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Jens Tassilo Gruen

Tassilo Grün received his BSc and MSc in Chemistry at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. He conducted his PhD research under the supervision of Prof. Harald Schwalbe at the Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance Center (BMRZ), Frankfurt, as member of the interdisciplinary research program on Complex Light Control (CLiC). Within this consortium, he developed new strategies to investigate conformational dynamics of non-canonical DNA structures (known as G-quadruplexes) that play an important role in gene regulation. This approach relies on using solution-state NMR and optical spectroscopy in combination with light as a non-invasive trigger to induce folding of DNA molecules. The application of this method was successful in disentangling the folding kinetics of polymorphic ensembles under native conditions and characterizing key intermediate and metastable conformational states in real-time.
Tassilo’s research focuses on combining different biophysical and spectroscopic methods to understand the structural dynamics of complex regulatory nucleic acid structures, with an emphasis on the application of biomolecular NMR methods to the interface of biophysical chemistry and chemical/structural biology.
Tassilo will start his postdoctoral research in the group of Prof. Lucio Frydman at the Weizmann Institute of Science. His research aims to expand the investigable time frame of time-resolved NMR experiments by applying new methods for sensitivity enhancement. Using this approach, he will investigate and expose structural dynamics of DNA G-quadruplex-protein complexes. Understanding the delicate interplay of dynamic G-quadruplex structures with their natural interaction partners is of key importance to understanding pathological cellular misregulation in cancer and rare hereditary diseases.