We study the formation of spatial and temporal structures in individual biological cells and cells assemblies. The focus of our work is on theoretical descriptions of cytoskeletal dynamics. The cytoskeleton is a network of filamentous proteins, which is kept permanently out of thermodynamic equilibrium. It enables cells to divide, determines their shape and plays an important role in cell locomotion. In our descriptions, we rely heavily on concepts from non-linear dynamics and from non-equilibrium statistical mechanics.
The structural organization of the cell nucleus and chromosomes is a great challenge of biological research.
The main goal of our research is to understand the functions of membrane lipids in cell biology and physiology. To this end, we need to develop a comprehensive understanding about lipid distribution and homeostasis in cells and how these are regulated.
Cells and organelles are separated by 2D fluid lipid membranes, which have peculiar mechanical properties.
Cellular and molecular mechanisms of phagocytosis and cell-autonomous defences against mycobacteria infection.