Reza Shaebani (A7), Adam Wysocki and Heiko Rieger (A3) teamed up with researchers from the Forschungszentrum Jülich, Gerhard Gompper and Roland Winkler, to publish a review on computational methods for active matter, which ranges from molecular motors and the cellular cytoskeleton over growing tissue and cancer to groups of animals. The team focused on various computational models that have been proposed to describe and predict the behavior of active matter. The diversity of the methods and the challenges in modeling active matter primarily originate from the out-of-equilibrium character, lack of detailed balance and of time-reversal symmetry, multi-scale nature, nonlinearity and multibody interactions. The review compares various modeling approaches and numerical techniques to illuminate the innovations and challenges in understanding active matter, and was now published in Nature Reviews in Physics.

Link to the publication

Franzsika Lautenschläger, PI of project A10 and currently Junior-Professor for Biophysics at the Saarland University and leader of a research group at the Leibnisz Institute for New Materials (INM), Saarbrücken, received this week (17.3.2020) in the State Chancellery (Staatskanzlei) her letter of appointment to University Professor.

Press release of the Staatskanzlei: click here

  Prof. Dr. Franziska Lautenschläger (left), Dr. Susanne Reichrath (right)



Heiko Rieger (A3), Reza Shaebani (A7) and Adam Wysocki (A3) organized a CECAM workshop on "Frontiers in Computational Methods for Active Matter", 10.-12. Februar 2020 at the CECAM headquarter at the the EPFL Lausanne (Switzerland). The goal of this workshop was to bring together the experts in modeling soft condensed matter and biological systems to tie recent advances in computational techniques and the most recent ideas and concepts of active matter theory. The workshop with 34 participants from 10 different nations, including 20 invited speaker, provided the opportunity to compare state of the art computational active matter approaches and to open the discussion on the existing challenges and problems.

Link to the workshop webpage

Link to the CECAM webpage

Link to the abstract booklet

Group foto of the workshop participants (the organizers Adam Wysocki, Heiko Rieger and Reza Shaebani sitting in front, from left to right)

The capacity of a fluid to rise in thin tubes against gravity and other related phenomena like wetting of vertical plates and spontaneous imbibition, where a wetting liquid is drawn into a porous medium, are denoted as capillary action or capillarity. It is well known in classical fluids and originates from attractive interactions between the liquid molecules and the container walls, and from the attraction of the liquid molecules among each other. Adam Wysocki and Heiko Rieger, two theorists from the SFB 1027 (A3), now predict capillarity in a minimal model for scalar active matter with purely repulsive interactions, where an effective attraction emerges due to slowdown during collisions between active particles and between active particles and walls. Computer simulations indicate that the capillary rise in thin tubes is approximately proportional to the active sedimentation length λ and that the wetting height of a vertical plate grows superlinear with λ. In a disordered porous medium the imbibition height scales as ⟨h⟩∝λϕm, where ϕm is its packing fraction. These predictions are highly relevant for suspensions of sedimenting active colloids or motile bacteria in a porous medium under the influence of a constant force field. The work has now been published in the renowned journal Physical Review Letter.

Link to the publication in Physical Review Letter

Cholesterol is a crucial component of mammalian cell membranes that takes part in many vital processes. It is generally accepted that cholesterol stabilizes the membrane and induces transitions into ordered states. In contrast to expectations, an international research team including Dr. Jean-Baptiste Fleury from the SFB 1027 (B4) demonstrated  theoretically and experimentally that cholesterol can destabilize the membrane by creating a nanodomain around a perpendicularly embedded ultrashort carbon nanotube, and we show that cholesterol triggers the translocation of an ultrashort carbon nanotube through the cell membrane. The reported nanoscale cholesterol-induced membrane restructuring near the ultrashort CNT in lipid membranes enables precise control and specific targeting of a membrane using cholesterol. As an example, it may allow for specific targeting between cholesterol-rich mammalian cells and cholesterol-poor bacterial cells. These results are now published in the renowned journal Physical Review Letters.

Link to the press release of the Saarland University (in German)

Link to the News release of the AAAS (in English)

Link to the publication in Phys. Rev. Lett.

JB Fleury  Dr. Jean-Baptiste Fleury, PI of project B4 of the SFB 1027

Dendritic cells are immune cells that migrate within the human body in search of pathogens. This search is performed by a random walk, which combines persistent and diffuse movements. The mechanism underlying this random walk is currently not known. The group of Franziska Lautenschläger (SFB project A8), in collaboration with Karsten Kruse (project A1) and Bin Qu and Markus Hoth (project A3) analyzed very long trajectories of dendritic cells ex vivo, and described their characteristic persistent and diffusive patterns. Together with theoretical analysis, the researchesrs provided evidence that the random walk of dendritic cells could be a consequence of the intrinsic actin dynamics without need for molecular noise or external polarization cues. The results hint at the possibility that these cells can adapt their random search strategies by changing the spontaneous dynamics of their actin cytoskeleton. The work was published in the renowned journal Proceeding of the National Academy of Science USA.

