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The IBI's Divisions and Infrastructure


Molecular and Cellular Physiology (IBI-1)

IBI-1 investigates the mechanisms of molecular and cellular signal processing using modern methods from biochemistry, biophysics, and fluorescence microscopy. We study the properties of single molecules and proteins, cellular signal transduction as well as information processing in intact neuronal networks.


Mechanobiology (IBI-2)

IBI-2 is dedicated to the experimental study of the mechanobiology of living cells of animal and human origin. Our work focuses on the interplay of molecular architecture and mechanical properties, the interaction of cells with substrates and neighbouring cells, as well as the recognition and processing of mechanical signals by cells. These issues are of the utmost importance fro the production of biofunctional materials ("tissue engineering") and for the understanding of many physiological and pathological processes such as the development of the central nervous system, tissue degeneration in cadiovascular or skin diseases, and tumrourigenesis. For this research, modern methods of cell biophysics and molecular cell biology are applied and, if necessary, further developed.


Bioelectronics (IBI-3)

Our research is focused on bioelectronics, a field of research in the convergence of biology and electronics. In particular, we exploit biological materials and biological architectures for information processing systems and new devices which can be used as sensors, actuators, and biomedical devices. A key aspect is the interface between biological materials and electronics.


Biomacromolecular Systems and Processes (IBI-4)

We investigate the collective behaviour of systems consisting of interacting biomacromolecules, red blood cells, and novel thermosensitive DNA hybrid particles. Our aim is to gain a fundamental quantitative understanding of their phase and transport behaviour, and their biological functions. For this purpose, we analyse the systems for realistically high concentrations of their components under non-equilibrium conditions due to concentration and temperature gradients, flow, electric fields and spatial confinement. Our main research techniques are advanced microscopy and scattering methods, rheology and microfluidics, as well as theoretical methods and computer simulations.


Theoretical Physics of Living Matter (IBI-5/IAS-2)

We employ theory, modeling, and simulation to study and understand the structure, self-assembly, and dynamics of complex fluids, active soft matter, and living matter -- on the basis of physical principles.We focus on the investigation systems far from thermal equilibrium, in particular the collective behaviour of mesoscopic self-propelled objects as well as the flow behaviour of biofluids.


Cellular Structural Biology (IBI-6)

Our research aims to establish a fundamental, physics-based understanding of the function of bio-macromolecular systems. In this respect proteins and (protein based) macromolecular complexes, also within in their cellular context, are of particular interest for our research topics. We use and develop single-molecule techniques to study functional conformational changes of proteins, protein folding, and interactions of bio-macromolecules.


Structural Biochemistry (IBI-7)

The structure and dynamics of proteins as well as their interaction with ligands forms the main area of our research focus; we concentrate our investigations, therefore, on molecules which play an important role in fundamental cellular processes, in neurodegenerative diseases, or in viral infections.


Neutron Scattering and Biological Matter (IBI-8/JCNS-1)

We investigate the structure and dynamics of soft matter using neutron scattering and complementary methods from molecular to macroscopic length and time scales, develop neutron scattering instruments and make them available to external researchers.


Technical and Administrative Infrastructure (PGI/JCNS-TA and IBI-TA)

Our administrative staff provides advice and support in all matters concerning personnel, order processing, public relations and much more. Our engineers and mechanics work closely with scientists; our programmers and IT specialists offer technical advice, develop device drivers and control software as well as imaging techniques for real-time simulations.  IBI-4, -5, and -8 are all supported by the Technical Services and Administration department PGI/JCNS-TA. IBI-2 and -3 are supported by the Technischen und Administrativen Infrastruktur IBI-TA.