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DFG extends funding for CLiC

November 2018. The German Research Foundation DFG has announced that the proposal for a second funding period for Goethe University's research training group "Complex Scenarios of Light-Control" (CLiC) has been successful.

Light is an ideal external trigger whenever spatial or temporal aspects are important in an experiment and CLiC is dedicated to training PhD students in the range of skills needed to develop novel photolabile protecting strategies for the control of chemical and biological processes with light. Light offers a vast scope of possibilities to elucidate the yet undiscovered facets of nature. 

Highly precise levels of control can be obtained with a photolabile group, which prevents correct folding or reactivity until the moment of "uncaging" with a laser pulse. Up to now, the majority of systems that have been developed rely on irreversible triggering of single processes unidirectionally with 2D spatial resolution.

CLiC, founded in 2014, goes beyond this state of the art and develops complex uncaging strategies including novel irradiation strategies, wavelength-selective addressability of multiple caging groups and methods for two-photon uncaging with 3D spatial resolution.

New scenarios of light-control explored by CLiC include methods such as time-resolved NMR spectroscopy and advanced light microscopy. CLiC investigates protein and RNA folding, transport processes across membranes, enzymatic processes within membranes and protein arrangement in three-dimensional space. It also works on new tools for subcellular or ultra-resolution localisation of proteins and RNA.

The teaching curriculum of CLiC provides PhD students with the necessary educational support across disciplines, along with the generic skills required for a fast and successful completion of their PhD projects. A good team spirit among the PhD students, good supervision, structured scientific interactions, a fine-tuned selection of courses in generic skills, a guest scientist programme as well as several workshops are important aspects of CLiC´s success. PhD students obtain training in chemical synthesis, theoretical description, spectroscopic methods and advanced light microscopy, providing them with diverse career options in academia and industry. 

Alexander Heckel, Institute of Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main, Germany, heckel@uni-frankfurt.de

CLiC website

DFG press release