Markus Kastner

Markus Kastner

Bio-AFM/ Postdoctoral Researcher


Markus joined the AFM labs in MCL in May, 2019 as a postdoctoral scholar. He gained experience in many biomedical and biophysical research areas during his time as a student and researcher at the University of Applied Sciences and the Institute of Biophysics at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz. He has collaborated with many different research groups all over the world and worked with numerous sample types; from single viral particles, to live cells, to polymers and nanostructured metal surfaces. In 2016 he came to Penn State for his postdoctoral training. During his time as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Craig Cameron, he studied the interaction of mitochondrial transcription factors with DNA by high resolution AFM imaging in at the single molecular level. His current research interests involve the further development of a state-of-the-art fast-scanning AFM combined with a fluorescence microscope instrument at the MCL and performing outstanding research with all kinds of biological samples from groups all over Penn State and beyond.

Expertise and Skills

  • Experience in Atomic force microscopy (AFM) in a broad range of analysis modes and sample types (from 2D materials to live cells)
    • Topography and structural analysis
    • Force spectroscopy and single molecular force spectroscopy
    • Nano-mechanical analysis and mapping (modulus, adhesion,..)
    • Software analysis of AFM derived data and correlative microscopy data
    • High speed AFM experience for biological samples
  • Optical and Fluorescence microscopy
  • Biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysical lab training, bacterial and mammalian cell culture and tissue culture experience
  • Surface chemistry and sample preparation

Selected Publications

G. Arena, S.P., R. Riscal, C. Angebault-Prouteau, L. Chatre, M.Y. Cissé, L. Gayte, B. Chabi, M. Fuentes, M. Kastner, J. J. Arnold C., Bertrand-Gaday, C. Vincent, F. Bernex, F. Casas, J. Marine, A. Lombès, H. Dubouchaud, M. Ricchetti, C. E. Cameron, L. K. Linares, L. Le Cam,, Mitochondrial MDM2 regulates respiratory complex I activity independently of p53. Molecular Cell. 2018; 69(4), 594-609.

Uchida A, Murugesapillai D, Kastner M, Wang Y, Lodeiro MF, Prabhakar S, Oliver GV, Arnold JJ, Maher LJ, Williams MC, Cameron CE. Unexpected sequences and structures of mtDNA required for efficient transcription from the first heavy-strand promoter. eLife. 2017; 6.

M. Kastner, A. Karner, R. Zhu, Q. Huang, D. Zhang, J. Liu, A. Geissner, A. Sadewasser, M. Lesch, X. Woermann, A. Karlas, P. Seeberger, T. Wolff, P. Hinterdorfer, A. Herrmann, C. Sieben, Relevance of host cell surface glycan structure for cell specificity of influenza A virus. bioRxiv: 203349 [Preprint]. 2017.

Education and Professional Experience

  • Dipl.-Ing.(FH), (MSc equivalent) in Applied Medical Technology, University of Applied Sciences, Linz Austria, 2007
  • Research associate, University of Applied Sciences, Linz, Austria, 2012-2014
  • Dr. techn. (PhD equivalent) in Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria, 2016
  • Postdoctoral training, in the lab of Craig Cameron, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB), Penn State, 2016-2019

Outside of the lab

  • Traveling
  • Photography
  • Biking and Hiking


N-021 Millennium Science Complex
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: +1 814-863-8408