Research Highlights 2018

The vanished mirror image

Photochemical deracemization of chiral compounds achieved

[18.12.2018] Enantiomeric molecules resemble each other like right and left hands. Both variants normally arise in chemical reactions. But frequently only one of the two forms is effectual in biology and medicine. Hitherto, completely converting this mixture into the desired enantiomer was deemed impossible. Deploying a photochemical method, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now achieved this feat. [more...]

Leibniz Prizes for Sami Haddadin and Brenda Schulman

TUM robotics researcher and biochemist receive German Research Foundation's most important award

[07.12.2018] The German Research Foundation (DFG) has awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize to Sami Haddadin, Professor of Robotics and Systems Intelligence at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), and biochemist Dr. Brenda Schulman, Honorary Professor at TUM. The Leibniz Prize is the most important German science prize. It is endowed with 2.5 million euros and is awarded to scientists who have achieved excellent research results at an early stage of their career. [more...]

New targets in the battle against antibiotic resistance

News special "Multi-resistant bacteria"

[15.11.2018] More and more bacteria are resistant to available antibiotics. A team of chemists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) now presents a new approach: they have identified important enzymes in the metabolism of staphylococci. Blocking these enzymes in a targeted manner would allow the pathogens to be starved. [more...]

Carbon fibers from greenhouse gas

How algae could sustainably reduce the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere

[13.11.2018] In collaboration with fellow researchers, chemists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a process that, according to initial calculations, can facilitate economically removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The latest World Climate Report (IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 ° C) acknowledges the global relevance of the process. [more...]

Newly constructed Bavarian NMR Center opens
at Technical University of Munich

World's highest performance Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometer for biomedical research

[19.10.2018] One of the world's highest performance NMR spectrometers will be at the heart of the newly opened Bavarian Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center of the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The new building at the Garching campus is a core element of the TUM strategy in biomedical research. Today's opening was attended by the Bavarian Minister of State for Science and the Arts, Prof. Marion Kiechle, TUM President Wolfgang A. Herrmann, the head of the Bavarian NMR Centre, Prof. Michael Sattler, and the CEO of Helmholtz Zentrum München, Prof. Matthias Tschöp. [more...]

Brenda Schulman appointed Honorary Professor at the TUM

Renowned protein researcher joins the Department of Chemistry

[16.10.2018] A high-caliber addition to the faculty of the Technical University of Munich has been announced: the biochemist Dr. Brenda Schulman will serve as Honorary Professor at the TUM. Schulman leads the Molecular Machines and Signaling Research Group at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried.. [more...]

TUM successfully presents four research Clusters of Excellence

World-class research in chemistry, physics and medicine

[27.09.2018] The Technical University of Munich (TUM) has got off to another successful start in the extremely competitive Excellence Initiative organized by Germany’s government and federal states. Over the next seven years, four research clusters run by TUM and its cooperation partners will each receive up to 70 million euros in funding. The clusters will focus on research into energy conversion, quantum technology, the origin of the universe and neurological diseases. TUM is now also preparing to submit its application for the next round of funding as a University of Excellence. It is the only technical university in Germany to have held this title consecutively since 2006. [more...]

The gods of small things

Heterometallic copper-aluminum super atom discovered

[25.09.2018] On the outside, the cluster made of 55 copper and aluminum atoms looks like a crystal, but chemically it has the properties of an atom. The heterometallic superatom which chemists of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have created provides the prerequisites for developing new, more cost-effective catalysts. [more...]

Top-notch protein research

Topping-out ceremony for new biomedical research center

[30.08.2018] With the construction of the new protein research center in Garching, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is strengthening its biomedical research. At the topping-out ceremony on August 30, 2018, TUM President Wolfgang A. Herrmann emphasized the interdisciplinary cooperation in the new research center. State Minister Aigner acknowledged the importance of the new building for the development of the research campus in Garching. [more...]

Contributions to future electromobility developments

Contributions to future electromobility developments

[01.08.2018] Johannes Wandt, a doctoral candidate at TUM, has been chosen as one of this year's recipients of the German Dissertation Prize. The prize, which includes a 25,000 euro cash award, honors doctoral dissertations with important implications for society. Wandt, who conducted his doctoral research at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), explored ways of improving lithium batteries, which are used in electric cars. [more...]

Organic insect deterrent for agriculture

Biodegradable crop protection products without risks or side effects

[06.06.2018] Traditional insecticides are killers: they not only kill pests, they also endanger bees and other beneficial insects, as well as affecting biodiversity in soils, lakes, rivers and seas. A team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now developed an alternative: A biodegradable agent that keeps pests at bay without poisoning them. [more...]

In the beginning was the phase separation

A simple mechanism could have been decisive for the development of life

[23.05.2018] The question of the origin of life remains one of the oldest unanswered scientific questions. A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now shown for the first time that phase separation is an extremely efficient way of controlling the selection of chemical building blocks and providing advantages to certain molecules. [more...]

New tool for battery research

Strategy& Presidential Award for lithium-ion battery test cell with separate electrodes

[21.05.2018] For a long time it was nearly impossible to examine the reactions at the anode and the cathode of lithium-ion batteries separately. As part of his doctoral thesis, Michael Metzger, scientist at the Chair of Technical Electrochemistry of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), developed an innovative battery test cell, which can do just that. For his innovative work, he was awarded the Strategy & Presidential Award 2017. [more...]

New Insights into the Maturation of miRNAs

Elucidating the maturation mechanism of a cancer-causing microRNA

[03.07.2018] An international research team has used a structural biological approach to elucidate the maturation of a cancer-causing microRNA in gene regulation. In the future, the authors hope to develop new therapies based on their findings. [more...]

Dirk Busch and Michael Sattler become members of Leopoldina

German National Academy of Sciences awards membership to two scientists from the TUM

[21.05.2018] The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has appointed a medical scientist and a chemist from the Technical University of Munich as new members: Prof. Dirk Busch, Professor of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene, and Prof. Michael Sattler, Professor of Biomolecular NMR Spectroscopy. They will receive their certificate of membership at the annual symposium of Class II – Life Sciences on 23 May 2018. [more...]

Deadly duet

Research team uncovers mechanism of action for a class of bacterial toxins

[07.05.2018] Pore-forming toxins are common bacterial poisons. They attack organisms by introducing holes in cell membranes. A team of scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now unraveled the mechanism of action for one of these toxins. The findings could help combat associated diseases and advance crop protection. [more...]

The enzyme designers

Simulation of the AsqJ enzyme opens up new options for pharmaceutical chemistry

[17.04.2018] Practically all biochemical processes involve enzymes that accelerate chemical reactions. A research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now for the first time deciphered the molecular mechanism of the enzyme AsqJ. Their findings might open up new options in the production of pharmaceutically active molecules. [more...]

Measurement chip detects Legionella

Microarray rapid test speeds up detection in case of a Legionella pneumophila outbreak

[22.03.2018] In an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease, finding the exact source as quickly as possible is essential to preventing further infections. To date, a detailed analysis takes days. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich have now developed a rapid test that achieves the same result in about 35 minutes. [more...]

Breakthrough for peptide medication

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

[21.02.2018] Peptides, short amino acid chains that control many functions in the human body, represent a billion-dollar market, also in the pharmaceutical industry. But, normally these medications must be injected. A research team led by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now determined how peptides can be designed so that they can be easily administered as a liquid or tablet. [more...]