Welcome to the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics!

Welcome to the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics!

The Max Planck Institute of Biophysics focuses on investigating the structure and function of proteins that are embedded in cellular membranes. Membrane proteins functioning as channels, transporters, or molecular sensors mediate the exchange of matter and information between cells and their environment.
Martin Beck awarded Feldberg Prize 2024

Martin Beck awarded Feldberg Prize 2024

With the prestigious award, the Feldberg Foundation promotes the scientific exchange between Germany and Great Britain. The foundation awards the prize each year to two excellent researchers from the field of experimental medicine, one from Germany and one from the United Kingdom (UK).
Eugene Kim receives prestigious ERC Starting Grant

Eugene Kim receives prestigious ERC Starting Grant

A research proposal aiming to unravel the mechanisms that regulate the organization of genetic material in the cell nuclei of living organisms has earned our research group leader Eugene Kim one of the highly prestigious Starting Grants from the European Research Council (ERC). Congratulations!
What Is the Right Career Path for Me?

What Is the Right Career Path for Me?

Researchers can choose from a great variety of career paths. Postdoc Laura Tesmer has decided a long time ago to pursue a career in industry, even before starting her PhD. Read here about the benefits of this career path and why Laura thinks it suits her well.
Why Balázs Fábián Chose the Academic Career Path

Why Balázs Fábián Chose the Academic Career Path

The academic career path remains one of the most desirable ones among scientists. Why is that? We asked our postdoc Balázs Fábián, who was recently awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers. Academic research has been deeply close to his heart since he started working on his Bachelor thesis 10 years ago. Read here why.
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Research Groups
Publications in 2021
High-end Instruments

Latest Publications

Sun, C.; Desch, K.; Nassim-Assir, B.; Giandomenico, S. L.; Nemcova, P.; Langer, J. D.; Schuman, E. M.: An abundance of free regulatory (19S) proteasome particles regulates neuronal synapses. Science 380 (6647), eadf2018 (2023)
Foronda, H.; Fu, Y.; Covarrubias-Pinto, A.; Bocker, H. T.; González, A.; Seemann, E.; Franzka, P.; Bock, A.; Bhaskara, R. M.; Liebmann, L. et al.; Hoffmann, M. E.; Katona, I.; Koch, N.; Weis, J.; Kurth, I.; Gleeson, J. G.; Reggiori, F.; Hummer, G.; Kessels, M. M.; Qualmann, B.; Mari, M.; Dikić, I.; Hübner, C. A.: Heteromeric clusters of ubiquitinated ER-shaping proteins drive ER-phagy. Nature (2023)
González, A.; Covarrubias-Pinto, A.; Bhaskara, R. M.; Glogger, M.; Kuncha, S. K.; Xavier, A.; Seemann, E.; Misra, M.; Hoffmann, M. E.; Bräuning, B. et al.; Balakrishnan, A.; Qualmann, B.; Dötsch, V.; Schulman, B. A.; Kessels, M. M.; Hübner, C. A.; Heilemann, M.; Hummer, G.; Dikić, I.: Ubiquitination regulates ER-phagy and remodelling of endoplasmic reticulum. Nature, pp. 1 - 8 (2023)
Last, M. G. F.; Tuijtel, M.; Voortman, L. M.; Sharp, T. H.: Selecting optimal support grids for super-resolution cryogenic correlated light and electron microscopy. Scientific Reports 13, 8270 (2023)
Barth, R.; Pradhan, B.; Kim, E.; Davidson, I. F.; van der Torre, J.; Peters, J.-M.; Dekker, C.: Testing pseudotopological and nontopological models for SMC-driven DNA loop extrusion against roadblock-traversal experiments. Scientific Reports 13, 8100 (2023)
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Our Research 

Ernst Bamberg – The Functional Analysis of Electrogenic Membrane Proteins
We focus on the molecular mechanism of rhodopsin-like ion pumps and channels, and on their optogenetic applications.
Martin Beck – Molecular Sociology
How do molecular modules act in concert to generate complex cellular functions?
Ulrich Ermler – Enzyme Mechanism
We are focused on the enzyme structure-based analysis of challenging biochemical processes in anaerobic biomass degradation.
Gerhard Hummer – Theoretical Biophysics
Our goal is to develop detailed and quantitative descriptions of key biomolecular processes, including energy conversion, molecular transport, signal transduction, and enzymatic catalysis.
Eugene Kim – Structure and Dynamics of Chromosomes
What are the universal principles that underlie chromosome organization across all forms of life?
Werner Kühlbrandt – Structural Biology
How can we make the most of cryo-electron microscopy for determining the structure and function of membrane protein complexes?

Melanie McDowell – Membrane Protein Biogenesis
What molecular mechanisms control the delivery and correct insertion of membrane proteins at the endoplasmic reticulum?
Hartmut Michel – Molecular Membrane Biology
How to generate and use structural information to investigate function and mechanisms of membrane protein complexes?
Bonnie Murphy – Redox and Metalloproteins
How are the structures of redox and metalloproteins fine-tuned to facilitate their activity?
Beata Turoňová – Image Processing
Our software method development focuses on improving tomogram quality and integrating contextual information into subtomogram averaging routines.
Sonja Welsch – Electron Microscopy
Our state-of-the-art equipment, and technical and scientific user support allow for novel insights into biological structures and molecular mechanisms.
Florian Wilfling - Mechanisms of Cellular Quality Control
How is cargo selected and packed into autophagosomes?

Scientific Facilites

Sonja Welsch – Electron Microscopy
Our state-of-the-art equipment, and technical and scientific user support allow for novel insights into biological structures and molecular mechanisms.
Stephan Junek – Imaging
Our state-of-the-art light microscopes and photomanipulation setups, as well as our training offers and user support, enable advanced imaging for cutting-edge research.
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