Benjamin Kaupp

Center of Advanced European Studies and Research (caesar)

At the Physical Limit – How to Detect a Single Molecule

12:00 pm, Monday 26 September 2016

Location: The Sherrington Library; Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics; Sherrington Building

Abstract: Sperm are exquisitely sensitive: they can detect a single molecule of chemoattractant that evokes an electrical signal followed by a behavioral motor response. I will outline the signalling pathway that endows sperm with such ultrasensitivity. Moreover, I will discuss how this pathway controls precise navigation in 2D and 3D gradients of chemoattractants provided by the egg. Finally, the common motifs of ultrasensitive signalling in photoreceptors and sperm will be discussed.

Biography: Ulrich Benjamin Kaupp is Director at the Center of Advanced European Studies and Research (caesar), an institute of the Max Planck Society, in Bonn, Germany, and Head of the Department of Molecular Sensory Systems. From January 2008 to September 2015, he was the managing director of caesar. Kaupp studied chemistry at the Universities of Tübingen and Berlin. He received his PhD at the Max-Volmer-Institute of the Technical University Berlin and did his “Habilitation” in Biophysics at the University of Osnabrück in 1983. From 1988 to 2007, Kaupp was director at the Institute of Neuroscience and Biophysics (INB) of the Helmholtz Research Centre Jülich. Kaupp is Professor of Biophysical Chemistry at the University of Cologne and of Molecular Neurobiology at the University of Bonn.