Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences

Grubmüller, Helmut, Prof. Dr.

Professor, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

  • 1994 Dr. rer nat. (Physics), Technical University of Munich
  • 1997 EMBO fellow at the Institute for Molecular Biology and Biophysics, Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1998 - 2003 Head of the Theoretical Molecular Biophysics Group at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen
  • Since 2003 Associate Professor for Biomolecular Sciences at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
  • Since 2003 Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Head of the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Department
  • Since 2005 Honorary Professor for Physics at the University of Göttingen

Major Research Interests

The question 'How do proteins work?' is our driving force. We study biomolecular dynamics and function by atomistic molecular dynamics and qm/mm simulations. Emphasis is on protein function, as well as on protein/DNA/RNA interactions.

Available projects address nuclear pore transport, the ribosome, molecular motors such as F-ATPase (Figure 1), protein unfolding as well as the interaction with radiation with a focus at single molecules, typically in close collaboration with experimental groups. The simulation of single molecule AFM experiments by force probe techniques helps us to reveal mechanisms of protein function involving mechanical stress such as the muscular force sensor titin kinase (Figure 2), and so do improved methods to calculate thermodynamic quantities from simulations. We are continuously advancing our simulation techniques and scalability on massively parallel computers. The group of ca. 20 PhD students and postdocs shares a strong background mainly in physics and scientific computing, but also in chemistry and biology. We enjoy exclusive access to a high-performance linux cluster of ca. 18.000 processor cores and ca. 950 GPUs (Figure 3).

GGNB Grubmüller Figures 1-3

Homepage Department / Research Group


Selected Recent Publications

  • Bock LV, Blau C, Vaiana AC, Grubmüller H (2015) Dynamic contact network between ribosomal subunits enables rapid large-scale rotation during spontaneous translocation. Nucleic Acids Res 43(14): 6747-60

  • Risselada HJ, Bubnis G, Grubmüller H (2014) Expansion of the fusion stalk and its implication for biological membrane fusion. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111(30): 11043-8

  • Czub J, Grubmüller H (2014) Rotation triggers nucleotide-independent conformational transition of the empty beta subunit of F-1-ATPase. J Am Chem Soc 136(19): 6960-8

  • Bock LV, Blau C, Schröder GF, Davydov II, Fischer N, Stark H, Rodnina MV, Vaiana AC, Grubmüller H (2013) Energy barriers and driving forces in tRNA translocation through the ribosome. Nat Struct Mol Biol 20(12):1390-6

  • Czub J, Grubmüller H (2011) Torsional elasticity and energetics of F1-ATPase. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108(18), 7408-7413

  • Bockmann RA, de Groot BL, Kakorin S, Neumann E, Grubmüller H (2008) Kinetics, statistics, and energetics of lipid membrane electroporation studied by molecular dynamics simulations, Biophys J 95, 1837-1850

  • Lange OF, Lakomek NA, Fares C, Schröder GF, Walter KFA, Becker S, Meiler J, Grubmüller H, Griesinger C, de Groot BL (2008) Recognition dynamics up to microseconds revealed from an RDC-derived ubiquitin ensemble in solution. Science 320: 1471-1475

  • Sieber JJ, Willig KI, Kutzner C, Gerding-Reimers C, Harke B, Donnert G, Rammner B, Eggeling C, Hell SW, Grubmüller H, Lang T (2007) Anatomy and dynamics of a supramolecular membrane protein cluster. Science 317: 1072-1076

  • de Groot BL, Grubmüller H (2001) Water permeation across biological membranes: Mechanism and dynamics of aquaporin-1 and GlpF. Science 294: 2353-2357