Associate Professor School of Sciences

Associate Professor Peter Pimpl got his Master’s degree in 1997 and Ph.D. degree in 2001 from the Georg August University Göttingen in Germany. Then he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Leeds in the UK. From 2005 to 2009, he worked as a research group leader at the Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg in Germany. From 2009 to 2017, he served as independent research group leader at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen in Germany. In June 2017, he joined the Biology Department of Southern University of Science and Technology as a full time tenured Associate Professor. Research in his group is centered on the molecular characterization of protein sorting and transport processes in the plant endomembrane system. His research was supported by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, DAAD), the European Union (EU), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). He has published more than 30 scientific articles. According to Google Scholar information, his work was cited more than 2300 times and he scored an h-index of 22 and an i10-index of 25. He is a member of the the German Society for Plant Sciences (Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft, DBG) and serves as a reviewer for Nature indexed Journals like The Plant Cell and Nature Communications but also as reviewer for international research funding organizations.

Personal Profile

Associate Professor Peter Pimpl got his Master’s degree in 1997 and Ph.D. degree in 2001 from the Georg August University Göttingen in Germany. Then he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Leeds in the UK. From 2005 to 2009, he worked as a research group leader at the Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg in Germany. From 2009 to 2017, he served as independent research group leader at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen in Germany. In June 2017, he joined the Biology Department of Southern University of Science and Technology as a full time tenured Associate Professor. Research in his group is centered on the molecular characterization of protein sorting and transport processes in the plant endomembrane system. His research was supported by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, DAAD), the European Union (EU), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). He has published more than 30 scientific articles. According to Google Scholar information, his work was cited more than 2300 times and he scored an h-index of 22 and an i10-index of 25. He is a member of the the German Society for Plant Sciences (Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft, DBG) and serves as a reviewer for Nature indexed Journals like The Plant Cell and Nature Communications but also as reviewer for international research funding organizations.

Research

Plant proteins and plant derived products have become essential for our daily life, because plants have an almost unlimited synthesis potential. Unfortunately, however is that plants have only limited capacity for storage. The key to enhance the storage capacity of plant cells is to understand the mechanisms and pathways that result in the loss or degradation of proteins in the endomembrane system of plants. Research in my group is therefore centered on the molecular characterization of protein sorting and transport processes in the plant endomembrane system, that lead to vacuolar degradation. In particular focus are: receptor-mediated sorting of soluble hydrolytic proteins, degradation of membrane proteins and biogenesis of intracellular compartments. Our research aims at exploiting cells to synthesize bioactive molecules. We explore strategies to implement artificial sorting receptors, to engineer vesicular transport processes and aim at the generation of novel functionalized compartments. For this, we combine molecular biology and biochemistry with light and electron microscopy and pioneer the use of nanobody fusion proteins for the non-invasive analysis and manipulation of cellular functions.

Our general research interests are:

◆ Receptor-mediated sorting of proteins

◆ Vesicle-mediated transport processes

◆ Biogenesis and aging of intracellular compartments


Teaching

Mainly teaching the following courses:

1.Cell Biology (BIO206-15)(Junior Student)

2.Protein Targeting and Molecular Engineering (BIO5029)(For Undergraduate and Graduate students)

3.Protein Engineering (BIO340)

4.Frontier in Life Sciences Seminar and Journal Club(BIO308)


Publications Read More

Professor Pimpl’s research has significantly contributed to our current view on the intracellular protein transport and membrane trafficking processes in plants. His major discoveries are as follows:

(1) Discovery plant coat protein (COP)I-coated transport vesicles in situ and the reconstitution their formation in vitro (Pimpl et al., (2000) Plant Cell 12), and the functional characterization of the COPII/COPI vesicle shuttle for export and retrieval of ER-resident chaperones (Philipson & Pimpl et al., (2001) Plant Cell 13; & Pimpl et al., (2003) Plant Cell 15).

(2) Discovery of the chaperone-assisted vacuolar protein degradation mechanism (Pimpl et al., 2006) Plant Cell 18).

(3) Discovery of ubiquitin as sorting signal for the ESCRT-mediated vacuolar degradation pathway of membrane proteins from the plasma membrane and from the Golgi apparatus (Scheuring et al. & Pimpl (2012) BMC Plant Biology 12).

(4) Discovery of the biogenesis of multi-vesicular bodies (MVBs) in a maturation based process (Scheuring et al. & Pimpl (2011) Plant Cell 23).

(5) Elucidation of the molecular mechanism of receptor-mediated sorting of soluble vacuolar proteins, the discovery of receptor-mediated anterograde transport of ligands from the Golgi apparatus to the TGN/early endosome (EE) and the retrograde recycling of the receptors from the TGN/EE back to the Golgi apparatus (Künzl et al. & Pimpl (2016) Nature Plants 2; Früholz et al. & Pimpl (2018) Nature Communications 9).

Lab members Read More

Join us

Postdoc Positions in Plant Cell Biology & Molecular Engineering
Positions are available at the research group of Peter Pimpl at the Department of Biology at SUSTech, Shenzhen. Positions are available for 5 years from 7 Nov. 2019.

The focus of the research team is the analysis of the molecular mechanisms of protein sorting and transport in the endomembrane system of plants. We analyze protein targeting and membrane trafficking and organelle biogenesis, thereby aiming at the development of strategies to engineer new functionalized cellular compartments. To reach this aim, we pioneer the use of nanobody fusion proteins, the next generation molecular tools, for the non‐invasive analysis and manipulation cellular functions (Kunzl et al., 2016, Nature Plants 2, 16017).

Position Description:
The postdocs will develop strategies to trace protein transport, to map transport routes in the endomembrane system and to specifically target transport vesicles.
The postdocs will design and generate nanobody/epitope‐tagged fusion proteins, perform location specific interaction analysis by combining methods from molecular biology, biochemistry with state-of-the-art live-cell imaging and ultrastructural analysis.
The candidate will be offered an attractive salary and benefits package that will be dependent on qualification and experience.

Position Requirements:
Candidates must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in biology, bioengineering or another related field.
Candidates should have a strong background in cell biology and must possess very good language proficiency in English speaking and writing.

Inquiries & Application:
Please send your full application in English language (motivation letter, full curriculum vitae with two recommendation letters) as one combined pdf file to: pimpl@sustech.edu.cn and CC to liunn@mail.sustech.edu.cn

Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled.

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Contact Us

Contact Address

Room 307, Research Building 1, Southern University of Science and Technology, No. 1088 Xueyuan Rd., Nanshan District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, 518055

Office Phone

0755-88018485

Email

pimpl@sustech.edu.cn

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