Lab News on Twitter (since 2017)

April 10, 2019

Goran Kokic passed his PhD exam. Impressive work on TFIIH in DNA repair. Many congratulations!

April 08, 2019

We report a method to directly sequence newly synthesized, individual mRNA transcripts in human cells. Reveals metabolism of RNA splice variants/isoforms.

April 04, 2019

The new childcare facility at our institute just opened. Many thanks to all who helped!

March 27, 2019

MYC Recruits SPT5 to RNA Polymerase II to Promote Processive Transcription Elongation. Thanks to Elmar Wolf for the great collaboration.

March 26, 2019

Fine collaboration with the Anikin lab now resulted in our paper on posttranscriptional gene regulation in mitochondria:

March 26, 2019

Please RT: Cold Spring Harbor Meeting on Mechanisms of Eukaryotic Transcription takes place August 27-31, 2019. Celebrating 50 years of eukaryotic RNA polymerases!

March 26, 2019

Save the date: EMBO | EMBL Symposium: Multiomics to Mechanisms - Challenges in Data Integration, 11-13 September 2019 at Heidelberg.

March 11, 2019

Deadline approaching for applications to become a Group Leader in our Lise Meitner program for young female researchers!

March 05, 2019

We thank Randy Schekman for his outstanding service as first editor-in-chief of eLife and look forward to working with Michael Eisen to support the leading OA journal!

February 27, 2019

@UhlenhautLab Great, congratulations!

February 26, 2019

Congratulations to our friends at @BIMSB_MDC @MDC_Berlin on the opening of their beautiful new building in Berlin by chancellor Merkel today!

February 21, 2019

Save the date: conference on chromatin dynamics in Bad Nauheim near Frankfurt, September 9-11, 2019

February 21, 2019

Many congratulations to our close colleague Herbert Jäckle!

December 27, 2018

Great collaboration with the Heard lab. TT-seq monitors X chromosome gene inactivation. Glad we could contribute to this interesting multiomics temporal analysis. @heard_lab

December 22, 2018

Our structure of the transcribing RNA polymerase II-nucleosome complex is now published and available online

December 18, 2018

NASC-seq monitors gene activity in single cells by detecting new mRNA. Great collaboration with the Sandberg lab. Manuscript:

December 14, 2018

@Beck_Laboratory Great to have you as a colleague! All the best

December 14, 2018

Hosting Asifa Akhtar from @mpi_ie as our Christmas speaker

December 11, 2018

Suyang Zhang arrived from Cambridge @MRC_LMB and obtained an EMBO postdoctoral fellowship, many congratulations!

December 06, 2018

And another Leibnizprize for our colleague Ayelet Shachar at the neighboring Max Planck institute, many congratulations!

December 06, 2018

Many congratulations to our colleague at the institute, Melina Schuh, for being awarded the Leibnizpreis, the highest distinction in Germany!

November 30, 2018

CPF and APT are required to form 3'-ends on coding and non-coding genes, respectively. Our paper resulting from a collaboration with @lapassmore is now online.

November 21, 2018

We mourn the passing of Aaron Klug, a giant of molecular biology, who reported the first structure of tRNA

November 21, 2018

Our new structure suggests that DNA opening during transcription initiation involves promoter DNA distortion and closure of the RNA polymerase II clamp

November 20, 2018

Congratulations to former lab member Alan Cheung on becoming an EMBO Young Investigator!

November 14, 2018

Save September 11-13, 2019, for the EMBO|EMBL symposium on ‚Multiomics to mechanism - challenges in data integration‘

November 08, 2018

Many congratulations to Laleh Haghverdi and Julijana Gjorgjieva for receiving the Engelhorn Research Prize 2018 in Computational Biology!

October 24, 2018

Join us for a symposium in honor of Dirk Eick on November 9 in Munich #transcription #cancer #epigenetics #chromatin

October 16, 2018

Full house also for the discussion with Manuela Lenzen who presented her book on artificial intelligence and machine learning in the beautiful Paulinerkirche @Literaturherbst @thegoecampus @mpi_bpc

October 15, 2018

Hosting Germany‘s top energy economist tonight, Claudia Kemfert. Discussing her latest book on how to switch fast to renewable energy and fight climate change. @CKemfert @Literaturherbst

October 11, 2018

Tom Steitz is well known for the work on ribosomes, but his lab also paved the way to an understanding of RNA polymerases with seminal papers in the 90s on phage enzymes. A real hero of molecular biology who will be sadly missed.

