Our aim at the Institute is to understand the physical principles and molecular mechanisms of life, in particular those that involve cellular membranes and the proteins within them. Membrane proteins play a pivotal role in the most fundamental life processes, including energy conversion and metabolism, signal recognition and transduction, as well as the active and passive transport of metabolites into and out of the cell. The study of the membrane proteins involved in these processes forms the core of our research work.
Traditionally, one of the directors at the Institute holds a chair at Frankfurt University, which ensures close contact and good relations with Frankfurt University. Long-standing and very fruitful collaborations exist with research groups at the university. A recently established "Sonderforschungsbereich" (area of special study) in molecular bioenergetics funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft provides an important link between our Institute and groups in the university departments of biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physics.
Molecular biophysics seems to foster international collaborations even more than other fields of science, perhaps because it often depends on specialized techniques and unique equipment which make it necessary to travel. We have many close scientific contacts with colleagues all over the world who come to use the equipment, or to apply the techniques developed here to their particular project. We believe that today our Institute is one of the most attractive places in the world for research in molecular biophysics.
Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysik
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