Roland Riek: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2022

Name Prof. Dr. Roland Riek
FieldPhysical Chemistry
Inst. Mol. Phys. Wiss.
ETH Zürich, HCI F 225
Vladimir-Prelog-Weg 1-5/10
8093 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 632 61 39
DepartmentChemistry and Applied Biosciences
RelationshipFull Professor

529-0019-00LCharacterization of the Aggregation Landscape of Peptide Amyloids and their Chemical Templating
The enrolment is done by the D-BIOL study administration.

Number of participants limited to 6.
6 credits7PR. Riek, J. Greenwald
AbstractShort peptide amyloids are models for their more complex protein counterparts in the study of disease-related and functional aggregation as well as being interesting in their own right as molecules that may have played a role in the origin of life. This block course will allow the students to study novel peptides in order to characterize their aggregation landscape and also to assess the ability o
ObjectiveDuring the block course, each student will learn how to handle aggregation-prone peptides, characterize their aggregation state and structure as well as assay their ability to template their own chemical synthesis.
ContentThe course is divided between lectures practical work in the lab. The lectures will introduce the general topic of amyloids and in particular their potential role in the origin of molecular complexity, as well as cover the theory and the practice behind the tools that are used to characterize peptide amyloids. The practical work in the lab will allow the students to gain hands-on experience working on a novel peptide that has yet to be characterized. Since the course consists of genuine research we also hope that new discoveries will be made that will provide insights into the role that amyloids may have played in the origin of life.
Lecture notesA script will be distributed to the participants on the first day of the course.
LiteratureGreenwald, J., Kwiatkowski, W., Riek, R. 2018. Peptide Amyloids in the Origin of Life. J. Mol. Biol. 20:3735-3750
Further literature will be indicated in the distributed script.
529-0432-00LPhysical Chemistry IV: Magnetic Resonance4 credits3GG. Jeschke, R. Riek
AbstractTheoretical foundations of magnetic resonance (NMR,EPR) and selected applications.
ObjectiveIntroduction to magnetic resonance in isotropic and anisotropic phase.
ContentThe course gives an introduction to magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR and EPR) in liquid, liquid crystalline and solid phase. It starts from a classical description in the framework of the Bloch equations. The implications of chemical exchange are studied and two-dimensional exchange spectroscopy is introduced. An introduction to Fourier spectroscopy in one and two dimensions is given and simple 'pulse trickery' is described. A quantum-mechanical description of magnetic resonance experiments is introduced and the spin Hamiltonian is derived. The chemical shift term as well as the scalar, dipolar and quadrupolar terms are discussed. The product-operator formalism is introduced and various experiments are described, e.g. polarization transfer. Applications in chemistry, biology, physics and medicine, e.g. determination of 3D molecular structure of dissolved molecules, determination of the structure of paramagnetic compounds and imaging (MRI) are presented.
Lecture noteshanded out in the lecture (in english)
529-0433-01LAdvanced Physical Chemistry: Statistical Thermodynamics6 credits3GR. Riek, J. Richardson
AbstractIntroduction to statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Prediction of thermodynamic and kinetic properties from molecular data.
ObjectiveIntroduction to statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Prediction of thermodynamic and kinetic properties from molecular data.
ContentBasics of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics of classical and quantum systems. Concept of ensembles, microcanonical and canonical ensembles, ergodic theorem. Molecular and canonical partition functions and their connection with classical thermodynamics. Quantum statistics. Translational, rotational, vibrational, electronic and nuclear spin partition functions of gases. Determination of the equilibrium constants and (transition-state theory) rates of gas phase reactions. Description of ideal gases and ideal crystals. Lattice models, mixing entropy of polymers, and entropic elasticity.
Lecture notesSee homepage of the lecture.
LiteratureSee homepage of the lecture.
Prerequisites / NoticeChemical Thermodynamics, Reaction Kinetics, Molecular Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy; Mathematical Foundations (Analysis, Combinatorial Relations, Integral and Differential Calculus)
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Social CompetenciesCommunicationfostered
Personal CompetenciesCreative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
529-0499-00LPhysical Chemistry0 credits1KM. Reiher, A. Barnes, G. Jeschke, B. H. Meier, F. Merkt, J. Richardson, R. Riek, S. Riniker, T. Schmidt, R. Signorell, H. J. Wörner
AbstractInstitute-Seminar covering current research Topics in Physical Chemistry
551-0357-00LCellular Matters: From Milestones to Open Questions
The number of participants is limited to 22 and will only take place with a minimum of 11 participants.
Please sign up until two weeks before the beginning of the semester (for Autumn 2022: by 05.09.2022 end of day) via e-mail to Link using in the subject: 551-0357-00. In the email body indicate 1) your name, 2) your e-mail address, 3) master/PhD program. The students admitted to this seminar will be informed by e-mail in the week prior to the beginning of the semester.

The first lecture will serve to form groups of students and assign papers.
4 credits2SY. Barral, F. Allain, P. Arosio, E. Dufresne, D. Hilvert, M. Jagannathan, R. Mezzenga, T. Michaels, G. Neurohr, R. Riek, A. E. Smith, K. Weis, H. Wennemers
AbstractIn this course, the students will explore the quite new topic of biomolecular condensates.
Concepts and tools from biology, chemistry, biophysics and soft materials will be used, on one hand, to develop an understanding of the biological properties and functions of biomolecular condensates in health and disease, while, on the other, to inspire new materials.
ObjectiveIn terms of content, you, the student, after a general introduction to the topic, will learn about milestone works and current research questions in the young field of biomolecular condensates (properties, functions and applications) from an interdisciplinary point of view in a course which is a combination of literature (presentations given by pairs of students with different scientific backgrounds) and research seminars (presentations given by the lecturers all active experts in the field, with different backgrounds and expertise).
As to the skills, you will have the opportunity to learn how to critically read and evaluate scientific literature, how to give scientific presentations to an interdisciplinary audience (each presentation consisting of an introduction, critical description of the results and discussion of their significance) and substantiate your statements, acquire a critical mindset (pros/cons of chosen approaches/methods and limitations, quality of the data, solidity of the conclusions, possible follow-up experiments) that allows you to ask relevant questions and actively participate to the discussion.
With the final presentation you will have the unique opportunity to interact closely with the interdisciplinary group of lecturers (all internationally well-established experts) who will guide you in the choice of a subtopic and related literature.
ContentIn the last decade a new kind of compartments within the cell, the so-called biomolecular condensates, have been observed. This discovery is radically changing our understanding of the cell, its organization and dynamics. The emerging picture is that the cytoplasm and nucleoplasm are highly complex fluids that can (meta)stably segregate into membrane-less sub-compartments, similarly to emulsions.

The topic of biomolecular condensates goes beyond the boundaries of traditional disciplines and needs a multi-pronged approach that levers on, and cross-fertilizes, biology, physical chemistry, biophysics and soft materials to develop a proper understanding of the properties, functions in health and disease (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.), as well as possible applications of these biomolecular condensates.

Each week the lecture will consist of:
1) a short literature seminar: Pairs of students from different scientific backgrounds will be formed and assigned beforehand to present milestone literature to the class and facilitate the ensuing discussion. In the first class the pairs will be formed, the milestone papers made known to the whole class and assigned to the pairs.
2) a research seminar: the presentation of the milestone literature will serve as the introduction to the lecture by one of the lecturers of the course on their own state-of-the-art research in the field.
Lecture notesThe presentations will be made available after the lectures.
LiteratureThe milestone papers will be provided in advance.
For the final examination, the students will be helped by the lecturers in identifying a research topic and related literature.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkassessed
Customer Orientationfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityassessed
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered