The exchange of information between cells  – for example a T cell and an antigen-presenting cell, as depicted above  – 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 cellular signaling. 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 by studying signaling processes in live cells and by reconstituting them in model-membrane systems (“artificial cells”). By combining a synthetic biology approach with tools from single-molecule biophysics and microfabrication, we can study signaling patterns in time and space and how they give rise to new cellular functions.

En route to addressing these questions, we spend a considerable time developing new methods. For example, we improved a method to encapsulate biological systems into GUVs by cDICE (see here for a detailed protocol and here for building your own cDICE setup) and we have succeeded in repurposing DNA-PAINT for hour-long single-molecule tracking. We share all methods and instrumentation on our group GitHub page.

Interested in our research? See how to join us below, and follow our lab on Twitter (Ganzinger Lab @KGanzinger)!

Group Members

Group alumni

Master students:

Laura Bouw, Sharon Bouw, Robert Strasser, Kimberly Westheim, Cedric Iseli, Claudia Concu, Roy Hoitink, Thomas van Boxmeer, Ilaria Zanolla, Elia Escoffier

Bachelor students:

Louis Brimont, Miles Wang-Henderson


Want to join? In case no fitting vacancy is listed here, just get in touch with Kristina.

WE HAVE VACANCIES FOR POSTDOC POSITIONS! E-mail Kristina for additional information, and check the website regularly.