Göttinger Graduiertenschule für Neurowissenschaften, Biophysik und Molekulare Biowissenschaften

Dr. Karen Alim

  • 2000–2002 Studies and Pre-Diploma in Physics, University of Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 2003–2004 Master of Science, University of Manchester, UK with Prof. Dr. Alan J. Bray
  • 2002–2006 Studies and Diploma in Physics, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany with Prof. Dr. Erwin Frey
  • 2009 Grad Fellow, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA with Prof. Dr. Boris I. Shraiman
  • 2006–2010 Dr. rer. nat., Physics, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany with Prof. Dr. Erwin Frey
  • 2010–2015 Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, USA with Prof. Michael P. Brenner
  • since 2015 Max Planck Research Group Leader, Max Plack Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen, Germany

Major Research Interests

    How can an organism grow to form a desired structure and pattern? Understanding the morphogenesis of an organism, the collective self-organization of cells that gives rise to a functional structure is at the heart of decoding life. I aim to identify the rules of development by studying the physical principles underlying the formation and adaptation of biological organisms. Currently I investigate the mechanics of plant growth and the fluid dynamics enabling the slime mold Physarum polycephalum to adapt its network-like body to its environment. My approach is primarily theoretical but closely interacting with experiments. On the theoretical side, I use analytical and numerical methods from mechanics, fluid dynamics, statistical physics and non-linear dynamics. On the experimental side, I have my own laboratory where I investigate the adaptation dynamics of Physarum polycephalum and enjoy collaborations around the world.

Homepage Department/Research Group

Selected Recent Publications

  • K. Alim, N. Andrew, A. Pringle (2013) Quickguide: Physarum, Curr. Biol. 23(24), R1082-R1083

  • K. Alim*, G. Amselem*, F. Peaudecerf, M.P. Brenner and A. Pringle (2013) Random network peristalsis in Physarum polycephalum or- ganizes fluid flows across an individual. *authors contributed equally, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 110(33), 13306-13311

  • M. Uyttewaal*, A.Burian*, K. Alim*, B. Landrein, D. Borowska-Wysket, A. Dedieu, M. Ludynia, J. Traas, A. Boudaoud, D. Kwiat-Kowska and O. Hamant (2012) A katanin-dependent microtubule response to mechanical stress enhances growth gradients between neighboring cells in Arabidopsis, *authors contributed equally, Cell 149, 439-451

  • K. Alim and E. Frey (2010) Quantitative predictions on auxin-induced polar distribution of PIN proteins during vein formation in leaves, Eur. Phys. J. E 33, 165-173

  • K. Alim and E. Frey (2007) Shapes of semiflexible polymer rings, Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 198102