Maria Ott

Maria Ott

studied Medical Physics at the MLU and at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto, Canada. She obtained her PhD in Physics at the University of Lübeck in 2009. From 2008 to 2010 she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Weizmann Institute, Israel, before returning to the MLU to continue her research as a fellow at the Physics Department. Since 2015 she is a project leader in the DFG funded Collaborative Research Center “Polymers under Multiple Constraints” (SFB-TRR102), and since 2018, she works as a tenured staff scientist in the Department of Protein Biochemistry. Her research links life science with polymer physics. One of her main interests is to study the influence of crowding agents on protein structure and structure formation. In particular, IDPs with an extended hydrodynamic radius are expected to undergo compaction under the influence of crowding agents. The aim is to compare the properties of different IDPs in order to investigate the underlying mechanisms. Her main techniques are single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and X-ray scattering.

Project within the RTG

Between 5 to 40% of the cellular volume is occupied by macromolecules, a phenomenon known as macromolecular crowding. We want to characterize the impact of crowding on the structure and diffusional dynamics of IDPs and investigate the underlying mechanism. The main methods are single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and X-ray scattering experiments.

Key publications

Wägele J, De Sio S, Voigt B, Balbach J, Ott M. How fluorescent tags modify oligomer size distributions of the Alzheimer- peptide.  Biophys. J. 2019, 116: 227-238.

Roos M, Ott M, Hofmann M, Link S, Rössler E, Balbach J, Krushelnitsky A, and Saalwächter K. Coupling and Decoupling of Rotational and Translational Diffusion of Proteins under Crowding Conditions, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138: 10365–10372.

Ott M, Pérez-Aparicio R, Schneider H, Sotta P, Saalwächter K. Microscopic study of chain deformation and orientation in uniaxially strained polymer networks – NMR results vs. different network models. Macromolecules. 2014, 47: 7597−7611.