Link to the publication

Link to the press release of the Saarland University

Link to the MDR articlelink to the MDR interview

FL  Prof. Dr. Franziska Lautenschläger, PI of project A10 of the SFB 1027 (© Thorsten Mohr)

Christian Spengler, ein frischgebackene Doktor der Physik am Lehrstuhl von Professorin Karin Jacobs und Mitarbeiter im Teilprojekt B2 im SFB 1027, erhält den Eduard-Martin-Preis für eine der 11 besten Doktorarbeiten des Jahres 2019. Im Rahmen seine Forschungsprojektes ist er der Frage auf den Grund gegangen, wie Bakterien im Mikrokosmos an Oberflächen haften. Das Motiv dieser Forschung liegt auf der Hand: Wer weiß, wie Bakterien das schaffen, kann sie daran hindern, es zu tun – und damit auch daran, den Menschen krankzumachen. „Bakterien können ihre schädliche Wirkung nämlich besonders gut entfalten, wenn es ihnen gelingt, beispielsweise auf Türgriffen oder Implantaten robuste Biofilme zu bilden“, erklärt Spengler. Ob die Bakterien gut haften bleiben, hängt, wie er herausfand, nicht davon ab, dass sie großflächig mit einer Oberfläche in Kontakt kommen. Vielmehr sitzen viele einzelne Moleküle auf der Bakterienzellwand, mit denen sie sich wie mit kleinen Ärmchen „festhalten“. Spengler beobachtete hierfür mit dem Rasterkraftmikroskop, wie sich einzelne Bakterien verhielten, die er auf eine Oberfläche aufdrückte und wieder ablöste. Gemeinsam mit Kolleginnen und Kollegen fand er heraus, dass Oberflächen im Nanobereich so strukturiert werden können, dass Bakterien keinen Halt finden: Dies macht neue Materialien möglich, die Bakterien keine Chance lassen.

Mehr Infos zum diesjährigen Eduard-Martin-Preis (click here)


Christian Spengler (3rd f.r.), Karin Jacobs (1st f.r.)

From 9. to 11. October 2019 the international conference Cell Physics 2019 took place on the campus of the Saarland University. With this time more than 200 participants, among them 30 invited speakers, 50 contributed talks and 100 posters the conference attracted even more scientist than its predecessors 2017, 2016 and 2014. The biannual conference is organized and financed by the Collaborative Research Center SFB 1027 “Physical modeling of non-equilibrium processes in biological systems”. It is an interdisciplinary platform for scientific exchange between participants from cell biology and biophysics, both represented in roughly equal numbers, and focuses centrally on theoretical concepts in conjunction with cell biological experiments. Topics included this time were

  • Cell mechanics / mechanobiology
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Cellular self-organization
  • Cell adhesion
  • Cell membrane & membrane proteins
  • Cancer & Immune system

Link to the Conference web page

Link to the conference program


Researchers from the SFB 1027 found out how bacteria -on microscopic scales - adhere to rough surfaces. The team of Karin Jacobs and Markus Bischoff (both B2) revealed that the adhesion force between the microbe and the surface can be derived directly from a precise analysis of the composition of the nano-structured surface. This opens promising research avenues - also regarding the fight against so-called multiresistant bacteria, which are particularly dangerous in hospitals. The study was now published in the journal "Nanoscale", where it became one of the 40 most popular articles of 2019 (link to the list).

Press release of the Saarland University

Link to the publication

The voting for the photo competition 2019 is over now. And again we got again really cool contributions Thank’s to all.

The winners are:

1. place:                                      2. place:                   3. place


Thomas Faidt - B1                     Daniel Flormann - A9   Renping Zhao - A2


This year's SummerCamp took place at the Kurhaus Trifels in Annweiler am Trifels.

The participating 28 Young Researchers of the SFB1027 presented their work in 15 oral presentation (each 30 minutes) and 13 posters.
Additionally to the poster sessions, the poster presenters were also given the opportunity to "advertise" their poster in a short "poster pitch" to the full audience.

In the team event, the "Trifels Hike", participants could enjoy the nature of the Palatinate Forest, old castles and beautiful views.

On the last day of this retreat, a new YR speaker/vice speaker pair was elected. The new speakers are:
Maria Mantero Martinez (AG Bruns, project C5), YR speaker
Erik Maikranz (AG Santen, project B1), vice YR speaker

Many thanks to the past speaker team, Navid Khangholi and Xiangda Zhou, for their commitment during the last year and the organization of the SummerCamp!

And thanks again to all participants for making also this year's SummerCamp such a great event!

A new research building for the Center of Biophysics (ZBP), accomodating researchers of the SFB 1027, will be built on the Campus of the Saarland University. The new 37 Million Euro building will serve as a center to unite and concentrate various researcher groups from the experimental and theoretical Biophyics, comprising alltogether 200 Researchers from the teams of Jochen Hub (B7), Karin Jacobs (B1/B2), Franziska Lautenschläger (A9), Albrecht Ott (C1), Ludger Santen (A8/B1), Ralf Seemann(B4),  Heiko Rieger (A3), Christian Wagner and a Junior-Professor still to be appointed - plus several common laboratories for collaborations with the biophysics groups from the Medical faculty. In a two days session 10./11.4.2019 a jury comprising architects, representatives of the university and the state government and of the future inhabitants (members of the SFB 1027) ranked 37 architect exposés and recommended to assign the building measures to NOVA Michael Beck Architects GmbH from Munic. Pictures of their vision of the building, to be completed in 2023, are displayed below.

Press release of the Saarland University

Newspaper article of the Saarbrücker Zeitung

ZBP building     ZBP building 2

ZBP building 3     ZBP building 4


The application for a new project in the SFB 1027 by Jun.-Prof. Dr. Bianca Schrul was granted. She will now be the Principle Investigator of the new project C9 on on "Lipid Droplet Formation: Cooperative processes governing protein partitioning between membranes of distinct physicochemical properties". Bianca Schrul was only recently appointed by the Saarland University and is now a Junior-Professor in the Medical Faculty at he PZMS (Pre-clinic Center for Molecular Signal-Processing). She works on the biogenesis and function of lipid droplets and is a member of the SFB 1027 since her appointment at the Saarland University.

