Universität Siegen

The team of the “Dynamics of viral Structures” group and hence our research is highly interdisciplinary at the interface of biology and physics further developing structural mass spectrometry (MS) to answer virological questions of high relevance to human health. This is also reflected by further affiliation of the head and several group members to DESY.
Being mainly interested in the structure and dynamics of viral protein complexes, the research aim is to elucidate, how these complex machineries function. We focus on the replication/transcription machinery of RNA viruses, namely coronaviruses, which often exist in many different states to mediate a diverse set of functions. Moreover, we are intrigued by viral particle assembly, where the low abundant intermediates are relevant to drug development but intrinsically hard to study. This work largely focusses on noroviruses, an important human pathogen, for which preventive treatments are still lacking. In capsid assembly, single particle-like approaches are best suited to deduce structural information.
With respect to the VIRUSong project, we will provide complementary data on virus particle dynamics from structural MS and supply other consortium members with virus(-like) particles to develop the technology

Charlotte Uetrecht

Since 2021, Dr. Charlotte Uetrecht is an Associate Professor for Biochemistry at University of Siegen. The main lab is located at CSSB in Hamburg and the group is associated to LIV and DESY. Charlotte is specialized in studying large protein complexes, mostly of viral origin, with structural, especially native, mass spectrometry (MS) and free-electron lasers (FEL). She has (co-) authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications. She pioneered high resolution native MS analysis of intact viral capsids including their structural characterization with ion mobility cumulating in a model for the capsid assembly pathway. She develops new sample delivery techniques based on MS for European XFEL. For her work, she was awarded the Mattauch-Herzog Price by the DGMS. In 2014, she received a junior group leader position at the LIV funded by the Leibniz Association. She first started on X-ray lightsource related work in Janos Hajdu’s lab in Uppsala, Sweden, and at European XFEL as a postdoc on an EMBO longterm fellowship. For her doctoral work on native MS to analyse virus structure in the lab of Albert JR Heck in Utrecht, she was awarded the HGK Westenbrink Prize in 2011. She is jury member for the Wolfgang-Paul-Study-Price of the German Mass Spec Society (DGMS). She also coordinated the MS SPIDOC project and in 2017 received an ERC Starting Grant, both funded by the EU.

Picture ©DESY, Marta Mayer