BFB supports innovative project idea

Master student Santiago Maya receives funding

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Santiago Maya (front) with group leader Dr. Margret Bülow (left) and Tejal Patwari from the Mayer lab (right)

Santiago Maya from the AG Bülow has received funding from the “New BFB Program for Master and PhD students supporting innovative ideas”. For the project entitled “Blue light dependent reversible induction of insulin-like peptides in peroxisome-deficient insulin-producing cells” that is a collaborative project with Tejal Patwari, PhD student in the lab of Günter Mayer, they received 10,000 Euro from the Bonner Forum Biomedizin. By employing a novel method developed by the AK Mayer, they will induce the secretion of insulin-like peptides from specialized neurosecretory cells in the fly brain in mutants without functional peroxisomes. 

Summary of the project:
Peroxisomes are vital metabolic organelles whose function declines in diabetes. Work from our group shows that peroxisome loss in Drosophila impairs insulin production and secretion from the insulin-producing cells. Here we aim to use a novel methodology that uses light to induce transcription by means of a photo-switchable light-oxygen-voltage (LOV) photoreceptor PAL-aptamer approach. This reversible inducible system would allow us to manipulate insulin production and secretion in the Drosophila brain and to define the role of peroxisomes in this process.


Dr. sc. ETH Zürich Margret Bülow
Junior Research Group Leader
Peroxisomes in an organelle network for nutrient signalling
LIMES-Institut der Universität Bonn