"Open doors" at the Institute of Structural Biology

October 05, 2021

l: Dr. Gregor Hagelüken; m: Christoph Biemann; r: Dr. Larissa Mühlenbeck (picture: WDR/Taimas Ahangari)


TV show “Sendung mit der Maus” visits the lab of Prof. Matthias Geyer, Member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2


It all started with a curious orange mouse in the TV children’s program “Sendung mit der Maus”, explaining how toothpaste is produced, why leaves change color in fall and for which reason the sky is blue. Ten years ago, in 2011, the curiosity of children and parents to look behind doors that usually remain closed to the public resulted in a campaign of “open doors with the mouse”. Once every year, institutes, laboratories and companies offer visits on-sight, explain what their daily work is all about and how they aim to shape the future.


This year, “the mouse” celebrates her 50th birthday. The Institute of Structural Biology decided to contribute by opening its doors to the public for the first time. Both children and parents were invited to learn more about proteins, crystal structures and how proteins affect human health. With a brief introduction into the research and how it is connected to everyday life, the relevance of Structural Biology for a better health and the scientific contribution made at the University Clinic in Bonn was highlighted.


As a special guest, the presenter Christoph of the “Sendung mit der Maus” accompanied the visitors into the laboratory and curiously followed the production of orange elephant toothpaste. Dr. Hagelüken and his colleagues presented how cells are grown in huge shakers, and guided the guests to study fluorescent bacteria, insects- and vegetable-parts under the microscope to see their tiny structures in detail. Young chemistry enthusiasts could witness what happens when dry ice is put into colored water with dishwash detergent and examine what happens to sausages immersed into liquid nitrogen and dropped on the ground.


“We enjoyed an inspiring day with many exited and fascinated children, parents that were happy to get involved in lab work for one day and many visitors who now know a bit more precise what Structural Biology is all about, how exciting science can be and why our research impacts their lives.” Dr. Larissa Mühlenbeck states after a successful day of science for young and old.





Dr. Larissa Mühlenbeck

Institute of Structural Biology

University Hospital Bonn, University of Bonn

Email: l.muehlenbeck(at)uni-bonn.de