For the project description of C9 click here

For the homepage of Jun.-Prof. Dr. Bianca Schrul click here


The German Research Foundation DFG publishes regularly a survey of the publicly financed research in Germany, the so-called "Förderatlas". Here one also finds the total amount of grants approved to each University in each single research area. The Förderatlas 2018 (link below) reveals that in the period 2014-2016 the Saarland University ranks 2nd in the research area SND "Statistical Physics, Non-linear Dynamics, Soft Matter and Biological Physics" - with 4.8 Million Euro, behind Göttingen and before LMU Munic. This success is exclusively due to the funding of the SFB 1027 residing in the research area SND of the DFG.

For the electronic version of the "Förderatlas 2018" click here

For the table of total grants approved per University per research area click here

In the year 2018 the program "Sonderforschungsbereiche" (Collaborative Research Centers) became 50 years old. The DFG celebrated this 50th anniversary on the 22. November 2018 with a ceremony in the Redoute in Bonn comprising a variegated evening program and a festive buffet. Among the guests were the members of the Grants Committee on Collaborative Research Centers, many SFB spokespersons (among them the Speaker of the SFB 1027, Prof. Heiko Rieger) and University leaders. On the occasion of the event the DFG established a dossier containing informations about the SFB program, its history and its successes, and the participating scientists, see the links below.

For further informations click here

For the jubilee movie "50 years SFB" click here

From 1. to 5. October 2018 the first Cuba-German Graduate School in Cellular Biophysics took place at the Universidad de la Habanna in Havanna, Cuba. The school aimed to provide an introductory background to german and cuban post-graduate students on theoretical and experimental techniques to study biophysical processes at the cellular level. The school was financed by the Collaborative Research Center SFB 1027 "Physical modeling of non-equilibrium processes in biological systems", by the Physics Faculty of the University of Havana, the Cuban Physical Society and the Cuban National Program of Basic Sciences. Organizers on the German side were Prof. Ludger Santen (project A8, B1) and Prof. Heiko Rieger (project A3), and on the Cuban side Prof. Roberto Mulet and Prof. Alberto Lage. Lecturers from the SFB 1027 were Karin Jacobs, Franziska Lautenschläger, Jean-Baptiste Fleury, Albrecht Ott, Heiko Rieger, Ludger Santen, and Ralf Seemann. Many young researchers, PhD students and postdocs, from the SFB 1027and from the Universidad de la Habanna participated in the school.

For more informatin click here

For the program click here

Participants of the Cuba-German Graduate School 1  Participants of the Cuban-German Graduate School 2

Nanoparticles can penetrate the membranes of living cells upon manipulating their tension. This was found by Jean-Baptiste Fleury and Ralf Seemann form project B4 of the SFB 1027 in collaboration with colleagues from Tarragona, Spain. The researchers studied the transport of carbon-nanotubes through lipid bilayers. In doing they could demonstrate that the penetration of the artificial cell membrane is a physical process that can be modulated by the membrane tension. Their results were now published in the journal ACSNano.

Link to the publication

A research on the influence of neurodegenerative diseases on chemical signal transmission appears on the cover of the current issue of Biophysical Journal: Neuronal dendrites undergo structural evolution during the course of neurodegenerative disease progression or aging. Particularly, the spatial distribution, shape and density of spines, the length, curvature and thickness of dendritic channels, and the spatial extent and population of branches can be affected. Consequently, transmission of chemical signals (and thus neural functions) can be influenced. A stochastic model for transport of noninteracting chemical signals inside neuronal dendrites has been recently developed by Robin Jose, Ludger Santen (A8) and Reza Shaebani (A7), which shows how first-passage properties depend on the key structural characteristics affected by neurodegenerative disorders or aging. These factors are the extent of the tree, the topological bias induced by segmental decrease of dendrite diameter, and the trapping probabilities in biochemical cages such as spines. The study, which has been recently published in Biophysical Journal, is selected as Biophys J Issue Cover and highlighted in Biophysical Society Blog.

Highlight in Biophysical Society Blog

Cover image of the current issue of the Biophysical Journal


How bacteria organize their flagella to achieve optimal swimming is a fundamental question. Whether having more flagella facilitates the run-and-tumble motion of bacterium is still a matter of debate. Dr. Reza Shaebani, principal investigator of project A7 of the SFB 1027, and the groups of Prof. Wagner (Saarland University) and Prof. Bange (Marburg University) have recently investigated the dynamics of bacteria with different flagellar number obtained by genetic manipulation. Their findings reveal that having less flagella increases swimming processivity, thus, it is beneficial for long-distance transport. However, increasing the flagellar number enhances the switching probability to tumbling, which is advantageous for exploring local areas. Consequently, the global search efficiency in a chemically homogeneous environment is optimized at intermediate values of the flagellar number. The optimal choice varies with the environmental conditions and the characteristics of the bacterial chemotaxis system. The experiments were conducted at Saarland and Marburg Universities and Dr. Shaebani developed the theoretical model and performed numerical simulations. The study has been published in Science Advances.

