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 of cells with their environment.

Welcome to the MPI 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 of cells with their environment.
Channels within the nuclear membrane of eukaryotic cells, the so-called nuclear pore complexes, enable the exchange of material between nucleus and cystosol. A group of scientists led by Martin Beck has, in collaboration with the groups of Gerhard Hummer (MPIBP), Julia Mahamid (EMBL) and Jan Kosinski (EMBL), published new insights into the dynamics of the 3D structure of such channels in the scientific journal Science. By showing that membrane tension influences the diameter of the nuclear pore complexes, they identified an unexpected way of regulating the transport in and out of the nucleus under different physiological conditions such as cellular stress. (Visuals: Antoni Kosinski) 

New discovery of researchers from the MPI of Biophysics in Science magazine: nuclear pore complexes are mechanosensitive

Channels within the nuclear membrane of eukaryotic cells, the so-called nuclear pore complexes, enable the exchange of material between nucleus and cystosol. A group of scientists led by Martin Beck has, in collaboration with the groups of Gerhard Hummer (MPIBP), Julia Mahamid (EMBL) and Jan Kosinski (EMBL), published new insights into the dynamics of the 3D structure of such channels in the scientific journal Science. By showing that membrane tension influences the diameter of the nuclear pore complexes, they identified an unexpected way of regulating the transport in and out of the nucleus under different physiological conditions such as cellular stress. (Visuals: Antoni Kosinski)
 
With this award, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina honours Werner Kühlbrandt, Director of the Department of Structural Biology, for his outstanding scientific lifetime achievement.

Werner Kühlbrandt receives the Cothenius Medal for his lifetime achievement

With this award, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina honours Werner Kühlbrandt, Director of the Department of Structural Biology, for his outstanding scientific lifetime achievement.
This month, the renowned Science magazine published new results from Olivia Pfeil-Gardiner and Bonnie Murphy (Max Planck Insitut of Biophysics) in collaboration with researchers from the Max Planck Insitute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg. New structures solved by the group shed light on direct and conformationally-controlled electron transfer for CO2 fixation in methanogens.

Murphy group’s work published in Science magazine: How methanogenic microbes manage electrons

This month, the renowned Science magazine published new results from Olivia Pfeil-Gardiner and Bonnie Murphy (Max Planck Insitut of Biophysics) in collaboration with researchers from the Max Planck Insitute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg. New structures solved by the group shed light on direct and conformationally-controlled electron transfer for CO2 fixation in methanogens.
We are proud to announce that Melanie McDowell has been awarded a Max Planck Research Group Leader Position to start at our institute in February 2022. She aims to structurally characterise membrane protein biogenesis pathways at the endoplasmic reticulum. There will be open Postdoc, PhD and Technician positions. Click here for more information. 

Coming February 2022: New research group of Melanie McDowell

We are proud to announce that Melanie McDowell has been awarded a Max Planck Research Group Leader Position to start at our institute in February 2022. She aims to structurally characterise membrane protein biogenesis pathways at the endoplasmic reticulum. There will be open Postdoc, PhD and Technician positions. Click here for more information.

 
The MPI Biophysics has, together with GU Frankfurt, and JGU Mainz, launched its new International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) on Cellular Biophysics. From now on, PhD students will join our school annually to pursue the school’s mission: to understand how complex subcellular architecture is created from individual molecular functions that act in concert. Further Information: www.imprs-cbp.mpg.de.

New “International Max Planck Research School on Cellular Biophysics” at our Institute

The MPI Biophysics has, together with GU Frankfurt, and JGU Mainz, launched its new International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) on Cellular Biophysics. From now on, PhD students will join our school annually to pursue the school’s mission: to understand how complex subcellular architecture is created from individual molecular functions that act in concert. 
Further Information: www.imprs-cbp.mpg.de.
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Latest Publications

1.
Journal Article
Felix Kolbe, Schara Safarian, Żaneta Piórek, Sonja Welsch, Hanne Müller, and Hartmut Michel, "Cryo-EM structures of intermediates suggest an alternative catalytic reaction cycle for cytochrome c oxidase," Nature Communications 12, 6903 (2021).
2.
Journal Article
Sue Im Sim, Sören von Bülow, Gerhard Hummer, and Eunyong Park, "Structural basis of polyamine transport by human ATP13A2 (PARK9)," Molecular Cell 81, 4635-4649 (2021).

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