October 08, 2018

Our structure of the Pol II-nucleosome complex reveals a defined nucleosome orientation and provides the starting point for understanding the mechanisms of chromatin transcription:

October 07, 2018

Congratulations to Salma Sohrabi-Jahromi for her poster award at the EMBL conference and thanks to the Söding lab for the collaboration on mapping RNA degradation factors on the transcriptome

September 27, 2018

Our application with the University of Göttingen and the Medical Center UMG for a large national research cluster on Multiscale Bioimaging was funded, thanks to all who helped us!

September 25, 2018

Nucleosome-transcription factor interaction landscape mapped. Thanks to Fangjie Zhu and Jussi Taipale for the great collaboration!

September 21, 2018

Distinct multiprotein complexes form the 3'-ends of protein-coding and non-coding RNAs. Great collaboration with Lori Passmore's lab @lapassmore.

September 15, 2018

We contributed to an enjoyable science slam in the old city, featuring scientists from all five Max Planck institutes in Göttingen

September 13, 2018

Tomorrow we celebrate the foundation of the Max Planck Society in Göttingen 70 years ago. Join us for a sciene slam at the local pub:

September 12, 2018

Save the date for next year‘s Cold Spring Harbor Meeting on Mechanisms of Eukaryotic Transcription, August 27-September 01, 2019

September 06, 2018

Our new review on mitochondrial transcription includes the first molecular movie of the mitochondrial transcription cycle. Publication: Movie:

September 05, 2018

Save the date: GRC conference on mechanisms of microbial transcription takes place July 28 to August 2, 2019 in Maine

September 05, 2018

Investigate the switch from paused to activated transcription complex in 3D! Our new Pol II complex structures and density maps are available for download:

September 02, 2018

@ProfJohnsen Really? When? This is sad for us.

August 31, 2018

Registration for the Structural Dynamics VIB Conference in Bruxelles ends in one week

August 23, 2018

Thanks to our colleague Karen Adelman for summarizing our recent findings on Pol II pausing and release and putting them into context: News and Views:

August 22, 2018

Molecular basis of transcription regulation: our new papers elucidate promoter-proximal RNA polymerase II pausing and elongation activation by human DSIF, NELF, PAF, SPT6.

August 20, 2018

Our paper on RNA polymerase II clustering through CTD phase separation is now online. Thanks to the Zweckstetter and @XDarzacq labs for the great collaboration!

August 15, 2018

Congratulations to our Max Planck colleagues: Global animal tracking from space!

August 15, 2018

@animaltracking @Astro_Alex @AniMove @unikonstanz @maxplanckpress @icouzin @UWICER @MP_Innovation Congratulations on the great Tagesschau Beitrag!!

August 08, 2018

RNA velocity predicts the fate of single cells. Glad we could contribute to an exciting collaboration of the Linnarsson and Kharchenko labs @slinnarsson @KharchenkoLab

August 01, 2018

Many congratulations to Peter Scholze, our new colleage at the Max Planck Institute in Bonn, for obtaining the Fields Medal, the ‚Nobel Prize‘ in Mathematics

July 04, 2018

Council congratulates EMBL Barcelona for getting successfully started!

July 04, 2018

The Klenk Symposium on Epigenetics will take place October 4-6, 2018 in Cologne.

June 24, 2018

The scandinavian #cryoEM symposium will take place in Copenhagen October 8-9, 2018

June 22, 2018

Save May 20-22, 2019 for the DNA damage response mechanisms conference in Madrid

June 14, 2018

'Warp' software by Dmitry Tegunov closes the gap between the electron microscope and 3D density reconstruction. See our manuscript and user guide for automated real-time cryo-EM data pre-processing and particle picking #cryoEM #Warp

June 09, 2018

Vienna RNA biology meeting will take place October 17-19, see

June 07, 2018

Our next seminar series program is out, please save the dates and join.

June 07, 2018

Many congratulations to our colleague at the institute, Jens Frahm, on winning the European Inventor Award! Do not miss their incredible movies made with real time MRI!

