Our Institute

Our Institute

At our institute, we investigate how molecules interact to perform their various tasks – in a living cell but also in inanimate nature. 

We want to understand, for example, which mechanisms control and regulate life processes: How is the genetic information translated into proteins? How do nerve cells communicate with each other? How does the cell solve logistic tasks? On the level of organisms, we are interested in how a living being develops from a single egg cell and how the sleep-wake rhythm is controlled. 

Notwithstanding the above, we investigate how energy is converted between molecules at surfaces or how molecules may be used to improve light microscopy to molecular resolution. 

We are convinced that great scientific discoveries can be made when scientists of different fields and research cultures – such as physics, biology, and chemistry – are brought together and openly exchange ideas. 

Not least for this reason researchers at our institute achieved breakthroughs such as the relaxation methods, which allow the measurement of extremely fast reactions (Nobel Prize to physicochemist Manfred Eigen 1967), the patch clamp methods to measure ion fluxes across membranes (Nobel Prize to physicist Erwin Neher and physician Bert Sakmann 1991), the far-field microscopy on the nanometer scale, which reaches a resolution of up to a few nanometers (Nobel Prize to physicist Stefan W. Hell 2014), as well as magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear magnetic spin resonance spectroscopy, optical spectroscopy, or computer simulations. 

More about our research may be found here.

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