Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Biologie

Quantitative Biology in Space and Time

 

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Molecular Cell Biology

Head: Prof. Ann Ehrenhofer-Murray

 
Our research interests are in the fields of epigenetics/ epigenomics and epitranscriptomics. We investigate how cells organize their DNA in chromatin in the nucleus, and how modifications on histones and histone variants affect gene expression, silencing and chromosome segregation. Furthermore, we study how tRNA modifications regulate protein translation.
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Plant Physiology

Head: Prof. Bernhard Grimm

 
We are interested in the unique properties and functions of plant cells, such as the primary metabolism, pigment biosynthesis and photosynthesis in plastids and focus our efforts on exploring the metabolic control of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis.
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Optobiology

Head: Prof. Marina Mikhaylova

 
Our lab’s overall aim our lab is to understand what defines dendritic compartments as "plasticity units". Our research questions encompass plasticity and stability of individual synapses, synaptic diversity and communication between nearby synapses. The role of the microtubule and actin cytoskeleton; trafficking rules controlling organelle transport and positioning are particularly interesting.
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Structural Biology and Biochemistry

Head: Prof. Holger Dobbek

 
We apply protein crystallography and bioinformatics, together with biochemical and biophysical methods to study energy transforming reactions in Nature. Short-term goals are a better understanding of the enzymes involved and their evolution. The long-term goal is to develop (bio)catalysts for the energy-efficient use of CO2 and CO and the (bio)degradation of pollutants.
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Plant Cell and Molecular Biology

Head: Prof. Kerstin Kaufmann

 
Our research is centered on the question, how cell and organ differentiation is encoded in the genome, and how this code is read and executed - depending on growth stage of the plant and on environmental factors.
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Cellular Biophysics

Head: Prof. Andrew Plested

 
In the Cellular Biophysics group, we study glutamate receptors and other components of fast synaptic transmission.

    

    

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General Microbiology

Head: Prof. Regine Hengge

 
Research focuses on signal transduction networks and gene regulation in nutrient-limited non-growing, but highly stress-resilient bacteria and bacterial biofilms. In particular, molecular functions of second messengers such as cyclic-di-GMP in orchestrating bacterial multicellularity and its emergent properties are studied. Furthermore, we collaborate with designers, material scientists and cultural historians in interdisciplinary projects.
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Theoretical Biophysics

Head: Prof. Edda Klipp

 
We study complex biological phenomena by combining computational approaches with experimental methods. Our research interests range from modeling specific signaling and metabolic pathways to whole-cell modeling using e.g. ODE, Boolean and agent-based modeling techniques.
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Experimental Biophysics

Head: Prof. Peter Hegemann

 

Our research group studies the structure-function relation of sensory photoreceptors from algae, fungi and bacteria.

    

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Molecular parasitology

Head: Prof. Kai Matuschewski

 
Eukaryotic pathogens, e.g. protozoa and helminths, are integral parts of ecosystems, and >50% of all recent animals adopted a parasitic life style. A molecular understanding of the mechanisms that drive arthropod-borne transmission, parasite stage conversion, and immune evasion are central for innovative evidence-based strategies for drug and vaccine development.
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Molecular Genetics

Head: Prof. Christian Schmitz-Linneweber

 
We are investigating the genetic and molecular basis of nuclear-organellar interactions in plants and apicomplexan parasites. Specifically, we study novel eukaryotic RNA binding proteins used by the cell to manipulate chloroplast and mitochondrial RNAs - essential processes for setting up the respiratory chain and the photosynthetic machinery.
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Computational regulatory genomics

Head: Prof. Uwe Ohler

 
Our lab develops and applies genomics and computational approaches to understand mechanisms of gene regulation in eukaryotic organisms. Our long term goal is to investigate how regulatory networks enable the correct development of complex organisms, with their multitude of cell types that carry out different functions despite the same genome.
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Complex Systems

Head: Prof. Dirk Brockmann

 

Our research is focused on the development of mathematical and computational models for complex dynamical phenomena in the life-sciences.
    

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Comparative Zoology

Head: Prof. John Nyakatura

 
Our team focusses on the functional morphology and evolution of land-living vertebrates. Collection-based approaches, experimental approaches and field work are integrated to study form-function relationships on an organismic level in the context of evolution.
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Microbiology

Head: Prof. Thomas Eitinger

 
A research focus is on energy-coupling factor (ECF) transporters, a widespread, mechanistically distinct and underexplored group of ATP-binding cassette transporters in bacteria and archaea (and perhaps in plants). Among prokaryotes, these uptake systems mediate high-affinity uptake of water-soluble vitamins and transition metal ions into the cells. In organisms with restricted biosynthetic capacity, e.g. pathogenic bacteria, ECF-type vitamin transporters are essential for viability.
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Plant Evolution and Biodiversity

Head: Prof. Susann Wicke

 

We study interactions between plant parasites, their hosts, and the abiotic environment using experimental-genetic and evolutionary-ecological methods to understand the feedback loops driving parasite-host-environment adaptation. The lab develops resources to identify pests from environmental samples and engages in forest genetics research. We also actively commit to the conservation of native plants through citizen science projects.

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Collective Information Processing

Head: Prof. Pawel Romanczuk

 

We investigate the interplay of self-organization and function in complex biological systems by combining mathematical modeling and analysis of experimental data. Our main research focus are mechanisms and functional benefits of collective behavior from cellular ensembles to animal groups. Further topics include modeling of stochastic motility and spatially-explicit evolutionary games.