Press release of the UdS

Link to the paper on the journal homepage

This year's Summer Camp of the SFB's young researchers took place 26.-29. June 2018 at the Ebernburg in Bad Münster am Stein, close to Mainz.
The scientific program comprised 13 30-minutes oral and 14 poster presentations by members of the IRTG. Each poster presenter was given the opportunity to present their poster in a short talk to the full audience. The poster session itself took place at Thursday afternoon.
Additionally to the submitted contributions, two guest presentations by Prof. Rainer Böckmann giving his Intro Lecture on Tuesday morning and by Prof. Albrecht Ott on Friday morning were greatly appreciated.
Thanks to the nice weather, the outdoor team event was great fun and afterwards all participants could watch the German team's historic early elimination from the World Cup in the pleasant atmosphere of the Nahegarten in Bad Sobernheim.
With the end of the Summer Camp, the election of a new YR speaker/vice speaker team was hold. The winner of the poll were
      Navid Khangholi (AG Seemann), new YR speaker
      Xiangda Zhou (AG Hoth), new vice speaker
Many thanks again to the past speaker team, Girish Ramesh and Marc Finkler, for their commitment during the last year and the organization of the SummerCamp!
And thanks again to all participants for making this Summer Camp such a great event!
see title  see title

The Center for Biophysics (ZBP) of the Saarland University, the academic center based on the scientific activities and personell of the SFB 1027, will get a new research building on the Saarbrücken campus, to be completed until 2023. The Scientific Council ("Wissenschaftsrat") of Germany decided to grant 37 Mio. Euro, financed equally by federal and state funds, for the new building, which merge the biophysicis research groups (Jacobs TP B1-B2, Lautenschlaeger TP A9, Ott TP C1, Rieger TP A3, Santen/Shaebani TP A7-A8, Seemann TP B4, Wagner, Hub, and JP Cell Biophysics) on the campus Saarbrücken on a total area of 3800 m2. It will host seven key laboratories, comprising confocal, atomic force and electron microscopy, XPS surface analysis, clean room, cell cultures and high performance computer room, as well as common laboratories for research projects performend in collaboration with the medical faculty located on the campus Homburg. The Center for Biophysics (ZBP) and its new research building will continue the research infrastructure established by the SFB 1027 beyond its funding period and extend it by the research areas membrane biophysics and multiclelluar processes.

For more information see:

WR (Wissenschaftsrat) recommendation

UdS Press release

SZ News article

SZ Long article - pdf / web

SR Radio broadcast communication

Dr. Bin Qu, PI of project A2 and memeber of the steering committe of the SFB 1027, was nominated as INM fellow by the Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM). She’s a group leader in Biophysics at the Saarland University Faculty of Medicine. She investigates the way how killer cells from the immune system find and destroy infected or tumorigenic cells. In cooperation with the INM, she focuses in her research on how killer cells move across tissues and are influenced by the physical and chemical properties of the microenvironment. For this purpose, she works closely with the INM groups Dynamic Biomaterials and Cytoskeletal Fibers. Dr Qu’s expertise reinforces the activities in the field of immunomodulatory materials at INM.

 Bin Qu      Press release of the INM

Niels de Jonge, project leader of project C7 of the SFB 1027, was distinguisehed by the Université de Lyon with the honerate doctorate ("Dr. honoris causa") for his development of a special electron microscopy technique. It was awarded to him during the "Materials Science Day" at the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA) de Lyon. The director of the program area "Inovative Electron microscopy" at the Institute for New Materials (INM) and professor at the physics department of the Saarland University receives this honor for the "Liquid STEM" technique developped by him, with which proteins in cells can be investigated with nanometer resolution in their natural, liquid environment.

The conference “Cell Physics 2017” will take place at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany, 11.-13.10.2017. It is organized and financed by the Collaborative Research Center SFB 1027 “Physical modeling of non-equilibrium processes in biological systems”.

It is intended to be an interdisciplinary platform for scientific exchange between participants from cell biology and biophysics, both represented in roughly equal numbers, and focuses centrally on theoretical concepts in conjunction with cell biological experiments. Topics include

  • Cell Mechanics
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Active Matter
  • Cell Signaling
  • Proteins / Genes
  • Physics of Cancer

The conference program comprises invited talks, contributed oral presentations and poster sessions. The official conference will start Wednesday, 11.10.2017 at 8:30am, and finish Friday, 13.10.2017, afternoon. A pre-conference workshop for the members of the SFB 1027 will take place on Tuesday, 10.10.2017. All participants of the Cell Physics conference are cordially invited to join this pre-conference event comprising oral presentations and many posters of the SFB 1027.

Press release of the Saarland University

Link to the Conference Page

A team of physicists and biologists lead by Prof. Karin Jacobs and Prof. Markus Bischoff from project B2 of the SFB 1027 has developed a method with which they can measure the contact area between a bacterium and the surface it is ‘sitting’ on. Interestingly, and perhaps counterintuitively, a large contact area does not necessarily mean a large adhesive force. It turns out that specific features of the bacteria, which result in local differences in the composition of the proteins in the cell wall, are the main reasons for the observed differences in adhesion. These results can now be used to optimize antibacterial materials. The research work is being published today in the journal Nanoscale.

