.

Publications:
M. Baalmann und R. Wombacher*, Nachrichten aus der Chemie, 2016, 64, 3, 305-309.
W. Nadler, R. Berg, P. Walch, S. Hanke, M. Baalmann, A. Kerner, A. Trumpp, C. Roesli, Anal Bioanal Chem, 2015.
M. Best, A. Degen, T.T. Schmidt, M. Baalmann and R. Wombacher*, ChemBioChem.,2015, 16, 1158-1162.
S. Hauke, M. Best, T. T. Schmidt, M. Baalmann, A. Krause and R. Wombacher*, Bioconjugate Chem., 2014, 25 (9), 1632–1637.

 

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Philipp Werther, M.Sc.

Project: Development of chemical sensors to visualize protein-protein interaction (PPI)

Philipp Werther studied chemistry at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and recieved his Master’s degree in 2016. In September 2016 he started to work on his PhD-project in the Wombacher Lab.

Publications:
A. Wieczorek, P. Werther,  J. Euchner and R. Wombacher*, Chemical Science,2017, 8, 1506-1510.
L. J. Daumann, P. Werther, M. J. Ziegler, K. N. Raymond, Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 2016, 162, 263–273.

 

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Michael Ziegler, M.Sc.

Project: Phytohormones as Chemical Inducers of Dimerization

Michael Ziegler studied chemistry at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and recieved his Master’s degree in 2016. In December 2016 he started to work on his PhD-project in the Wombacher Lab.

Publications:
L. J. Daumann, P. Werther, M. J. Ziegler, K. N. Raymond, Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 2016, 162, 263–273.
A. Zeiler, M. J. Ziegler, M. Rudolph, F. Rominger and A. S. K. Hashmi, Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis, 2015, 357, 1507–1514.

 

Current interns

Christoph
Christoph
Florian
Florian
Michael
Michael
Sabrina
Sabrina

Alumni

PhD-students:

Marcel Best, Dr. rer. nat.
Marcel Best, Dr. rer. nat.
Achim Wieczorek, Dr. rer. nat.
Achim Wieczorek, Dr. rer. nat.

Master Thesis:

Alexander von Appen
Tobias Schmidt
Dirk Ollech
Sebastian Hauke
Mathis Baalmann
Philipp Werther
Hassan Derbani
Nicolai Kaltwasser
Jasper Möhler

Bachelor Thesis:

Anna Degen
Dirk Ollech
Carolin Willburger
Sebastian Hauke
Hagen Sparka
Silvan Schmitz
Tristan Griesbaum
Isabel Porth
Jonas Wilhelm
Markus Poeschl
Jonas Euchner
Stefanie Kühn
Antoni Gralak
Niklas Müller

Student internships:

Jonas Wilhelm
Matthias Tanriver
Christoph Popp
Jasper Moehler
Stefanie Kühn
Carla Garcia Cabau
Ann-Kathrin Huber
Hassan Derbani
Stefan Feth
Thomas Josephy
Esther Kimmle
Hannah Mayer
Mathis Baalmann
Jessica Schwab
Sebastian Grossmann
Vera Thiel
Aline Daniel
Kristina Prokesova
Verena Straub

Contact

We are located on the Neuenheimer Feld Campus of Heidelberg University. The group is integrated into the Department of Chemistry of the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology (IPMB). We have laboratory units for chemical synthesis, molecular biology and cell culture just as access to analytic facilities with NMR (300 MHz, 500 MHz), mass spectrometry (ESI, EI, MALDI-TOF, LC-MS) and various HPLC systems.
Address

Dr. Richard Wombacher
Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg
IPMB – Abt. Chemie, 3. OG
Im Neuenheimer Feld 364
D-69120 Heidelberg

By car: From Berliner Straße turn into „Im Neuenheimer Feld“ at the tram station „Technologiepark“.  At the end of this road turn left into „Tiergartenstraße“.

Parking: You can use the multi-storey car park close to the information center (Leit- und Informationszentrale) vis-a-vis the clinic building (Medizinischen Klinik).

By bus (31 / 32), from main station to the bus stop „Medizinische Klinik“ (directly vis-avis the main entrance of the clinic building (Medizinischen Klinik)).

By tram (21 / 24), from main station to the station „Jahnstraße“, then take the bus 31 / 32  to  „Kopfklinik“, bus stop „Medizinische Klinik“.

Telephone Number: +49 (0)6221 - 544879
Fax Number: +49 (0)6221 - 54 6430
E-Mail: wombacher@uni-heidelberg.de

Join us!

Bachelor- & Masterarbeiten

Immatrikulierte Studierende der Molekularen Biotechnologie können in unserem Arbeitskreis ihre Bachelor- oder Masterarbeit anfertigen. Wir gehören zur Fakultät für Biowissenschaften und können daher auch die Abschlussarbeit in anderen biowissenschaftlichen Studiengängen betreuen. Für Studierende der Chemie gilt dasselbe nach vorheriger Zustimmung des Prüfungsausschusses. Für Details kontaktieren Sie uns bitte.

Praktika & Mitarbeiten (für Pharmazeuten, Biologen, Biotechnologen, Chemiker & Externe)

  • Studierende der Pharmazie

bieten wir im Rahmen des Wahlpflichtfaches die Möglichkeit, für 6 Wochen an einem Forschungsprojekt mitzuarbeiten. Wenn Sie sich für ein solches Mitarbeitspraktikum interessieren, kontaktieren sie uns bitte.

  • Studierende der Molekularen Biotechnologie

können im Bachelorstudiengang kann ein Forschungspraktikum im 6. Fachsemester in unserer Arbeitsgruppe absolviert werden werden; das ist in der Regel eine gute Vorbereitung für eine sich anschließende Bachelorarbeit.
Im Rahmen des Masterstudienganges können in unserer Arbeitsgruppe 6-wöchige Mitarbeitspraktika zum Thema „Wirkstoffforschung“ absolviert werden. Nach Rücksprache können auch Praktika zum den Themen „Biophysik“ oder „Bioinformatik“ durchgeführt werden.

  • Studierende der Chemie

haben mehrere Optionen. Einerseits können Sie im Bachelorstudiengang das Wahlpflichtfach „Pharmazeutische / Medizinische Chemie“ belegen. Im Modul II können Sie dabei ein 6-wöchiges Mitarbeitspraktikum auf diesem Fachgebiet absolvieren. Dieses können sie in alle Arbeitsgruppen der Abt. Chemie des IPMB durchführen. Weiterhin können nach Absprache auch das OC-F Praktikum oder Forschungspraktika im Masterstudiengang hier absolviert werden.

  • Externe und Internationale Studierende / International students

auch Studierende von anderen Universitäten Deutschlands sowie von ausländischen Universitäten können prinzipiell Mitarbeiten, Diplomarbeiten sowie Masterarbeiten in unserer Arbeitsgruppe durchführen.
We welcome students from foreign universities to carry out interships or to work towards their Bachelor / Master’s theses in our laboratory, provided that your home university allows this. We do not offer a degree from Heidelberg University for those candidates. It is your responsibility to check the regulations of your home university and to secure the financial resources for your stay in Heidelberg.