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International Research Training Group "Enzymes and Multienzyme Complexes acting on Nucleic Acids"


The International Research Training Group GRK 1384 is formed by scientists from the Justus-Liebig University (Giessen), the Philipps-University (Marburg), The Russian Academy of Science and the M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University. Associated partners include scientists from the Institute of Biotechnology (Vilnius) and the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (Warsaw). Speaker on the German side is Prof. Peter Friedhoff, on the Russian side Prof. Tatiana Oretskaya.

The IRTG started in fall 2006 for 4,5 years and was prolonged to be funded for another 4,5 years. See press release (in German).

The scientists were selected by the strength of their expertise in the following areas: molecular and cellular biology, bioinformatics and computational biology, enzymology, bioorganic chemistry, biophysical chemistry, and structural biology.
The International Research Training Group focuses on the training of doctoral students in the biochemistry of enzymes and multienzyme complexes acting on nucleic acids.
These enzymes are crucial for the copying, maintenance, repair, and expression of genetic information. Some of them are essential tools for gene technology, and a thorough understanding of these systems will certainly enable better use to be made of them. Malfunction of several of these enzymes is causally related to human diseases, in particular some forms of cancer; again, understanding their mechanism of action may eventually lead to new therapeutic concepts.
Our study and research programme will not only consider proteins as individual structures but also as components of larger networks or macromolecular machines.
With the array of interdisciplinary expertise present among the partners, we will make substantial progress in

  • understanding target site location, recognition and initiation of catalysis by enzymes replicating, restricting, modifying and repairing DNA,
  • uncovering structural and functional implications of the cooperation of subunits in multienzyme complexes involved in RNA synthesis, processing, translation and degradation - issues of central importance for all enzymes acting on nucleic acids.

The principal goal of our International Research Training Group is to attract dedicated doctoral students who are interested in learning how contemporary interdisciplinary approaches can be used to address important and timely questions about a subject of central importance in biochemistry and molecular biology, namely the enzymology of enzymes acting on nucleic acids.
Our network will offer them a unique opportunity to pursue their projects in an environment of research excellence provided by the experienced partners who have similar research interests and complementary expertise. It provides them with experience of working across disciplines which will enable them to appreciate the synergism that underlies productive interdisciplinary interactions. The goals of the network will be achieved by a programme of in- lab, out-of-lab and network-wide activities.
We believe that young researchers trained in our network will greatly benefit from our integrated interdisciplinary approach and will be well placed for contemporary academic and industrial research.




Profile of the IRTG

Profile of the IRTG

Our research concept aims to dissect and understand the molecular machineries involved in the maintenance, integrity, and faithful transmission of genetic information using multi‐layered and multidisciplinary approaches.
Research Programme

Research Programme

This programme contains 20 research projects situated in Giessen, Marburg and Moscow. Every project appointed a doctoral student (and an optional associated doctoral student) to participate in the project.
Qualification programme

Qualification programme

Three basic features have been in our focus: 1. group‐specific and individualised training elements, 2. balance between research, training, and length of doctoral studies, and 3. active participation of doctoral students in IRTG activities.
IRTG members (PIs)

IRTG members (PIs)

The IRTG consists of 13 groups in Germany and 10 Groups in Russia. Additionally there are 2 associated groups from Lithuania and one group from Warsaw.
The IRTG's doctoral students

The IRTG's doctoral students

In Germany, the IRTG offers research opportunities for 12 directly financed doctoral students and another 12 associated members who are financed by other sources.
Seminars of the IRTG

Seminars of the IRTG

The seminars of the IRTG take place every second Wednesday. They begin at 17.00 h (sharp!) and usually end about 19.00 h.
Events of the IRTG

Events of the IRTG

Where do or did the IRTG members meet at which event.
Scientific Exchange

Scientific Exchange

Who will be or is or was where in the course of the project.


Here you find articles by the members of the IRTG.


Here you find prizes the members of the IRTG received.


Here you find articles and other media about the IRTG.
German-Russian year for Education, Science and Innovation

German-Russian year for Education, Science and Innovation

From May 2011 to April 2012 our politicians declared a year for German-Russian Education, Science and Innovation.