Lehrstuhl für Zell- und Entwicklungsbiologie



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.


Molecular cell biology and evolutionary history in metazoans


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

Virulence factors in Leishmania

We use quantitative mass spectrometry to identify novel proteins necessary to establish an infection of macrophages by different Leishmania parasites

Histone methylation & replication

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

Theodor Boveri's legacy

Theodor Boveri's original manuscripts and microscope slides rediscovered.