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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI Life Sciences


research projects

Decoding the complexity and dynamics of living systems

 

IRI Life Sciences links key areas of scientific research, crossing multiple scales from molecular and cell biology to whole organisms and populations. Our approach is to study complex biological systems using a close interplay between quantitative experiments and theory. This interdisciplinary approach aims to reveal underlying mechanistic principles in biology.

 

   IRI scales Blue neu web

 

Our scientific vision is intentionally broad. Collectively, our work spans a vast range of scales in molecular biology, including single molecule analysis, nucleic acid-protein interactions, large molecular ensembles, signaling cascades and evolution.

We are united by an interest in quantitative answers to questions of regulation: for example, of genes, cellular structures, host - pathogen interactions or the behavior of cancer cells. The regulatory principles governing these different processes may be unique to each, but they may also have features in common. Cross-disciplinary dialogue will be essential to explore and define these principles and place them in a coherent theoretical framework.

 

Research Foci

 

Heterogeneity of biological systems

 

Heterogeneity iconBiological  sytems are inherently heterogenous as molecular noise and environmental fluctuations lead to heterogeneous phenotypes even for genetically clonal systems.

At celluar level, heterogeneity occurs between different cells types and populations and between cells of the same cell type/population. For example, heterogeneity is reflected by cell type specific composition, structure and arrangements of supramolecular structures and organelles. In many cases, the origin of the heterogeneity and its regulation and robustness are not understood.

 

Exemplary research projects at IRI Life Sciences:

RTG 2424


 

Molecular principles of regulation

 

regulation iconThe regulation of gene expression is critical for an organism´s development, growth and adaptation to the environment. Different mechanisms control the sythesis and decay of gene products in space and time and in response to stimuli. Research groups at IRI Life Sciences examine the distinct steps of gene expression and regulatory networks by applying experimental, bioinformatics and theoretical approaches in model systems.

 

 

Exemplary research projects at IRI Life Sciences:

IRTG 2403

PEP-Net


 

Cellular architecture and biophysical constraints on form  

 

architecture iconCellular function and architecture are inherently linked. One the one hand, structure and form arise from the interaction of molecular components. On the other hand, structure is limited by physical constraints. Research groups at IRI Life Sciences use a combination of biophysical techniques and soft matter physics to understand how molecular and cellular processes are linked over several time and length scales to define cellular form and function.

 

 

Exemplary research projects at IRI Life Sciences:

Spindle Forces