Lehrstuhl für Zell- und Entwicklungsbiologie




    We currently study the function of nucleocytoplasmic network systems in nuclear shaping and meiotic chromosome dynamics


    We investigate the molecular organization and evolutionary history of the mammalian meiotic chromosome


    We study the adaptive and dynamic pleomorphism of parasites on the molecular, cellular and organismic level


    Our research focuses on membrane biophysics of living cells and biomimetic model systems.


    We investigate how African trypanosomes and Leishmania parasites adapt to different host environments


    We study spatial aspects of mRNA metabolism in trypanosomes aiming to understand gene regulation.


    We study the eukaryotic cytoskeleton and motor proteins.


    African sleeping sickness

    Human trypanosomiasis and its animal form Nagana are a prime examples for the One Health concept

    Antigenic variation

    The exchange of surface coats is the phenotypic hallmark of antigenic variation. But in fact, this is just the tip of an iceberg

    Host skin infection

    Trypanosomes enter the mammalian host with the bite of a hungry tsetse.

    What do they do in the skin?

    Parasite motility

    The trypanosome flagellum always beats. Motion is essential for immune escape, tsetse passage - and it is a very complex business

    Quorum sensing

    Trypanosomes limit the population size in the host by quorum sensing. What is the trigger?

    Surface coat dynamics

    The trypanosome VSG layer is a good model for fundamental studies on protein mobility.

    Structure of the cell surface

    The structure of the trypanosome surface coat is much more dynamic and flexible than generally assumed

    Trafficking of GPI-proteins

    Lipid-anchoring has implications on the sorting and trafficking of cell surface coat molecules

    Tsetse biology and physics

    The tsetse fly provides a self-contained environment for adaptive morphogenesis of trypanosome microswimmers

    Nuclear structure and dynamics

    The nuclear envelope provides the central platform for meiotic chromosome pairing and synapsis and is lynchpin for nuclear shaping during sperm formation.

    mRNA metabolism

    Various aspects of mRNA metabolism in trypanosomes are related to the regulation of gene expression.

    Cytoskeleton and motors

    Trypanosomes have heavily invested in their microtubule-based cytoskeleton, but their actomyosin system is reduced.


    Cell Adhesion is more than a handshake between binders. What role does physics play?


    Membrane biophysics

    We employ cell models and model cells to shed light on membranes as multitasking organelles at the cellular interface with the outside.


    “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen…” (Saint-Exupery), but we try anyways.

    Telomere structure & function

    We want to know how telomere-binding complexes influence anti-genic variation, chromosome integrity and recombination events

    Chromatin structure & differentiation

    We want to learn why changes in chromatin structure and nuclear architecture are important for developmental differentiation in trypanosomes.

    Histone methylation & replication

    We want to investigate how the histone methyltransferase DOT1A regulates replication initiation in African trypanosomes


    Molecular cell biology and evolutionary history in metazoans

    Theodor Boveri's legacy

    Theodor Boveri's original manuscripts and microscope slides rediscovered.