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Heimo Wolinski, PhD
University Graz
Senior Scientist
Humboldtstrasse 50/II
8010 Graz, Austria
Phone: +43 316 380 5489
Fax: +43 316 380 9854

About us

Our research interests focus on fatty acid and neutral lipid (triglyceride) metabolism in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which we use as a model system to study and eventually understand lipid-associated disorders in humans. Our experimental approach involves biochemical, molecular, and cell biological techniques as well as genomics, and bioinformatics.

Fluorescently labeled lipid droplets of yeast cells cultivated to stationary growth phase.
Overlay maximum-intensity projection (fluorescence)/differential interference contrast.

For microscopists, yeast provides a substantial challenge due to its small size of 5-8 micro meters (Mirosc Res Tech. 2000, 51(6):511-29). Studies in our laboratory on protein localization and organelle structure and dynamics are based on the expression of GFP fusions and live cell imaging using confocal and multi-photon laser scanning microscopy. In addition, the facility provides state-of-the-art image processing, visualization and analyzing tools.

Live cell imaging of multi-labeled yeast cells. Nuclei (blue), lipid droplets (yellow), mitochondria (green), vacuolar membranes (red). H. Wolinski. Leica SP2. 63x glycerol objective NA: 1.3. No linear unmixing. Cover image: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA), Volume 1791, Issue 1, Pages 1-84 (January 2009)

Polygon-based 3D reconstruction of subcellular yeast structures.
Software: amira 4.0.

Since subcellular organelles are very dynamic structures, we also explore the protein distribution in three dimensions over time (4D-imaging), making use of photobleaching technologies and photoactivatable GFP variants.

Highly dynamic lipid droplets of yeast cells.
Differential interference contrast. Image sequence recorded with 1.5 frames/sec.

Major experimental challenges are the cultivation and maintenance of cells under physiological conditions during microscopy. In this context, we evaluate and develop preparation methods for microscopic analysis particularly of the yeast lipid methabolism.

We have recently established a semi-automated method for cell-based high-content screening of yeast mutant libraries.

Our laboratory is a member of the European Light Microscopy Initiative network (ELMI site Graz).

Images/movies (C) H.W., YGMBG, University Graz, Austria.

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