June 04, 2018

@benoitbruneau @Gene_Regulation TT-Seq we think

May 25, 2018

Our new review provides a movie of RNA polymerase I transcription that can be used for teaching purposes

May 23, 2018

On the shoulders of giants: celebrating the ‚founding fathers’ of our field, Bob Roeder, Bill Rutter, and Pierre Chambon in Paris on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the eukaryotic RNA polymerases

May 16, 2018

Many congratulations to Melina and our neighbors!

May 16, 2018

@SchuhLab @EMBO Great! Many congratulations!

May 10, 2018

@R_H_Ebright PDB took very long; we sent it to many colleagues by mail

May 09, 2018

Our structures of transcription initiation complexes with TFIIH and Mediator are now available for download:

May 08, 2018

The RNA polymerase II CTD phase separates in vitro and governs polymerase clustering in vivo. Thanks to the Zweckstetter and @XDarzacq laboratories for this collaboration. Read the manuscript at

May 08, 2018

Great student-organized molecular biology meeting at Göttingen in fall

May 01, 2018

We are deeply saddened by the untimely passing of our great colleague Elisa Izaurralde, RNA biochemist at MPI Tübingen.

April 28, 2018

Join us on May 9 at 1 pm for the talk of Kelly Nguyen who just published the marvelous structure of human telomerase #cryoEM #RNA

April 14, 2018

Marching for free and open science!

April 12, 2018

Join the 2nd March for Science in Göttingen on April 14!

April 11, 2018

Patrick Cramer presents Kjeldgaard lecture in Aarhus, Denmark

April 09, 2018

Christian Dienemann passed his PhD exam, many congratulations!

April 03, 2018

Save December 5-7 for this year's epigenetics meeting in Freiburg

March 28, 2018

Congratulations to Hauke Hillen for obtaining this year's PhD Award of the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for elucidating mitochondrial transcription!

March 18, 2018

Our new cryo-EM structure shows why the mushroom toxin amanitin binds 3000-times better to mammalian RNA polymerase II than to the yeast enzyme

March 16, 2018

RNA polymerases 50 years on: save May 22 for the symposium in Paris

February 19, 2018

Sandra Schilbach passed her PhD exam, presenting the pre-initiation complex structure, many congratulations!

February 14, 2018

Congratulations to former lab member Clemens Plaschka who will start as a group leader at IMP Vienna soon!

February 06, 2018

@TheVillaLab Many thanks for organizing this interesting meeting!

January 26, 2018

Congratulations to former lab member Christoph Engel on winning the Early Excellence in Science Award of the Bayer Foundation

January 18, 2018

Congratulations to Vannini and Müller labs on the Pol III PIC structures!

January 17, 2018

Our Stockholm team moves into the new building ‘Neo’ at Karolinska Institute

January 16, 2018

Applications for PhD fellowships are invited by our new Max Planck Research School for Genome Science that brings together experimental and computational biologists

January 13, 2018

A good summary of our recent structure of the Chd1 chromatin remodeling factor bound to the nucleosome published in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology by Michaela Smolle

January 03, 2018

Congratulations to Youwei Xu who takes on an Assistant Professor position at Shanghai Tech University

December 29, 2017

Our paper with Jussi Taipale’s lab on the interaction landscape of transcription factors and the nucleosome is available

December 21, 2017

Goodbye to Kayo Nozawa who takes a Research Associate position at Waseda University in Tokyo.

December 19, 2017

Christoph Engel starts his research group at Regensburg University in January 2018, funded by the Emmy-Noether-Programme.

December 18, 2017

Haibo Wang received an EMBO postdoctoral fellowship, congratulations!

December 16, 2017

Xiaoguang Xue received an EMBO long-term fellowship, congratulations!

December 08, 2017

We host Julie Ahringer from Cambridge as our Christmas speaker

December 02, 2017

Good-bye to Carrie Bernecky and all the best to her lab at IST Austria!

November 30, 2017

Congratulations to the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin, it turns 25! #MDC25

November 16, 2017

Cell published our mechanism of transcription initiation in human mitochondria...

November 08, 2017

Our institute hosts Kim Nasmyth for a Bonhoeffer Award Lecture

November 07, 2017

Patrick Cramer gives the Weigle Lecture in Geneva, where early molecular biology was done

November 06, 2017

Congratulations to Lucas Farnung and Hauke Hillen for passing their PhD exams!