For more information click here

Press release of the Saarland University

This year’s Summer Camp took place at the Tagungshotel Hohenwart Forum near Pforzheim. The program for the 25 participants comprised ten scientific talks about ongoing work in the respective SFB project, poster presentation, poster session, and a trip to the Waldklettergarten Pforzheim. Thanks to all for their active participation in the discussions after the talks and in the poster session as well as for creating a familiar and stimulating atmosphere during the whole Summer Camp!
The participants of the Summer Camp elected a new YR-Speaker (and his vice-speaker) who will be the representatives of the SFB's young researchers for the next year. The new YR-speaker is: Girish Ramesh (workgroup of Prof. Niemeyer - projekt C4). His vice-speaker is: Marc Finkler (workgroup of Prof. Ott - project C1).

Dr. Shrikrishnan Sankaran, a post-doc of project B6 working with Prof. Aranzazu del Campo at the Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM), was nominated by the Leibniz Association and selected to attend the 67th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting from the 25th to 30th of June, 2017. This year’s meeting was dedicated to the achievements in the field of Chemistry  and was attended by 30 Nobel Laureates and approximately 400 young scientists from 74 different countries. The meeting featured talks by all the attending Nobel Laureates and also included discussion sessions and other events with them. Shrikrishnan, who works on developing dynamic biomaterials with light-responsive functionalities, had the unique opportunity to personally interact with Nobel Laureates such as Ben Feringa, Stefan Hell, Jean-Marie Lehn, Martin Chalfie, etc. He was also invited to attend a scientific dinner and breakfast hosted by Mars Inc. during which experts and young scientists discussed the subjects of the ‘human microbiome’ and ‘flavor chemistry’ respectively.

    Press release of the INM;      Newspaper article (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Cryopreservation of red blood cells is important to guarantee sufficient supply of blood material in case of medical emergencies and as alternative to blood banks. International team of scientists involving, physicists and chemists,  developed a low-cost solvent-free and dialysis-free process of red blood cell cryopreservation with extremely high survival rates (> 90%). Among them Dr. Jean-Baptiste Fleury and Prof. Dr. Ralf Seemann, both principal investigators of project B4 of the SFB 1027. They investigated the mechanism of drug delivery that enables to achieve the red blod cells cryopreservation. This study has been published in Biomaterials.

Press release of the Saarland University

Insight into crumpling or compaction of one-dimensional objects is important for understanding biopolymer packaging and designing innovative technological devices. An internationalteam of physicists has now investigated how efficient quasi-one-dimensional objects can be folded. Among them is Dr. Reza Shaebani, principal investigator of project A7 of the SFB 1027. He developped a theoretical model for the compaction of wires. The study has been published in Nature Communications.

Press release of the Saarland University


Natural killer cells play a central role in the fight of the immune system against infected or tumorigenic cells. On their search for, e.g., cancer cells the killer cells also encounter other cell types, in particular uninvolved or bystander cells. Now scientists of the SFB 1027 found out that the presence of these bystander cells does not impede the efficiency of the killers in their search for cancer cells. On the contrary, the efficiency was increased, which was totally unxpected. The reason for this boost is the secretion of radical oxygen species (ROS) by the bystanders. This study is a prime example for a successful collaboration between experiment and theory and involved 4 research groups of the SFB 1027: Bin Qu (project A2), Heiko Rieger (project A3), Volkhard Helms (project C3), and Ivan Bogeski (project C4). The results were now published in Scientific Reports.


Press release of the Saarland University

Franziska Lautenschläger, the PI of project A10 of the SFB 1027 and Junior-Professor in the department for experimental physics of the Saarland University, now also leads a new junior research group in the Leibniz Institute for New Matrials (INM). This research group focuses on the cytoskeleton of living cells and is aimed to strengthen the medicine relevant research of the INM at the boundary between cells and materials. With the temporal employment of Franziska Lautenschläger as junior group leader the INM intensifies its ties to the Saarland University and its engagement with the SFB 1027, which involves already two PIs from the INM, Prof. Aranzazu del Campo and Prof. Niels de Jonge.

Franziska Lautenschläger     Press release of the INM


Manfred Schmitt, principle investigator of project A6 of the SFB 1027 and professor for Molecular and Cell Biology at the Saar-Uni will be the new President of the Saarland University. On the 1st of March he will follow the current President, professor Volker Linneweber, who will retire then. Today the University Council and yesterday the University Senate elected Manfred Schmitt with an unanimous vote for President. The next step will be his official nomination by the Prime Minister of the Saarland, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. The SFB 1027 wishes Manfred Schmitt the best of luck for his coming presidentship!

Manfred Schmitt   Press realease of the Saarland University



After a promising evaluation of the SFB 1027 in September, see the pictures below, the expectations for the senate committee meeting of the DFG on 17./18.11. were high. Now it is official: the DFG will support our DFG with 10 Million Euro for another 4-year period until 2020, after a 9.2 Million Euro funding for the current period (2013-2016). The reviewers acknowledged that our collaborative research center achieved by now high national and international visibility by a large number of excellent publications and in particular by the international conference “Cell Physics” that the SFB organized 2014 and 2016 in Saarbrücken. Researchers from Germany and Europe approach us to study the biological systems that are investigated in our SFB. As a result we have now 4 researchers from other universities (Dresden, Geneva, Erlangen and Göttingen) in our collaborative research center. Particularly fortunate is the successful connection of the SFB 1027 with the Institute of New Materials (INM) in Saarbrücken with two research projects, one lead by Prof. Aránzazu del Campo and one lead by Prof. Niels de Jonge from the INM. Very important was also the integration of Jun.-Prof. Franziska Lautenschläger (experimental biophysics), who was specifically hired by the physics department to strengthen the SFB. The reviewers also emphasized that our SFB with its outstanding support of young researchers by measures like funding for Junior research projects, Summer camps, and an integrated research training school is an incubator for young scientists. Already the “Wissenschaftsrat” in its 2014 evaluation of the UdS highlighted the strong interdisciplinary and integrative potential of the SFB 1027 which is exemplary at the Saarland University for its successful exploitation of synergies between natural and life science and within the University’s NanoBioMed priority areas. We are looking forward to another 4 years of exciting interdisciplinary science.


