One day in ... AG Selbach

Taken from maX 2010 Vol. 1 - The PhD student newsletter of the MDC

AG Selbach

Mass spec pros: the group od Dr. Matthias Selbach

"In March 2007, Matthias Selbach started at the MDC with one PhD student and a technician. Before long, the number of acrobats in his ‘flying-ion circus’ was soaring high and space became a major concern. On entering the hallowed portal of AG Selbach, settled on the third floor of MDC house, one is most likely to come across a Laughing Buddha look-alike man who is the tech wizard, a bunch of cheery fellows and Matthias, the man himself whom no one has ever seen without a big broad smile on his face. It does not take long to realize that this lab runs high on energy but low on stress. Work hard, play harder – Selbach fellows strongly believe in this adage. It was in this very lab that the first beer hour was planned and executed. In almost all ‘social events’, one would find at least one representative of this lab happily merrymaking. So what do Matthias and his 9 lieutenants do all day long besides sitting around and conceiving the ideas of happy hour? As someone in bus number 351 once told me with a poker face ‘something mass spec!’ Now, that ‘something’ is actually ‘mass spectrometry based quantitative proteomics’. Sounds a bit Latin, does it… let me explain."


About the Author:

Sarbani Bhattacharya was born on an island in the Sundarbaran delta of West Bengal. Sundarbaran means beautiful forest and that’s where Sarbani got her first impression of life. She had a ‘gypsy’ childhood as she moved from one place to another because of her father’s job. Probably that’s why she is an enthusiastic backpacker and the reason for her wish to “put my little footprints on every continent”. However, if you ask Sarbani where she comes from then she will say from Calcutta, the city of joy. Sarbani studied Biology with special emphasis on Biochemistry at the University of Burdwan in India. During her Master thesis she studied Catfish immune response and the role of GSH-GST conjugate system in combating Lipid Peroxidative damage in the Molecular Toxicology Laboratory in Department of Biotechnology at the Visva Bharati University in India. After she had finished her academic studies she decided to come to Germany where she obtained her doctoral degree for her crystallographic studies on structural and functional investigations of Growth Arrest and DNA Damage (GADD45) proteins in the group of Prof. Dr. Udo Heinemann here at the MDC. It was Matthias Selbach’s talk last year about the SILAC technology which aroused Sarbani’s interest in the field. So she joined the group in July 2009 to gain a better knowledge and understanding of MS based proteomics.