The exchange of information between cells – or cellular signaling – is a complex process, requiring the concerted interaction of many molecules in so-called signaling cascades or pathways.

The Physics of Cellular Interaction Group is exploring the basic physical principles behind these pathways. How do cells transmit, process and respond to information, both precisely and unambiguously?

Our group focuses specifically on pathways that are critical for the immune system. For example, we investigate the interplay of membrane topography and signaling: we explore how cells shape their membranes not only in response to signals, but also to detect and discriminate them. We address these questions mainly by reconstituting signaling processes in model-membrane systems (“artificial cells”). By combining this synthetic biology approach with tools from single-molecule biophysics and microfabrication, we can study signaling in isolation from cellular cross-talk.

Vacancies are available here. E-mail Kristina Ganzinger for additional information, and check the website regularly.