Institut für Röntgenphysik – Köster Group

Institut für Röntgenphysik – Köster Group

Research Group Cellular Biophysics




About the research group

Biological cells are extremely complex systems, combining numerous different components and functions. Cellular dynamics are governed by biological and biochemical processes, but also to a considerable extent by biophysics. This includes phenomena like forces and motion generated by the cell, confinement in the dense cytoplasm, assembly and disassembly of cytoskeletal filaments or network structures, the mechanical response of the cell to external stimuli, as well as concentration gradients inside the cell. The involved length- and force scales are nano-/micrometers and pico-/nanonewton, respectively, and thereby very small. Timescales to be considered, however, range from sub-second to hours or days. To achieve our aim of imaging the dynamics of biological matter in real-time and in situ, we combine experimental techniques that can be used to investigate biological systems exactly on these scales with different imaging and scattering methods. Importantly, we study both in vitro model systems and whole cells. Model systems, which usually include one or several reconstituted cellular components, are simplified but can reveal certain underlying principles of biophysical phenomena which may then be of help in understanding the cellular system. For an overview of the scientific questions and experimental techniques we are interested in, please go to the research page.
Opportunities for joining our group are detailed on the jobs page. Please let us know if you are interested.


Current Featured Image

Fish What a beautiful fish!

... imaged by Greta Höhndorf and Ruth Meyer. Here: actin in magenta, keratin in yellow, microtubules in cyan. Our previous featured images can be found here.


Highlights

01/31/2024
Alumna Dr. Anna Schepers was awarded a Walter Benjamin Stipend by the DFG to carry on her research at the Rosalind Franklin Insttitue (UK) with Prof. Marco Fritzsche. Congratulations to this great success!

08/23/2023
New paper by the alumna Dr. Anna Zelená ist out in the Biophisycal Journal, and featured in the BPS blog. Anna's STED image was chosen to be a cover of the current journal issue 16! Congartulations!

02/06/2023
Alumna Dr. Charlotta Lorenz was awarded a Walter Benjamin Stipend by the DFG and will soon carry on her research at Cornell University with Prof. Eric Dufresne. Congratulations to this great success!

05/24/2023
New featured publication by Charlotta Lorenz, Johanna Forsting, Robert W. Style, Stefan Klumpp and Sarah Köster: Keratin filament mechanics and energy dissipation are determined by metal-like plasticity in Matter, 2023.

03/29/2023
Anna Schepers received the DPG/SKM Dissertation award 2023 - congratulations to this great success!

10/18/2022
Anna Blob received a poster price at this year's GGNB Science Day - congratulations!

16/07/2022
Magdalena Haaf received a Dr. Berliner - Dr. Ungewitter - Stiftung prize for her outstanding Master's degree - congratulations!

06/01/2022
Anna Schepers started a Post Doc position in the research group Biophysical Immunology of Marco Fritzsche. She is affiliated with the Rosalind Franklin Institute and the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology of the University of Oxford

06/01/2022
Website of new Research Training Group is online: www.uni-goettingen.de/rtg2756

05/10/2022
DFG to fund new Research Training Group in biological physics at Göttingen University with around 6.8 million euros (DFG press release here)

02/25/2022
Charlotta Lorenz started a Post Doc position at the Dufresne Lab at the Department of Materials at the ETH Zurich.

12/20/2021
Charlotta Lorenz was awarded by the Dr. Berliner - Dr. Ungewitter - Stiftung the prize for her outstanding PhD thesis.

12/20/2021
Anna Schepers was awarded the Jan Peter Toennies Physik-Preis for her outstanding PhD thesis in Experimental Physics.

10/12/2021
Anna Schepers successfully finished her dissertation with the title "Intermediate filament mechanics across scales - From single filaments to single interactions and networks in cells".

10/08/2021
Sarah Köster was elected as vice-speaker of the condensed matter section (SKM) of the German Physical Sociatey (DPG).

10/06/2021
Charlotta Lorenz successfully finished her dissertation with the title "Interactions and Mechanics Within and Between Cytoskeletal Filaments".

09/30/2021
Charlotta Lorenz was awarded a poster prize at the DGfB Cellular Biophysics Workshop.

09/08/2021
Charlotta Lorenz and Julia Kraxner were awarded two poster prizes at the European Meeting on Intermediate Filaments.

07/28/2021
Julia Kraxner was awarded the "Best Poster Prize of Biophysics Austria" at the EBSA conference 2021.

07/08/2021
Eric Seibt was awarded a FundaMINT fellowship by the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung.

06/30/2021
press release featuring Anna V. Schepers, Charlotta Lorenz, Peter Nietmann, Andreas Janshoff, Stefan Klumpp, Sarah Köster, Multiscale mechanics and temporal evolution of vimentin intermediate filament networks, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 118 (27) e2102026118 (2021).

06/18/2021
press release featuring Laura Schaedel, Charlotta Lorenz, Anna V. Schepers, Stefan Klumpp, and Sarah Köster, Vimentin intermediate filaments stabilize dynamic microtubules by direct interactions, Nature Communications 21, 3799 (2021).

05/14/2021
Julia Kraxner successfully finished her dissertation with the title "Vimentin Intermediate Filament Softening - Recovery Behavior and Post-Translational Modifications".

03/26/2021
Chiara Cassini successfully finished her dissertation with the title "Low-dose, high-throughput scanning small-angle X-ray scattering of adherent mouse embryonic fibroblasts".

03/01/2021
Eleonora Perego started a Post Doc position at the Vicidomini Lab at the Center for Human Technology at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.

01/10/2021
Charlotta Lorenz was awarded the best participants' presentation at the jDPG-Theoworkshop.