All forms of life display a remarkable variety of active processes that generate a cell’s internal structure, carry out different functions, and precisely process information. Although these active processes are critical for the proper operation of biological systems, their physical properties and dynamics are poorly understood.
With an intellectual style inspired by theoretical physics, we primarily focus on two systems: molecular motors with their dynamic cytoskeleton tracks and hair cells of the inner ear that are responsible for the sensation of sound.
Although these living systems are extremely complex and difficult to describe with traditional physical methods, they must operate according to the fundamental laws of physics. Therefore, we are on a mission to characterize the physical constraints to quantitatively rationalize the richness of operation and organization of living systems.
We believe that scientific progress depends on creativity and curiosity. Curiosity is the desire to learn more about the unknown and thus broaden our thinking and knowledge in unexpected ways, which can be best realized by including all kinds of different perspectives. An inclusive environment recognizes and acknowledges individual personalities irrespective of prescribed labels from society, culture, and history. Therefore, we strive to create a safe space, in which everyone is an equally-valued member and thus can optimally contribute to our joint endeavor to understand the living world.
We acknowledge that our team members are part of different communities that we feel responsible for shaping, for example as expert researchers in a particular field, as teachers in classrooms, as supervisors or students in a research project, as colleagues, as collaborators, and as members of our society. Therefore, we want to share some resource material about diverse topics.