Erwin Peterman

Research as a hike in the mountains

Couriers that run around the roadways of living cells at 200 steps per second. A repair protein cuts and pastes a DNA molecule. Biophysicist Erwin Peterman sheds light on these phenomena. “When others say: ‘impossible’, that’s when I want it to make it happen.”

A Friday in 2011, five to seven in the evening. A PhD student and a postdoc came running into Erwin Peterman’s office. The PhD student had been working like a madman for six weeks. He was exhausted, and he could finally shout: “I got the worm!” Peterman jumped. He wanted to check immediately whether they had really succeeded in modifying worms in such a way that they’d finally be able to show the world what he and his colleagues had been dreaming of for a couple of years. “Come on, let’s put it under the microscope.”

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