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  • Pavel Levkin’s group (www.levkingroup.com) received two more grants in May 2017, EXIST Forschungstransfer and a Proof-of-Concept grant of the European Research Council (ERC). The ERC-PoC project targets the development of a novel automatized screening platform for pharmaceutical research, whereas the EXIST Forschungstransfer grant facilitates the ITG spin-off project Aquarray (www.aquarray.com) to commercialize and deliver KIT’s proprietary Droplet Microarray technology to many more academic collaborators, as well as affordable cell-screening and biological screening solutions to customers in the whole spectrum from fundamental research and medicine to pharmaceutical development.
  • The insidCover smalle front cover shows an array of microdroplets on a superhydrophobic–superhydrophilic pattern. Fluorescence microscopy images of hydrogel microparticles incorporating live cells expressing green fluorescent protein are visible in the background. These hydrogel particles are produced using the effect of discontinuous dewetting allowing for a rapid pipetting-free fabrication of thousands of arrayed microdroplets and hydrogel microparticles with complex geometries and sizes, as reported by P. Levkin and co-workers in their recent Advanced Materials publication.

    (click on image for higher resolution)

  • Pavel Levkins group presents a very powerful and simple method for the dynamic photochemical surface functionalization and patterning.

    “UV-induced disulfide formation (UV-DF) and disulfide reduction (UV-DR) reactions for surface functionalization and dynamic photopatterning. Both photochemical reactions allow for the spatially and temporally controlled, reversible transition between thiol- and disulfide-functionalized surfaces. The dynamic photopatterning strategy was demonstrated by the UV-induced attachment, exchange, and detachment on thiol-modified substrates. This dynamic surface functionalization and photopatterning strategy will provide a new tool for the precise manipulation of interfacial properties and the development of stimulus-responsive surfaces and new smart materials.”

  • CyberChampion Awards 2016: init innovation award for vasQlab. The team of Prof. Dr. Ute Schepers and Christoph Grün convinced the jury with innovative body-on-a-chip systems for pharmaceutical research.
  • The ITG has won the first two prices in the KIT Innovation Award NEULAND 2016
  • The Cato group together with other KIT researchers have described a novel 3D scaffold for culturing prostate cells.
  • ITG Newsletter 2015 [ PDF ]
  • Pavel Levkin has received the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Award 2015 by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)

    Press Release of the KIT (034/2015)
    German version
  • Pavel Levkin has received the Ewald Wicke Award by the DBG and the Ewald Wicke Foundation for outstanding work in the field of applied physical chemistry (press release)


  • Cover small  Congratulations to Alexander Efremov, whose recent article was accepted as a back COVER
      to Advanced Materials Interfaces!

      (click on image for higher resolution)

  • Benjamin and Meltem Weger, PhD students in the Dickmeis lab, were awarded with the Schoeller Junkmann Prize by the German Society for Endocrinology, which is endowed with €10,000. The prize recognizes outstanding contributions by young scientists in the field of general endocrinology. Meltem and Benjamin Weger receive the prize for the generation of a transgenic zebrafish biosensor system that allows measurement of signaling by glucocorticoid stress hormones in the living animal. This GRIZLY assay (for “Glucocorticoid Responsive In vivo Zebrafish Luciferase activitY”) has broad applications in stress research, environmental monitoring and drug discovery.

  • A new publication  in PLoS Biology by the Scholpp group highlights the function of Lhx2 and Lhx9 in thalamus development. The thalamus is the interface between the body and the brain. It connects sensory organs with higher brain areas and modulates processes such as sleep, alertness, and consciousness. Our knowledge about the embryonic development of this central relay station is still fragmented. Here, we show that the transcription factors Lhx2 and Lhx9 are essential for the development of the relay thalamus. Zebrafish embryos lacking Lhx2/Lhx9 have stalled neurogenesis - neuronal progenitor cells accumulate but do not complete their differentiation into thalamic neurons. In addition, we find that the neighboring Wnt-expressing epithalamus expands into the space containing mis-specified thalamus in these embryos. We identified a thalamus-specific cell adhesion modulator, Pcdh10b, which is controlled by canonical Wnt signaling. Altered Wnt-dependent Pcdh10b function in Lhx2/Lhx9-deficient embryos leads to intermingling of the thalamus and adjacent brain compartments and consequently regionalization within the caudal forebrain is lost. Organization of the developing CNS into molecularly distinct but transient segments and the implications for regional differentiation are well established for the developing hindbrain. We conclude that this applies to caudal forebrain too: Lhx2 and Lhx9 emerge as crucial factors driving neurogenesis and maintaining the regional integrity of the caudal forebrain. These are two prerequisites for the formation of this important relay station in the brain.

    Press Release of the KIT (183/2011)
    English version 
    German version 

  • A recent paper  by Nicholas S. Foulkes (ITG) and his collaborator, Cristiano Bertolucci (University of Ferrara, Italy) describes how the evolution of Somalian cavefish for millions of years in perpetual darkness has resulted in a circadian clock that ticks for an extremely long period, and which is completely blind. This received extensive media coverage from the BBC , The New York Times , Spiegel online , MSNBC , and Wired among many others and has also now been cited in the "Faculty of 1000" .




Last update: June 30, 2017