Stark, Holger, Prof. Dr.

  • 1996 Dr. rer. nat. (Biochemistry) Free University of Berlin
  • 1997-1998 Postdoc (Laboratory of Marin van Heel, Imperial College, London)
  • 1998-1999 Junior group leader, University of Marburg
  • 2000-2004 Junior group leader, Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
  • 2005 BioFuture group leader, Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
  • 2005-2007 BioFuture group leader
  • 2007 – 2015 Professor for Molecular Electron Cryomicroscopy, University Göttingen and director of the Dept. Structural Dynamics, Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
  • since 2015 Director at the Max-Planck-Institute for biophysical Chemistry and honorary professor at the University of Göttingen

Major Research Interests
The work in our group is focused on 3D structure determination of large macromolecular complexes by single particle electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM). In cryo-EM, thousands of electron microscopical images of a macromolecular complex are taken at low temperature in the electron microscope and are used to calculate a 3D reconstruction of the object by computational image processing. Electron microscopical images can be considered as almost ideal two-dimensional projection images, similar to images obtained by computer tomography in medical applications. However, in cryo-EM the relative orientation of the molecules is a priori unknown and must be determined by computational meansprior to calculating the 3D structure. Cryo-EM is the method of choice for 3D structure determination of macromolecular complexes that are difficult to purify in the amounts and quality that is required for crystallization (X-ray crystallography). Due to the low copy number of many functionally important macromolecular complexes in the cell, cryo- EM is very often the only available method to study the 3D structure of these large macromolecules. Work in our group concentrates on macromolecular complexes related to pre-mRNA splicing, translation and cell cycle regulation and on the development of new methods to improve sample preparation, imaging and computational image processing techniques.

GGNB Stark Figure

Homepage Department/Research Group

Selected Recent Publications

  • Haselbach D, Komarov I, Agafonov DE, Hartmuth K, Graf B, Dybkov O, Urlaub H, Kastner B, Luhrmann R, Stark H (2018) Structure and Conformational Dynamics of the Human Spliceosomal B(act) Complex. Cell 172, 454-464 e411

  • Bertram K, Agafonov DE, Dybkov O, Haselbach D, Leelaram MN, Will CL, Urlaub H, Kastner B, Lührmann R, Stark H (2017) Cryo-EM structure of a pre-catalytic human spliceosome primed for activation. Cell, 2017;170:701-13 e11

  • Bertram K, Agafonov DE, Liu WT, Dybkov O, Will CL, Hartmuth K, Urlaub H, Kastner B, Stark H, Luhrmann R (2017) Cryo-EM structure of a human spliceosome activated for step 2 of splicing. Nature 542, 318-323

  • Agafonov DE, Kastner B, Dybkov O, Hofele RV, Liu WT, Urlaub H, Luhrmann R, Stark H (2016) Molecular architecture of the human U4/U6.U5 tri-snRNP. Science 351, 1416-1420

  • Fischer N, Neumann P, Bock LV, Maracci C, Wang Z, Paleskava A, Konevega AL, Schroder GF, Grubmüller H, Ficner R, Rodnina M, Stark H (2016) The pathway to GTPase activation of elongation factor SelB on the ribosome. Nature 540, 80-85