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Jan Löwe to give Max Birnstiel Lecture

13 Sep 2023
Jan Löwe

The IMP will welcome Jan Löwe, Director of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (UK), for a Max Birnstiel Lecture.

The Birnstiel Lecture series features highly distinguished scientists from across the world. In the series’ upcoming edition, the IMP will welcome Jan Löwe, Director of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC-LMB) in Cambridge, United Kingdom. The lecture “Prokaryotic cytoskeletons: filaments organising small cells” will be given at the IMP lecture hall on 20 September 2023, at 11 a.m.

Jan Löwe is a molecular and structural biologist. His group studies filamentous proteins in bacteria, focusing on their roles in cell division, chromosome segregation, cell wall synthesis, and intracellular motility. They have discovered that bacteria possess cytoskeletal elements, such as FtsZ and MreB, which are homologous to eukaryotic tubulin and actin. They also characterised these proteins’ nucleotide-driven dynamics and showed that they function as one-dimensional motors. The group employs various techniques for their investigations, including X-ray crystallography and microscopy, and collaborates on deciphering mechanisms in related fields.

Löwe conducted his doctoral research at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. After graduating in 1995, he moved to the MRC-LMB and took up a long-term fellowship of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) to investigate FtsZ, the bacterial homologue of tubulin. He became a group leader in 1998 and was awarded tenure in 2002. In 2018, Löwe became director of MRC-LMB and an Honorary Professor at Cambridge University.

In 2011, Löwe received the Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award. He is an elected EMBO member, a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of Darwin College, and a Fellow of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Jan Löwe will be hosted by the IMP’s scientific director Jan-Michael Peters.