November 04, 2017

From now on, updates on our facebook page will be shared on twitter

November 04, 2017

@nature published our milestone structure of a 46-subunit transcription initiation complex with TFIIH and Mediator

November 04, 2017

From now on, our facebook page updates will be shared on twitter.

Lab News Archive Until 2017



November 8

Our institute hosts Kim Nasmyth for a Bonhoeffer Award Lecture.

November 7

Patrick Cramer gives Weigle Lecture in Geneva, where early molecular biology was done.

November 6

Congratulations to Lucas Farnung and Hauke Hillen for passing their PhD exams!

November 4

From now on, updates will be shared on twitter.

November 1

Nature published our milestone structure of the 46-subunit, ~2 MDa transcription initiation complex with TFIIH and core Mediator. Link to article.

October 31

DNA alkylation stops transcription using a novel mechanism that we discovered in a collaboration with the Sturla lab. Link to article.

October 27

The program for the new Genome Science Lecture Series is out. View program.

October 25

At our 12th lab retreat we hosted seven external speakers in Hamburg and defined our strategy for 2018.

October 22

The Göttingen Max Planck Institutes host another great speaker at the Literature Festival, Patrick Kingsley (New York Times) who describes current migration to Europe.

October 12

Cell published our mechanism of replication-transcription switching in mitochondria that we elucidated in collaboration with the Temiakov laboratory. Link to article.

October 11

Nature published our nucleosome-Chd1 structure that suggests a model for DNA translocation by chromatin remodeling enzymes. Link to article.

October 10

Our new eLife paper shows that polymerase pausing controls transcription initiation. Link to article.

October 4

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for the development of cryo-electron microscopy, congratulations! Link to press release.

September 29

Göttingen Research Campus advances in national competition for excellence clusters. Link to press release.

September 15

Our institute hosted Jennifer Doudna for a Bonhoeffer Award Lecture on CRISPR systems. Link to press release.

September 13

Congratulations to former lab member Alessandro Vannini who obtained tenure at ICR London! Link to press release.

September 12

Our structure of human DSIF bound to transcribing RNA polymerase II is out. Link to article.

August 23

Congratulations to Carrie Bernecky who obtained an Assistsant Professorship at IST Austria in Vienna! Link to press release.

August 16

Our 'expressome' appears in Miller spreads from 1970. Link to article.

August 2

Our team wins the institute's volleyball tournament.

June 28

Edith Heard selected as next Director-General of EMBL. Link to press release.

June 7

We now located the chromatin transcription factor Paf1 complex on one side of RNA polymerase II:

May 29

Sofia Battaglia, Carina Demel and Tobias Gubbey passed their PhD exams, congratulations and all the best for the future!

May 24

Our new paper uses several 'omics' techniques to reveal a critical role of nascent RNA in coordinating the transcription cycle:

May 12

JMB published our reflection on the history and future of molecular biology on the occasion of John Kendrew's 100th birthday:

May 3

Nature published our 15-subunit core Mediator structure that leads to an extended transcription initiation complex model:

April 26

Christoph Wigge and Dietmar Riedel organized a symposium to inaugurate the new Titan electron microscope. More information

April 25

Our latest review summarizes the current understanding of the conserved Pol II initiation complex structure:

April 22

We support the global March for Science.

April 18

Science published our work on the 'expressome' that visualizes the central dogma of molecular biology:

April 11

New EMBL site in Barcelona opened! More information.

April 3

We are co-organizing the Eukaryotic Transcription Meeting at Cold Spring Harbor this summer and the speaker list is out.

March 23

Cell just published our paper on Pol I initiation that suggests a basis for promoter recognition:

March 18

Our new paper defines the critical transition at the end of genes:

March 9

Our latest paper shows how to map enhancer landscapes with high temporal resolution:

March 6

The new IMPRS for Genome Science goes public:

February 16

Patrick Cramer joins the University of Göttingen as honorary professor.

February 13

Patrick Cramer joins the Editorial Advisory Board of Molecular Systems Biology.

February 1

Our coordinator for the new International Max Planck Research School for Genome Science, Henriette Irmer, started today, welcome!

January 25

Simon Neyer and Youwei Xu passed their PhD exams, congratulations!

