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Chemical Biology for Protein Visualisation and Modulation

Rudolf Virchow Center for Integrative and Translational Bioimaging


Mapping, Visualization & Targeting of Protein-Protein interactions

Proteins are essential components of all known organisms and involved in practically every process of life. One of the great challenges for the life sciences in the post-genomic era is to read the function and interactions of proteins and to exploit this knowledge for therapy.

We use Chemical Biology to gain new insights into the molecular function of proteins and explore novel therapeutic strategies.




We combine miniaturized and automated chemical synthesis with direct biophysical and proteomic read-outs to study protein interactions, develop molecular probes and explore novel therapeuthic strategies.

Selected publications:

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We develop affinity probes for high contrast visualization of target proteins without genetic interference. Our compact fluorescent probes unleash the full resolution potential of the latest high-end microscopy technologies to enable new insights into cellular function and disease.


Selected publications:


γ-Aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAARs) are the main mediators of phasic and tonic inhibition in the human brain and an important neuropharmacological drug target. Currently used GABAAR drugs affect receptors across different brain regions and neuronal structures which causes severe side effects and drastically limits their effectiveness. We explore GABAAR-associated proteins as a means of modulating discrete dysfunctional neuronal pathways.

Selected publications:

Dos Reis et al. 2022, Nature Communications

Schulte et al. 2021, Current Opinion in Pharmacology

Hines et al. 2018, Nature Communications

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We use synthetic chemistry to explore requirements for effective cellular uptake and potent cellular reprogramming via transcription factors, epigenetic regulators or by directly blocking the mRNA of essential genes.


Selected publications:

Makbul et al., 2021, Microorganisms

Moreno-Yruela et al., 2021, Nature Communications

Gründl et al., 2020, PLoS Genetics

Prieto-Garcia et al., 2020, EMBO

Sdelci et al., 2019, Nature Genetics

Baluapuri et al., 2019, Molecular Cell


A subgroup of autoimmune neuropathies is caused by autoantibodies against critical nerve structures. Here the severity of the disease correlates with the antibody levels. So far, only a small part of the existing autoantigens has been identified, which limits diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities. We identify and study novel autoantigens in neurological disease.

Selected publications:

Talucci et al., 2022, Met Mol Biol, in press


NEW IN PRESS I April 2022

A Versatile Synthetic Affinity Probe Reveals Inhibitory Synapse Ultrastructure and Brain Connectivity

A short dimerized peptidic probe for high contrast visualization of inhibitory synapses in neuron cultures and brain tissue is presented. The probe can be flexibly applied both for widefield and confocal 3D volumetric synapse visualization, for inhibitory circuits mapping in tissue and for super-resolution imaging of synapses.

NEWS I July 2022

Poster at GDChs Biochemistry Meeting

Ivan Talucci presents his work about “Autoantibody epitope profiling in Autoimmune diseases” at the GDChs Biochemistry Meeting 2022 (Münster).


Enjoy the talk and poster!


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The Maric lab is looking for motivated scientists at all levels. Apply today!


Start: 1/2023 or upon agreement

We are searching for a doctoral researcher as part of our Emmy Noether funded Chemical Biology research. This position will be based at the Rudolf Virchow Center for Integrative and Translational Bioimaging in Würzburg, Germany.

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