Press release of the the Saarland University

Press release of the DFG

Newspaper (SZ) article


After a streneous two-days on-site review of our CRC the PIs were very happy ...

PIs after review

 ... and finally relaxed:

PIs relaxed



Heiko Rieger, professor for Theoretical Physics at the Saarland University and Speaker of the local Collaborative Research Center SFB 1027, was distinguished by the University of Szeged in Hungary with the honerate doctorate ("Dr. honoris causa"). Rieger, since 1999 professor at the Saarland University, received the honour on the 12th of November at the University which is located within the border triangle of Hungary, Romania and Serbia. It is with ca. 25.000 students one of the largest universities of the country. The honorate doctorate was awarded to him due to intensive and longlasting collaborations with members of the University of Szeged.


For more information click here


H. Rieger honored as Dr. honoris causa        Prof. H. Rieger with collaborator Prof. F. Iglói

Left: Heiko Rieger receives the honerate doctorate from the rector of the University of Szeged, Prof. Dr. Gábor Szabó.
Right: Heiko Riegerwith his long-standing collaboration partner from the University of Szeged, Prof. Ferenc Iglói.

Madhurima Dhara, Mitarbeiterin im Teilprojekt C5 (Dieter Bruns, Ralf Mohrmann), erhält den mit 2000 Euro dotierten Pagliarello-Studienpreis für ihre ausgezeichnete Doktorarbeit. 

Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

MAdhurima Dhara mit ihrem Doktorvater, Prof. Dieter Bruns


Führende Forscher aus aller Welt tauschen sich über Stand der Zellphysik aus

Von den Ursprüngen des Lebens über die Entwicklung von Organismen bis hin zum Labor auf dem Chip: Aktuelle Forschungsergebnisse aus der Zellphysik diskutieren Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler renommierter internationaler Forschungseinrichtungen vom 22. bis 24. Juni an der Universität des Saarlandes. Die Konferenz „Cell Physics“ findet bereits zum zweiten Mal auf dem Saarbrücker Campus statt. Veranstalter ist der Sonderforschungsbereich 1027 „Physikalische Modellierung von Nichtgleichgewichts-Prozessen in biologischen Systemen“ der Saar-Uni, der grundlegende physikalische Mechanismen in Zellen erforscht. Die Professoren für Theoretische Physik, Ludger Santen und Heiko Rieger, organisieren die Konferenz.

Wie funktionieren die Prozesse in Zellen, wie die physikalischen Mechanismen von Zellbewegungen? Warum bewegen sich Immunzellen überhaupt auf Tumorzellen oder Viren zu? Und wie haften Bakterien an Oberflächen? Mit solchen Fragen befasst sich die Zellphysik. An der Saar-Uni forschen auf diesem Gebiet Physiker, Mediziner, Biologen und Bioinformatiker im Sonderforschungsbereich 1027, den die Deutsche Forschungs-gemeinschaft (DFG) mit 9,1 Millionen Euro für die ersten vier Jahre fördert. Sie untersuchen unter anderem Mechanismen, die dem Wachstum von Tumoren, der Funktionsweise von Nervenzellen oder Zellen unseres Immunsystems zugrunde liegen und gehen diesen Forschungsfragen aus sehr unterschiedlichen Perspektiven nach: Theoretische Physiker modellieren biologische Prozesse im Computer, Experimentalphysiker und Zellbiologen untersuchen vereinfachte Modellsysteme, die sie unter kontrollierten Laborbedingungen beeinflussen können und Mediziner gewinnen neue Ideen für klinische Anwendungen.

Dieses wissenschaftliche Konzept spiegelt sich im Programm der diesjährigen „Cell Physics“-Konferenz wider: Führende internationale Forscherinnen und Forscher, die sich mit den Fragen der Zellphysik befassen, kommen zum Austausch ihrer Ergebnisse auf den Saarbrücker Uni-Campus. Die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) fördert die Konferenz über den Sonderforschungsbereich 1027.

Prof. Dr. Ludger Santen, Tel.: 0681 / 302 57411; E-Mail: l.santen(at)

Programm und weitere Information:

Quelle: Pressemitteilung UdS

Foto: Participants of the conference Cell Physics 2014, 23.-26.9.2014, Saarland University, Saarbrücken.
The participants of the 2016 Summer Camp

Photos of the first Junior Scientists Kart Race:

Kart Race 1 Kart Race 2 Kart Race 3

Nicolas Thewes, Doktorand in der Arbeitsgruppe von Prof. Karin Jacobs, TP B1 und B2, hat auf der diesjärigen Frühjahrstagung der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft in Regensburg, 6.-11.3.2016, in der Sektion "Biologische Physik" den ersten Preis im Posterwettbewerb gewonnen. Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

Staphylococcus aureus ist einer der wichtigsten bakteriellen Krankheitserreger weltweit. Zellen dieses Erregers können gut an biologischen und künstlichen Oberflächen haften und dabei Biofilme bilden, die sich kaum noch bekämpfen lassen. Eine interdisziplinäre Kollaboration im Rahmen des SFB 1027, bestehend aus den Arbeitsgruppen von Prof. Karin Jacobs (Experimentalphysik), Prof. Ludger Santen (Theoretische Physik) und Prof. Mathias Herrmann (Mikrobiologie) konnten nachweisen, dass Staphylococcus aureus einen sehr effektiven Mechanismus nutzt, um an einer künstlichen Oberfläche anzudocken: Die Erreger sind in der Lage, sich mit Hilfe von Zellwandproteinen aktiv an eine Oberfläche „heranzuziehen“. Die Ergebnisse der aktuellen Studie wurden in der Fachzeitschrift „Soft Matter“ veröffentlicht.

