Michael Lueckmann (2011)
VU Mentor: Jens Meiler
My name is Michael Lueckmann and I am a biochemistry undergraduate student from University of Leipzig, Germany. I will have finished the second year of my three-year bachelor program soon, starting preparations for my bachelor's thesis in a few months. My scientific interest is in the different types and mechanisms of protein-ligand interactions and how they are determined by structure and sequence. For my future, I am planning to earn the PhD, aiming for a scientific career.
At Vanderbilt, I am working in the laboratory of Dr. Jens Meiler, which is focused on computational structural biology and therefore my project is not experimental but computational. During the seven weeks in the Meiler lab, I am testing the hypothesis of protein structural symmetry due to gene duplication and fusion on an aquaporin. For that purpose, the protein is symmetrized and redesigned using the protein simulation algorithm ROSETTA.
In the first weeks, I was astonished by the welcoming and uncomplicated atmosphere in my lab and how the people deal relaxed and candidly with each other while working in this really hard scientific business. For the future VISRA participants, I can tell you that the first days in the new working environment can be confusing and frustrating but communicating a lot can really help in avoiding misconceptions and getting a good daily routine in the lab.