In the future, infectious diseases researchers and physicists in Northern Germany will join forces to hunt down pathogens. The new Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB), which will be established on the DESY campus, will be an interdisciplinary centre with partners from several universities and research facilities from Hamburg and Lower Saxony. Their common goal is to investigate with atomic resolution how pathogens attack.
Super microscopes for infection research
The CSSB will bundle resources from infection research, structural and systems biology in one nationally leading and internationally competitive centre. At the CSSB, biologists, chemists, medical scientists, physicists and engineers will join forces to investigate the interaction of pathogens with their hosts. DESY offers them unique facilities in Germany that provide optimal conditions for structural biology. Using "super microscopes" such as PETRA III and FLASH, the reseachers will be able to study biological samples in different ways – ranging from the structural analysis of single molecules to real-time imaging of processes in living cells – and thus explore the molecular basis of diseases with extremely high spatial and temporal resolution.
The planned CSSB research building will be constructed south of the PETRA III experimental hall on the DESY campus and unite the groups of all participating universities and non-university research institutions under one roof. Featuring around 6000 square metres of lab and office space, it will be directly connected to the PETRA hall, making it much easier in the future to use the DESY radiation sources for biological issues. After its completion, the CSSB will also be open to foreign scientists and thus further strengthen international cooperations.
The agreement on the construction of CSSB was signed at DESY in Hamburg in January 2011. Construction is due to begin in 2013.
- Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine
- Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
- European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL
- Forschungszentrum Jülich
- Hannover Medical School
- Heinrich-Pette-Institute for Experimental Virology and Immunology
- Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig
- University of Hamburg
- University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
- Karolinska Institutet, Sweden