For more informations click here

The SFB 1027 organizes the second international conference “Cell Physics” from 22. to 24. June 2016 at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken. Leading scientists from biophysics and biology will exchange novel ideas on the physics of living cells with the members of the SFB 1027. We are looking forward to this exciting event and a fruitful scientific dialogue and inspiration.

Further information can be found here (continuously updated).

Foto: Participants of the conference Cell Physics 2014, 23.-26.9.2014, Saarland University, Saarbrücken.
The participants of the 2015 Summer Camp for the SFB junior scientists and PhD students returned happily from very succesfull 4 days at the DPG physics center in Bad Honnef. The program comprised 11 talks of 45 minutes including discussions and poster presentaions - see the program for further information. A highlight was the interactive poster karaoke preceding the poster session, in which each poster had to be introduced by one non-expert, who had the opportunity to familiarize him / herself with the content of the poster only 24 hours in advance. Moreover, some of the PIs of the SFB gave lectures on relevant methods and tools - Ludger Santen for instance gave an introduction into molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations of biophysics systems. The summer camp concluded with a final discussion round in which all participants expressed their wish to repeat the event again next year and confirmed the large potential of the meeting to strengthen the cross collaborations within the SFB.
Calciumsignale sind für biologische Prozesse essentiell. In T-Zellen, einer bestimmten Art von Immunzellen, sorgt eine erhöhte Konzentration von Calcium-Ionen dafür, dass die Immunzellen entzündungshemmende Stoffe freisetzen oder eine Zelle abtöten, die von einem Virus befallen ist. Proteine, die für die Aktivierung der Kanäle verantwortlich sind, durch welche die Calcium-Ionen fließen, spielen dabei eine elementare Rolle. Wissenschaftler um Barbara Niemeyer, Professorin für Molekulare Biophysik an der Universität des Saarlandes und Projektleiterin im SFB 1027, haben nun in Zusammenarbeit mit Volkhard Helms, Professor für Bioinfomatik an der UdS und ebenfalls Projektleiter im SFB 1027, eines dieser Proteine genauer untersucht. Die Ergebnisse ihrer Arbeit haben sie in der renommierten Fachzeitschrift „Nature Communications“ veröffentlicht.
For more informations click here.
Die Saarbrücker Professorin für Experimentalphysik Karin Jacobs ist zum ordentlichen Mitglied der mathematisch-naturwissenschaftlichen Klasse der Mainzer Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur gewählt worden. Unter den zwanzig Mitgliedern des Fachgebiets Physik der Akademie ist Karin Jacobs die einzige Frau. Die Wissenschaftlerin wurde außerdem vor kurzem bei der weltweit größten Physik-Konferenz in den USA ausgezeichnet.
For more information click here.
Dr. Peter Loskill, ehemals Doktorand im SFB 1027 und Mitglied der Arbeitsgruppe von Prof. Dr. Karin Jacobs und zurzeit Forscher an der University of California in Berkeley, ist unter den vom Journal „Technology Review“ gekürten 10 innovativsten Köpfen unter 35 Jahren.  Aus vielen hochkarätigen Bewerbungen wählte die Jury die 10 besten Innovatoren aus. Sie sollten eine Entwicklung vorweisen, die auf einer neuen Idee basiert und das Leben von zahlreichen Menschen verbessert. Der Physiker Dr. Peter Loskill will die wichtigsten Organe des Körpers auf den winzigen Bausteinen unterbringen und so neue Medikamente schneller, präziser und möglichst ohne Tierversuche testen. Seine Chips enthalten alle nötigen Zelltypen des menschlichen Organs, gewonnen aus umprogrammierten Körperzellen. Letztendlich will er die verschiedenen Labororgane zu einer Art Laborkörper verbinden. "Damit ließen sich Nebenwirkungen viel besser erfassen als in einfachen Zellkulturen.".
Der Preis wurde bereits letztes Jahr vergeben und da war Prof. Dr. Verena Wolf, ein weiteres Mitglied des SFB 1027 unter den Gewinnern (wir berichteten).
For more informations click here and here
Foto: Participants of the conference Cell Physics 2014, 23.-26.9.2014, Saarland University, Saarbrücken.
Vom  23. bis 26. September fand auf dem Campus der Saar-Uni die erste Konferenz „Cell Physics“ 2014 statt. Die Konferenz wurde vom Sonderforschungsbereich 1027 mit Unterstützung des  Graduiertenkollegs 1276 veranstaltet. Auf der Konferenz wurden aktuelle Themen der Zellbiologie aus einem physikalischen Blickwinkel diskutiert.
Ziel der Konferenz war es, eine Vielzahl der weltweit führenden Wissenschaftler auf diesem Gebiet vor Ort mit den lokalen Wissenschaftlern und Studenten in einen Dialog über die jeweiligen aktuellen Forschungsgebiete und den Stand der Forschung zu bringen. Dies ist auf Anhieb geglückt. Die Anwesenden lobten durchweg die hohe Qualität der Veranstaltung. Auch die Nachwuchswissenschaftler und Studenten erhielten viele Anregungen und Kontakte und stellten selbst mit 96 Posterpräsentationen die Ergebnisse ihrer derzeitigen Forschung vor.
