IMP: Structural biologist David Haselbach joins the IMP

The IMP welcomes a new faculty member: David Haselbach will establish his lab as an IMP Fellow, investigating the structure, dynamics and function of macromolecular machines using cryo electron microscopy.

David Haselbach will develop his lab to address two kinds of questions, one technical and one rather more biological in nature: “As for the technical question, I would like to understand how large macromolecular machines work and how conformational changes are used to fulfil the work of the machine”, says Haselbach. “I attempt to make movies of molecular machines in action, and I will do so by using cryo electron microscopy.”

Regarding the biological question, Haselbach has identified a protein that he plans to investigate in different circumstances and environments – both in terms of structure and function.
"My long term goal is to visualise the work cycle of molecular machines in Angström spacial and millisecond time resolution using structural and biophysical techniques. This will enable us to understand the fundamentals of the design principles of such machines and enable us to tweak their function. To gain a more general view I would love to work on different systems in collaboration and establish new EM techniques at the Vienna BioCenter. I am very open to sharing my knowledge and passion on cryo EM with anyone who seeks to learn this amazing set of methods."
Until his transition to the IMP, Haselbach was a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, where he also did his PhD.

This was preceded by research into single molecule biophysics for his master’s thesis at the Technical University of Munich – a field that remains of great interest for Haselbach and which will continue to be high up on the agenda for his lab.
David Haselbach had first ventured into the realm of the Max Planck Society through research for his bachelor’s thesis at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Potsdam.

Press contact
Dr. Heidemarie Hurtl
IMP Communications
Tel: +43 (0)1 79730 3625
Email: hurtl(at)

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