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Frederic Berndt receives Professor-Schwabe-Preis 2015 for best master's thesis

Today, Frederic Berndt (resarch group Schlierf) is awarded the Professor-Schwabe Prize 2015 for his master's thesis "Temperature-dependent single-molecule FRET measurements of RNA thermometer".

In his top grade master's thesis, Frederic Berndt has set himself the objective to characterize the physicochemical properties of an RNA thermometer called FourU. A particularly sensitive technique for the study of RNA secondary structures is based on the Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). In order to have an even better control of the structure of the RNA it is possible to carry out such experiments on single molecules. As part of his Master's thesis, Frederic Berndt has extended a confocal microscope setup in order to heat the confocal volume with an infrared laser to quickly and accurately simulate a temperature stress on the RNA thermometer. He could demonstrate by his measurements that the RNA thermometer can react to temperature on the time scale of a few milliseconds.

These findings help to better understand the biological RNA sequence and also provide better insights into the design principle of a molecular thermometer. Based on these findings, a molecular thermometer for temperature measurements in biological cells or even in microfluidic systems can be developed.

Since 1996, the Professor Schwabe foundation at the TUD honors with the Professor-Schwabe Prize outstanding master's theses and dissertations with physico-chemical or electrochemical themes that have been submitted and defended at the TUD.


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