Scientific Departments

Biomolecular Mechanisms - Ilme Schlichting
In the general excitement of a time when three-dimensional protein structures of whole genomes are being determined automatically, it is often forgotten that a structure in itself does not tell one how the molecule works or folds.
Cellular Biophysics - Joachim Spatz

The primary scientific goal of the department is to develop technologies, based on physics, chemistry and materials science, for unraveling fundamental problems in cellular science, biomedical science and the engineering of life-like materials. For example, the department fundamentally investigates the organization and decision-making processes of cell collectives and organoides as well as the assembly and function of synthetic cells, designer immune cells and tissues.

Chemical Biology - Kai Johnsson
The Department of Chemical Biology focusses on the visualization and manipulation of biological activities in live cells. The in vivo localization and quantification of protein activities, metabolites and other important parameters has become a central quest in biology, but the majority of cellular processes remain invisible, to date. We address this challenge by developing conceptually new tools to unravel the complexity of living cells.
Optical Nanoscopy - Stefan W. Hell

The Department of Optical Nanoscopy is focused on conceiving, exploring, validating and applying optical microscopy methods with resolution far beyond the classical diffraction limit. The primary scientific direction of this new department is to push the performance of nano-optical molecular analysis in (living) cells and tissues.

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