June 2013 - Excellent achievement of the department of Biology in the RWTH “Place to Be” program


Excellent achievement of the department of Biology in the RWTH “Place to Be” program

Place to Be“ is a scheme of the Institutional strategy, to win and retain high potential professors, senior scientists, junior researchers, and students. The researchers from the Aachen Biology and Biotechnology department performed strongly in the first allocation round, being allocated seven awards in total. Four members of the ABBt were awarded with the RWTH “Start-UP” funds to develop their full potential within the RWTH. Dr. Hannah Kuhn, Dr. Alexandra Wormit and Dr. Gerold Beckers received the „Start-up Post-Doc“ and Jun-Prof. Dr. Katharina Göllner the “Start-up Assistant-professor”.

Successful was also Prof. Dr. Ralph Panstruga, being distinguished as RWTH Fellow as one of only six researches within the RWTH University. The “Place to Be”-Fellow is awarded for his outstanding research activities.

Moreover did Dr. Thomas Preuß and PD Dr. Ulrich Schaffrath obtain the title of “RWTH Lecturer” for their excellent performance in cross-linking science and teaching.

Congratulations to all awardees!


RWTH Start-Up PostDocs:


Dr. Hannah Kuhn

Project title:

Reciprocal interference of mutualistic and parasitic microorganisms and their influence on plant defense

In natural ecosystems plants are in constant interaction with a plethora of mutualistic or parasitic microorganisms in their rhizo- and phyllosphere. This project investigates reciprocal effects of bacterial and fungal root endosymbionts with powdery mildew parasites of the leaves as well as impacts on the plant defense by macroscopic, microscopic and molecular means.


Dr. Alexandra Wormit

Project title:

Trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P) – part of the regulatory mechanism that coordinates carbon and cell wall metabolism?

The objective of the project is to identify the role of T6P in the response to cellulose biosynthesis inhibition (CBI) with respect to the changes in primary metabolism and cell wall composition. This will be achieved by analysing the effects of CBI in knock out and overexpression mutant lines of trehalose metabolism genes.


Dr. Gerold Beckers


RWTH Start-Up Assistant-professor:


Jun-Prof. Dr. Katharina Göllner

Project title:

Elucidating the mode of action of a GDSL lipase from Arabidopsis capable of protecting soybean against Asian soybean rust fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi

Overexpression of a previously identified and so far uncharacterized GDSL lipase from the model plant Arabidopsis in soybean can enhance the crop's resistance against the devastating soybean rust fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi . To find out by which mechanisms this increase in resistance is achieved we will determine the enzymatic activity of the GDSL lipase, test its putative direct toxic effect on fungal spores and localize the protein tagged with red fluorescence protein within the plant cell using fluorescence microscopy.


RWTH Fellow:


Prof. Dr. Ralph Panstruga

Project title:

A next generation sequencing-based approach to decipher the virulence mechanisms of a hyper-virulent powdery mildew isolate

So-called barley mlo mutants confer durable broad-spectrum disease resistance against the powdery mildew disease. In the context of this project we aim to characterize molecularly one isolate of the barley powdery mildew fungus that is capable to partially overcome mlo -mediated resistance.


RWTH Lecturer:


Dr. Ulrich Schaffrath


Dr. Thomas Preuß