- The first optical sensor chip for probing the activation of G protein coupled receptors.
- The first silicon chip for automated planar patch clamp measurements.
- Pioneering the investigation of membrane proteins by single-molecule spectroscopy and imaging in reconstituted systems and living cells.
- The first high-resolution crystal structure of a mammalian Cys-loop ligand gated ion channel.
- Horst Vogel directed from 2013 to 2017 a large European research consortium on Synthetic Biology (http://synsignal.eu).
His present focus of research is the elucidation of the structure and function of ligand-gated ion channels and G-protein coupled receptors.
These two classes of membrane proteins cover the majority of human membrane proteins, play a central role in proper functioning of cells, are involved in many severe diseases, and therefore are among the most important targets for presently used therapeutic compounds. High-resolution structures of the proteins as well as their functional interplay in the cellular biochemical network are required for a proper understanding of their function and will facilitate the development of novel medicines to treat diseases which are evoked by a malfunction of these membrane proteins.
The different structural states during the activation process of these receptors and their interactions with cellular signalling molecules will be investigated in their native cellular environment using cryo-electron and optical microscopies, combined with complementary biophysical techniques. Close collaboration with computational biology groups in the institute is of central for these projects.
Bachelor and master 1968-1974 Julius Maximilians Universität Würzburg Chemistry
PhD 1975-1978 Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen Biophysics