Matias Hernandez

Matias Hernandez

Project Group Leader, Structural Biochemistry

Membrane fusion between cells

Research Interests

We aim to uncover the molecular mechanisms responsible for the membrane fusion between cells. This fundamental process of eukaryotic cell biology is what allows gametes to merge during sexual reproduction, a key evolutionary event in the emergence of complex life on our planet. In addition, cell-cell fusion is required for the development of syncytial tissues such as muscle and the placenta. Using yeast as our model system, we use a range biochemical and biophysical approaches to identify and characterize the molecular players which drive cell-cell membrane fusion.


We always welcome applications from qualified and highly motivated individuals (MSc and postdoc level). Please contact us via email to discuss details. Applicants for PhD positions will have to apply through the IMPRS-CMB program, but we are happy to discuss opportunities and projects any time.

Selected Publications

Hernandez JM, Podbilewicz B (2017). The hallmarks of cell-cell fusion. Development
doi: 10.1242/dev.155523.

Hernandez JM, Kreutzberger AJ, Kiessling V, Tamm LK, Jahn R (2014). Variable cooperativity in SNARE-mediated membrane fusion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111(33):12037-42.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1407435111.

Hernandez JM, Stein A, Behrmann E, Riedel D, Cypionka A, Farsi Z, Walla PJ, Raunser S, Jahn R (2012). Membrane fusion intermediates via directional and full assembly of the SNARE complex. Science 336(6088):1581-4.
doi: 10.1126/science.1221976.

Park Y, Hernandez JM, van den Bogaart G, Ahmed S, Holt M, Riedel D, Jahn R (2012). Controlling synaptotagmin activity by electrostatic screening. Nat Struct Mol Biol 19(10):991-7.
doi: 10.1038/nsmb.2375.

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