January 20

10 years after the Nobel Prize: our general review is out at



December 8

We host Torben Heick-Jensen as our Christmas speaker.

December 8

Congratulations to our close colleagues Jörg Vogel and Karl-Peter Hopfner on being awarded the Leibniz Prize 2017, the most important science prize in Germany!

December 1

Svetlana Dodonova receives an EMBO long-term fellowship, many congratulations!

November 21

We received funding to set up a new International Max Planck Research School for Genome Science.

November 14

Merle Hantsche passes her PhD exam, many congratulations"

November 14

Our collaborative paper with the Frangakis lab is out at Nature:

October 24

Our 11th annual lab retreat in Berlin hosts 7 external speakers.

September 5

Congratulations to Margaux Michel on passing her PhD exam!

August 1

Patrick Cramer receives the Centenary Award of the British Biochemical Society. The award medal will be given at the 80th Harden Conference at Macclesfield, UK.

July 15

Felix Wagner receives Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds PhD Fellowship, congratulations!

June 15

Clemens Plaschka receives the Otto Hahn Medal in Saarbrücken.

Link to press release (in German).

June 3

Our paper on TT-Seq is out in Science, see the press release here.

May 11

Our paper on initiation complex structure (Plaschka, Hantsche et al.) is out at Nature!

May 2

Philipp Eser and Benedikt Zacher receive their PhD, congratulations!

April 15

Our lab will be funded again with an Advanced Investigator Grant of the European Research Council, ERC. We will receive a total of Euro 2.5 Mio during 2016-2021.
Link to Press Release (in German).

February 24

We co-organize a symposium on biological networks in Berlin.          

February 8

Congratulations to former lab member Claus Kuhn who will receive a prestigious award (Paul Ehrlich- und Ludwig Darmstaedter Nachwuchspreis) on March 14 in Frankfurt. The two other awardees are Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna (Paul Ehrlich- und Ludwig Darmstaedter Preis).

January 20

Our paper on the first mammalian RNA polymerase structure (Carrie Bernecky et al.) is out at Nature.

January 1

Patrick Cramer takes up chair of EMBL council.

January 1

Patrick Cramer joins the Editorial Board of "Cell".



November 25-26

We co-organize workshop on the future of structural biology in Berlin. [more]

November 18

Clemens Plaschka receives prestigous "Kulturpreis Bayern" of the Bayernwerk AG.

November 17

Goran Kokic is awarded a Boehringer Ingelheim PhD Student Fellowship.

November 10

Paulina Seweryn is awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship.

October 8

We're hosting the KFB lecture by Nick Proudfoot (University of Oxford).

September 30

Jürgen Niesser and David Pöllman receive their PhD, congratulations.

August 31

Patrick Cramer gives Sumner Lecture.

July 21

Wolfgang Mühlbacher receives his PhD, congratulations!

July 1

Anna Sawicka takes on EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship.

June 1

Katja Fruehauf and Michael Lidschreiber start as first team members at our sattelite lab in Stockholm.

May 22

Christoph Engel receives prestigious ‘Promotionspreis’ of the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM).


Together with colleagues at the institute, we secure funding for a new Titan electron microscope with K2 and Falcon-III cameras, to be set up in 2016

March 19

Patrick Cramer receives Arthur Burkhardt Prize. (Click here for more information)

February 5

Our Nature article on the Pol II-Mediator core initiation complex by Clemens Plaschka et al. is published. (Click here to view the article)

January 21

The lab obtained additional funding within the SFB860 research network ‘Integrative Structural Biology of Dynamic Macromolecular Complexes’

January 1

Livia Caizzi takes on EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship

January 1

Patrick Cramer starts as guest professor at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm:



December 5

Carlo Bäjen receives award for his PhD work by the Dr. Klaus Römer Foundation

November 20

Review on the occasion of the 100th birthday of crystallography published. (Click here to view the article)

October 1

Hauke Hillen takes on Boehringer Ingelheim PhD Student Fellowship.

July 1

Seychelle Vos takes on EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship.

June 30

The lab obtains additional funding by the Lower Saxonian Ministry for Science and Culture (Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur) to extend functional genomics efforts.

April 1

First group members from our Munich lab start at MPIbpc.

January 1

Patrick Cramer starts as director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

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