Natalia graduated as a MSc in biochemistry from the Kiev National University in 2007. During her bachelor and master she has grown her interest in glycobiology. In 2008 she joined the group of Dr Ralf Richter (CICbiomaGUNE, San Sebastian, Spain) for a PhD project focused on the reconstitution of hyaluronan-rich extracellular matrix in a bottom up approach. Combination of the well-defined model system, where HA was end-grafted to a solid support, with a toolbox of surface sensitive techniques allowed her for the first time to characterize interactions between hyaluronan and cross-linking proteins on a supra-molecular level. In 2013 Natalia completed her PhD in molecular biology/biophysics at the University of Basque Country. Currently she is interested in reconstitution biology aiming to understand how complex biological assemblies emerge from minimal set of components.
Ralf obtained his MSc in Physics at Chalmers/Gothenburg University (Sweden) in 1999. After an intermezzo in industry, he completed his PhD in Chemistry at the IECB/University of Bordeaux (France) in 2004. Following a postdoctoral stay at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), he became research group leader at the CIC biomaGUNE (San Sebastian, Spain) in 2007. Since 2012, he also holds a Chair of Excellence at Grenoble University (France). Ralf has been awarded a Ramon y Cajal fellowship in 2009 and an ERC Starting Grant in 2012. Current research in the Richter Lab revolves around soft biological structures at interfaces, such as the cell surface and glycocalyx and the nuclear pore complex. The Richter Lab creates well-controlled model systems with tunable complexity, to understand the physical principles underlying the self-organization, structure and function of these architectures, and for applications as biosensors and for the control of cellular fate.
CIC biomaGUNE, Biosurfaces Unit, San Sebastian, Spain
Grenoble University, Department of Molecular Chemistry, Grenoble, France
Max-Planck-Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, Germany