To fully comprehend Biochemistry requires theoretical knowledge and practical experience. The Laboratory Course “Basic Techniques in Biochemistry” pursues this concept by introducing students into various methods used to follow enzymatic reactions, to isolate and separate proteins from biological materials and to determine the success of purification. Critically evaluating, interpreting and drawing conclusions from their own experimental results are essential parts of learning for the students. At the same time the course offers the opportunity to refresh and deepen the theoretical knowledge from introductory lectures. Having been part of the teaching staff for this course for more than 3 decades and through many modifications I’m grateful to continue passing on experimental skills and experience to future scientists.
Organelles provide diverse optimal environments for specific metabolic pathways in eukaryotic cells. Among these compartments peroxisomes participate in many metabolic processes, most notably the degradation of fatty acids and the glyoxylate cycle. Generation of peroxisomes from already existing ones or through a de novo biogenesis pathway is tightly regulated in agreement with the metabolic status of the cell and balanced by specific degradation processes. A network of interacting proteins guarantees the biogenesis of functional peroxisomes, the translocation of peroxisomal proteins across and into the peroxisomal membrane and the control of size, shape and number of these compartments. Employing the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as model organism our research interests were focused on the protein translocation mechanism into peroxisomes (Brocard et al., 1997; Neuberger et al., 2003), on the de novo biogenesis process, a feature unique for peroxisomes (Huber et al., 2012), and the communication of the glyoxylate cycle enzymes across the peroxisomal membrane (Kunze & Hartig, 2013).
After a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Vienna in 1979 Andreas Hartig spent postdoctoral years at the NIH, Bethesda, USA, at Rutgers University, Piscataway, USA, and in Vienna at the Department of Biochemistry with the late Prof. Dr. Helmut Ruis, which stimulated his interest in cellular and molecular biology of yeast. Since 1986 a member of the faculty he retired in October 2017.