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.
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!
 
14 New PhD Students from All Over the World Join our Grad School!

14 New PhD Students from All Over the World Join our Grad School!

We are proud to welcome the new PhD student cohort of 2022 to our International Max Planck Research School on Cellular Biophyscis (IMPRS-CBP). 14 talented students from 9 nations prevailed amongst 300 applicants. We wish them lots of fun and success for their PhD journey!
Oswalt Foundation Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Oswalt Foundation Celebrates 100th Anniversary

A century of promoting science and technology in biophysics was honored in a festive symposium. The highlight was the awarding of the Frankfurt Biophysics Prize to Dr. Julia Mahamid (European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg) and Prof. Dr. Sabine Petry (Princeton University, USA) for their outstanding research achievements with a medical perspective.
Florian Wilfling is awarded prestigious ERC Starting Grant

Florian Wilfling is awarded prestigious ERC Starting Grant

Our research group leader Florian Wilfling received a highly prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for his project investigating a recycling program in the cell, known as autophagy. Congratulations!
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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.

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.

Latest Publications

1.
Journal Article
Schmitt, D.; Bozkurt, S.; Henning-Domres, P.; Huesmann, H.; Eimer, S.; Bindila, L.; Behrends, C.; Boyle, E.; Wilfling, F.; Tascher, G. et al.; Münch, C.; Behl, C.; Kern, A.: FACS-mediated isolation of native autophagic vesicles. Autophagy (2022)
2.
Journal Article
Schiller, J.; Laube, E.; Wittig, I.; Kühlbrandt, W.; Vonck, J.; Zickermann, V.: Insights into complex I assembly: Function of NDUFAF1 and a link with cardiolipin remodeling. Science Advances 8 (46), eadd3855 (2022)
3.
Journal Article
Oo, J. A.; Pálfi, K.; Warwick, T.; Wittig, I.; Prieto-Garcia, C.; Matkovic, V.; Tomašković, I.; Boos, F.; Izquierdo Ponce, J.; Teichmann, T. et al.; Petriukov, K.; Haydar, S.; Maegdefessel, L.; Wu, Z.; Pham, M. D.; Krishnan, J.; Baker, A. H.; Günther, S.; Ulrich, H. D.; Đikić, I.; Leisegang, M. S.; Brandes, R. P.: Long non-coding RNA PCAT19 safeguards DNA in quiescent endothelial cells by preventing uncontrolled phosphorylation of RPA2. Cell Reports: Methods 41 (7), 111670 (2022)
4.
Journal Article
Schaefer, S. L.; Hummer, G.: Sublytic gasdermin-D pores captured in atomistic molecular simulations. eLife 11, e81432 (2022)
5.
Journal Article
Siggel, M.; Kehl, S.; Reuter, K.; Köfinger, J.; Hummer, G.: TriMem: A parallelized hybrid Monte Carlo software for efficient simulations of lipid membranes. The Journal of Chemical Physics 157 (17), 174801 (2022)
6.
Journal Article
Astashkin, R.; Kovalev, K.; Bukhdruker, S.; Vaganova, S.; Kuzmin, A.; Alekseev, A.; Balandin, T.; Zabelskii, D.; Gushchin, I.; Royant, A. et al.; Volkov, D.; Bourenkov, G.; Koonin, E.; Engelhard, M.; Bamberg, E.; Gordeliy, V.: Structural insights into light-driven anion pumping in cyanobacteria. Nature Communications 13, 6460 (2022)
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