Berlin calling – let’s get thrilled!

Hey folks! I am Johanna Tiemann and as you can read I got the honor to post some comments and personal perspectives of this Biophysical Society thematic meeting, ‘Conformational Ensembles from Experimental Data and Computer Simulations’ that will be held in Berlin, Germany from the 25th to the 29th of August 2017.

Originally from Munich, Germany, I studied Bioinformatics in Berlin and joined Peter Hildebrand’s lab at Charité Medical University already during my Bachelor and Master thesis. The cluster of knowledge within the lab and institute (e.g. Klaus Peter Hofmann and others) stimulated my fascination about G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR), modeling, simulating and coding. So here I am in my second year PhD that I started in Berlin and now continue in Leipzig. First time I saw the announcement for this meeting I got excited as the Harnack house is located at the green and cozy campus of my Alma Mater, the Free University of Berlin. Although it is rather off the beaten track, it is great to get out of the hectic city center of Berlin and focus on science. As a venue for a conference it is pleasant as you will not be that much distracted by the busy city life but rather can get in touch intensively with each other. If you still have energy to spare after a day of very interesting talks and posters, the night life of Berlin is definitely worth to visit, especially during the weekend (plus there is public transport during the whole night). If you need some advice what to see in Berlin – I am happy to share my experience ;-).

During my time as student assistant and PhD student, I already attended several interesting conferences and workshops but this will be my first BPS meeting and the first time as a blogger at such an event. Of course, I got excited when I noticed the organizing committee, as I already had the pleasure of meeting Andrea Cavalli and Kresten Lindorff-Larsen at a CECAM meeting in Lausanne 2016, leaving no doubt that this conference will be full of highlights with a great mixture of computational and experimental topics.

So what else is there to say about me? I am an enthusiastic, always smiling structural biologist. Within the lab of Peter Hildebrand and with great collaborations, I develop tools for protein modeling (especially loop prediction) and the placement of internal water molecules. Oh, and I like moving pictures, so I put GPCRs and their binding partners in a box and simulate them. To enhance understanding of complex dynamic processes and promote scientific transparency, I want to make analysis and especially visualization of those dynamics with our tools more accessible to others. When I am not driving water molecules in my simulations crazy, I try to see the world while hopping from one conference to another or I can be found abroad with friends, cycling, climbing or trying some new sports. I also like taking pictures, so be warned – you might end up in one with me 😉

Coming to the end, I am looking forward to attending this very interesting BPS meeting and see you all later!

Cheers, Johanna Tiemann


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