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Joachim Kopka

PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Golm – Germany


  • 1982-1988, Study of biology and chemistry, Westfälische Wilhems-Universität (WWU), Münster;
  • 1989-1992 PhD thesis, Prof. F. Spener, Department of Biochemistry, Westfälische Wilhelms Universität, Münster, Germany;
  • 1992-1993 Postdoctoral research assistant, Prof. J.G. Jaworski, Department of Chemistry, Miami-University, Oxford, OH, USA;
  • 1994-1996 Postdoctoral research assistant, Dr. B. Müller-Röber, Institut für Genbiologische Forschung (IGF), Berlin, Germany;
  • 1996-1997 Postdoctoral research assistant, Dr. R.N. Trethewey, MPIMP, Potsdam-Golm, Germany;
  • 1997-1998 Postdoctoral research assistant, Dr. R.N. Trethewey, MPIMP, Potsdam-Golm;
  • 1998-2000 Co-founder of the Metanomics GmbH & Co. KGaA company (Metanomics), Berlin, Germany;
  • 2001- 2009 Habilitation at the University of Potsdam, Germany, in the field of Molecular Physiology with a thesis on “Applied Metabolome Analysis: Exploration, Development and Application of Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry based Metabolite Profiling Technologies“;
  • 2001-today Max-Planck Research group leader, MPIMP, Potsdam-Golm, in combination with leading the Applied Metabolome Analysis Science Infrastructure group at the MPIMP, Potsdam-Golm, Germany.

In 1998 Dr Joachim Kopka co-initiated the multi-parallel gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) based profiling technology for applications in the metabolomic field at Metanomics GmbH & CoKG.  Since 2001 the “Applied Metabolome Analysis” research group of Dr Kopka has been part of Department 1, Prof. Willmitzer, at the MPI-MP, in combination with a role as a science infrastructure group which provides metabolome analysis technologies to the MPI-MP and cooperating external partner groups.  The research group applies and develops metabolome analysis tools and now explores the potential of new bio-analytical tools for applied metabolome analysis.  These objectives have been pursued with a clear focus on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) based technologies.  The “Applied Metabolome Analysis” research group aims to explore in-depth the technological and applied aspects of GC-MS based metabolome analysis.  The applied studies are typically focussed on plant stress physiology but may also explore new fields, e.g., study of the joined fluxomic and metabolomic phenotyping for biological systems by combined metabolic pool size analysis and stable isotope tracing, metabolite profiling of small samples and single rosette leaves using recent advances in GC-MS profiling, application of metabolic phenotyping technologies to the molecular physiology of environmental stress responses specifically plant growth at suboptimal temperatures a project which was enabled by the recently discovered temperature-dependent growth phenotypes of Rei1 (Required for isotropic bud growth1)-like (REIL) mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana plants, or applied metabolomics and functional systems analysis of metabolic priming and memory of Arabidopsis thaliana responses in context of the interaction of abiotic and biotic stresses.

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