The group of Henrike Müller-Werkmeister is working on ultrafast structural dynamics in chemical and biochemical systems. Our research is to "film molecules in action".
We focus on timescales starting in the femtosecond regime and picosecond regime, with occasional experiments up to seconds and longer. Experimentally, we mainly use spectroscopic approaches, in particular 2D-IR spectroscopy, which is inherently structure-sensitive. Aside from 2D-IR we are also involved in other structural dynamics experiments, mainly with X-Rays as structural probes in time-resolved crystallography experiment and electrons in ultrafast electron diffraction experiments.
We are interested in fundamentals of reaction dynamics (i.e. photochemistry, very useful as tool for time-resolved crystallography etc.) vibrational energy transfer, spin-crossover dynamics and structural rearrangements like bond-breaking events and how these fast processes connect to phenomena on longer timescales with particular emphasis on protein dynamics, allostery and structure function correlation. More generally, the scientific questions are driven by a curiosity to understand the physicochemical basis of biological processes using advanced experimental tools.
Our main technique is 2D-IR spectroscopy (in the lab in Golm) and we using and advancing time-resolved serial synchtrotron crystallography (in collaboration, mainly at DESY in Hamburg).
Come join us in this adventurous research at the intersection of physics, chemistry and biochemistry.
current openings (12/2020)
PhD (3y funded) in Biophysical Chemistry/2D-IR spectroscopy on Structural Dynamics of Peptide-Based Hydrogels, starting date 01.04.2021: Background in Biophysics, Biochemistry or Chemistry necessary, experience with protein samples is beneficial, experience with vibrational spectroscopy/FTIR is benefical - The project is an early Science Project of the newly founded CMWS - Centre for Molecular Water Science (in collaboration with DESY Hamburg). Please contact Rike for further details.