For more informations click here.
Dr. Peter Loskill, ehemals Doktorand der AG Jacobs, jetzt Postdoc in der Gruppe von Prof. Kevin Healy an der University of California at Berkeley, USA, war Finalist beim Dissertationspreis 2014 der Sektion Kondensierte Materie der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft in Dresden. Er trug über das Thema "Unraveling the impact of subsurface and surface properties of a material on biological adhesion - a multi-scale approach" vor, das von den Gruppen Jacobs und Herrmann als Projekt B2 im SFB 1027 fortgeführt wird. Ein voller Hörsaal mit interessiertem Publikum und viel Beifall war der Lohn aller vier Finalisten. Gewonnen hat der Festkörperphysiker Dr. Bernhard Endres. Gratulation!
For more informations click here.
Zwei Sonderforschungsbereiche (SFBs) an der Universität des Saarlandes befassen sich seit einigen Jahren mit dem Thema Signalübertragung in Zellen: Wie gelangt ein Nervenreiz von einer Nervenzelle zur anderen, so dass letzten Endes im Gehirn eine Sinneswahrnehmung entsteht? Welche Rolle spielt Calcium als Motor für den gezielten Tod von Krebszellen? Und welchen physikalischen Gesetzen folgen solche Vorgänge im menschlichen Körper? Solchen Fragen gehen die Wissenschaftler beider SFBs an der Saar-Uni nach. Beide Forschergruppen treffen sich am 12. März, um sich gegenseitig über den Stand ihrer Forschungen zu informieren. Zu Gast sind auch drei weltweit führende Wissenschaftler aus den USA, Italien und Schweden, die auf dem Gebiet des „Molekularen Signaling“ forschen. Dieses Forschungsgebiet wurde in den Empfehlungen des Wissenschaftsrates ausdrücklich als Stärke der Saar-Uni hervorgehoben. Das Symposium ist öffentlich.
For more informations click here.
Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler der Saar-Uni sowie der Universitäten Tübingen und Ulm haben gemeinsam mit weiteren Forschergruppen eine seltene Schädigung des Hörsystems an Labormäusen beobachten können, die sich deutlich von klassischen Hörschäden unterscheidet.
For more informations click here.
Karin Jacobs, Professorin für Experimentalphysik an der Universität des Saarlandes und Projektleiterin und Vorstandsmitglied im Sonderforschungsbereich SFB 1027, wurde vom Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien (INM) zum INM Fellow benannt. Professorin Jacobs wird im Rahmen dieser strategischen Partnerschaft mit dem Programmbereich Nanotribologie am INM zusammenarbeiten. Ziel der Kooperation ist es, herauszufinden, wie Flüssigkeiten an festen Grenzflächen gleiten und haften.
For more informations click here.
Mit ihrer Forschungsarbeit hat die 34-jährige Professorin den Nachwuchswettbewerb „Innovatoren unter 35“ des Magazins Technolgy Review gewonnen. Aus 45 Bewerbungen hat die Jury fünf Gewinner ausgewählt, die Preisverleihung erfolgte am Dienstag, dem 5. November im Rahmen des von der Zeitschrift veranstalteten Innovationskongresses.
Prof. Wolf forscht daran, komplexe Prozesse in Zellen mit Computersimulationen darzustellen. So können die Informatiker in ihrem Team mit einer neuen Software die Entwicklung ganzer Zellpopulationen in nur wenigen Tagen nachbilden. Bislang war dies ein zeitaufwendiges Unterfangen. Mediziner und Biologen können mit den Modellen zum Beispiel an neuartigen Krebs-Therapien forschen.
12 Nachwuchswissenschaftler können sich über die finanzielle Förderung ihrer Projekte freuen. Doktoranden und Post-Docs konnten im Rahmen des SFB 1027, „Physikalische Modellierung von Nichtgleichgewichtsprozessen in biologischen Systemen“, Anträge auf die Finanzierung ihrer Forschungsprojekte stellen. In diesem Jahr standen hierfür 50.000 Euro aus pauschalen Mitteln zur Verfügung, über deren Vergabe am 31.10.2013 ein Junior-Forschungsausschuss entschied.
Wie funktionieren grundlegende Prozesse in Zellen? Dieser Frage werden Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler aus Saarbrücken und Homburg in einem neuen Sonderforschungsbereich an der Universität des Saarlandes nachgehen. Die Physiker, Mediziner, Biologen und Bioinformatiker untersuchen in stark fächerübergreifenden Projekten zum Beispiel grundlegende physikalische Mechanismen von Zellbewegungen, Anhaftung von Bakterien an Oberflächen oder die Dynamik verschiedener Transportprozesse. Aus den Erkenntnissen über die Zell-„Mechanik“ möchten die Forscher allgemeingültige Grundprinzipien zellulärer Prozesse ableiten. Start des neuen SFB 1027 „Physikalische Modellierung von Nichtgleichgewichts-Prozessen in biologischen Systemen” ist am 1. Januar 2013. Zunächst fördert die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft das interdisziplinäre Vorhaben über vier Jahre mit 9,1 Millionen Euro.
For more informations click here and here.