Supported by a Hertha Firnberg Fellowship, Katharina Pirker (Dep. of Chemistry) investigates the dynamics of enzymes by pulsed EPR.

In 2013 Dr. Katharina Pirker obtained a 3-years Hertha-Firnberg Fellowship from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). The FWF provides a two-stage funding for total six years as an opportunity for highly qualified female scientists aiming a career in universities. The postdoc programme „Hertha-Firnberg“ supports women at the start of their scientific career.

In the context of this fellowship, Dr. Pirker will carry out the project „Pulsed EPR of dynamics of catalytic residues in heme enzymes“ at the Department of Chemistry, Division of Biochemistry, in the group of Prof. Christian Obinger.

The abbreviation EPR stands for electron paramagnetic resonance. Using pulsed EPR techniques, Dr. Pirker will investigate the dynamics of catalytic relevant amino acids in heme enzymes (e.g. catalase-peroxidases and chlorite dismutases) and aims for new mechanistic insights. The project will be carried out in cooperation with Prof. Sabine Van Doorslaer (University of Anwerp, Belgium).

Dr. Pirker gained already experience in pulsed EPR techniques during her Schrödinger Fellowship (FWF) at the University College London from 2009 to 2011.