The primary aim of the Department of Biophysics from its founding in 1968 was to understand in physiochemical terms the molecular mechanism by which muscles produce force. Muscle contraction involves the cyclic interaction of the proteins myosin and actin, often pictured as the rowing of the myosin and actin filaments past each other, using the hydrolysis of ATP as a source of energy.

Heinrich Betz was director at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt am Main from 1991 on. He headed the Department of Neurochemistry there. You can find information on his publications and research on his website at the MPI for Brain Research.
Bert Sakmann was Director of the Department of Cell Physiology at the MPI for Medical Research from 1989 until 2007. During this time, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1991) for for the development of the patch-clamp method. In Heidelberg he focused on the elucidation of mechanisms of fast signaling within nerve cells, between nerve cells and of long-term changes in their synaptic coupling. To decipher the generated code and identify the intracellular receivers of calcium transients was one of the aims.  more
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