About our Editors
Thilo Stehle, Editorial Board Member
University of Tübingen, Germany
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I obtained a PhD in chemistry from the University of Freiburg in Germany, and have been active for 20 years in the field of structural biology. After holding a faculty position for seven years at Harvard Medical School in the United States, I have moved in April 2005 to the University of Tübingen in Germany where I am now Professor of Biochemistry as well as the Department Chair of the Biochemistry Institute. In addition to my primary appointment in Tübingen, I am also an Adjunct Professor in Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
The long-term goal of our research is to study the interactions between pathogens and hosts, in order to describe mechanisms of pathogen engagement of target cells and to provide a basis for vaccine and drug design. We study viruses as well as bacterial pathogens, and use protein crystallography in combination with associated biochemical techniques (site-directed mutagenesis, surface plasmon resonance, circular dichroism spectroscopy, titration calorimetry etc), to establish the three-dimensional structure and function of functionally relevant proteins alone and in complex with ligands.
A particular emphasis is placed on understanding basic principles of protein-protein and protein-carbohydrate interactions. Many such interactions are well characterized at a functional level, yet poorly understood at the molecular or atomic level. However, such knowledge is needed to develop compounds that are able to modulate or block biological interactions. For example, by studying the determinants of viral attachment to host cells and establishing principles of attachment, one can develop molecules that interfere with binding. It also becomes possible to redirect or retarget viruses to different receptors, which is highly relevant for gene delivery approaches.
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