Optogenetics Club Lecture

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april, 2024

202429apr5:00 PM6:00 PMOptogenetics Club LectureMolecular Optogenetics: Programming Cells and Materials with Light5:00 PM - 6:00 PM MPI-NAT, City Campus, Hermann-Rein-Str. 3Speaker:Prof. Dr. Wilfried Weber, INM Saarbrücken & Saarland University

Event Details

Prof. Dr. Wilfried Weber from the INM-Leibniz Institute for New Materials and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany will give a lecture during the MBExC Optogenetics Club about “Molecular Optogenetics: Programming Cells and Materials with Light”

Molecular optogenetic technologies allow the control of cellular signaling processes along the whole signal transduction cascade with unmatched spatial and temporal resolution.
Based on an overview of molecular photoreceptors, we will present three aspects of our work: First, we will present extracellular optogenetic strategies to dynamically modulate biological and mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix. Here, we demonstrate that the functional coupling of photoreceptors to chemical polymers, biomolecules and surfaces allows the control of key features of matrix-cell interactions.
We further develop the concept of engineering intracellular liquid materials comprising synthetic or natural transcription factors to adjust transgene activity. We describe different approaches for the stimulus-inducible formation of liquid transcription factor condensates and demonstrate that these colocalize with target promoters and yield a several-fold increased transgene activity compared to the non-engineered transcription factor. We demonstrate that this concept can be applied to different transcription factors to increase target gene activity in cell culture and in mice.
Finally, we will present recent work on engineering viral transduction systems with optogenetic tools to optically guide gene transfer. We demonstrate that this technology allows spatially and temporally controlled gene transfer in primary cells and cell lines. We further demonstrate optically guided transduction at single-cell resolution.

Chairs: Tobias Moser and Thomas Mager

Poster of the talk: