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28.03.2017 | News

A perfectly folded thesis!

Tania (Tetiana) perfectly passed her PhD exams today. It was the great challenge of her project to characterize how molecular interactions stabilize the state of the lactose permease (LacY) and to characterize in great detail how assisted by an insertase LacY folds into the membrane. Congratulations to Tania to her excellent scientific work! Read more 

03.03.2017 | News

What an impressive crosstalk!

Mitasha passed her PhD exams today. One of the great challenges in her project was to quantify the adhesion of fibroblasts to extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. In her thesis Mitasha explored how integrins initiating cell adhesion to ECM proteins crosstalk to efficiently strengthen adhesion. Congratulations to Mitasha to this very nice scientific work! Read more 

10.12.2016 | News

Congratulations to David Martinez-Martin

David has received the Excellence Award in Physics for the development of a picoscopic cell balance. The award is the highest distinction from the Spanish Professional Association of Physicists and recognizes the outstanding trajectories of scientists in different fields of physics with a focus on innovation and industrial applications.  Read more 

07.11.2016 | News

Congratulations to Michael Krieg!

Michael former PhD student of our lab has just accepted an offer from the prestigious Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain (ICFO, In 2017 Michael, now a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University, will start as a group leader/professor. In addition he just received an ERC grant. We wish you an outstanding time!!! Read more 



ICMSE Conference 2017

From August 27 to 29, 2017 our NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering organizes the first biennial International Conference on Molecular Systems Engineering (ICMSE) in Basel. The ICMSE focuses on the emerging field of molecular systems engineering and will feature speakers and participants from leading international research institutions. Read more 


Group Retreat 2017

Don't miss the this year's group retreat from May 11th-16th. We will meet, present and discuss ongoing and future science at the Villa La Collina/Lago di Como, Italy ( This year several international scientists and colleagues will join our retreat coming from Sweden, Germany, and Switzerland. Read more 


Conference on Liposomes, Exosomes, and Virosomes: From Modeling Complex Membrane Processes to Medical Diagnostics and Drug Delivery

From 11.-16. Sepmetber 2016 we organize together with the Groups of Horst Vogel (EPFL), Lukas Tamm (University Virginia) and the Biophysical Society of the United Staates above conference to cover recent developments for investigating biochemical reactions and networks at, in, and across membranes of artificial and cell membrane-derived vesicles. The conference will take part at the beautiful Monte Verita in Ascona, Switzerland.  Read more 


NCCR Lunch Seminars

Don't miss the NCCR lunch seminars. Exciting science and tasy sandwiches provided.  


NCCR SeminBar

Don't miss the NCCR SeminBar! Internationally well known speakers present multidisciplinary science at the Ackermannshof in Basel. Jay's Indian Restaurant provides exciting drinks and food. After the talk life music will be presented and at very late times DJ Morbus (alias Max H.) will bring the vibes in a coll lounge atmosphere.


Group Retreat 2016

Don't miss the this year's group retreat from April 27-30. We will meet, present and discuss ongoing and future science atthe Hotel Bellevue in Davos/Switzerland (

Recent Publications

18.04.2017 | Publications

New Paper in Nature Nanotechnology!

In this paper we review together with our scientific colleagues the AFM as an nanotechnological platform that allows biological samples, from single molecules to living cells, to be visualized and manipulated. We review the basic principles, advantages and limitations of the most common AFM bioimaging modes, including the popular contact and dynamic modes, as well as recently developed modes such as multiparametric, molecular recognition, multifrequency and high-speed imaging. Read more 

23.03.2017 | Publications

New Paper in Nature Reviews Materials

In this Review written with our colleagues, we survey basic and advanced AFM-related approaches and evaluate their unique advantages and limitations in imaging, sensing, parameterizing and designing biointerfaces. We anticipate that in the next decade these AFM-related techniques will show a strong influence on the way researchers view, characterize and construct biointerfaces, thereby helping to solve and address fundamental challenges that cannot be addressed with other techniques. Read more 

01.02.2017 | Publications

New Paper in Nature Communications

In our new paper we find that upon initiating cell adhesion αV-class integrins engaged to the extracellular matrix protein, fibronectin, signal to α5β1 integrins to establish additional adhesion sites and to strengthen cell adhesion. The cooperative crosstalk between both fibronectin-binding integrin classes towards establishing cell adhesion appears to be a basic cellular mechanism. See Bharadwaj et al Nat. Commun. Read more 

01.11.2016 | Publications

New Paper in Nature Nanotechnology!

Viral infection is initiated when a virus binds to cell surface receptors. However, the very first binding events of enveloped viruses are hardy understood. Here, we introduce an nanoscopic assay to image animal cells and to detect virus-binding events within the first ms of contact at high resolution. We observe how viruses quickly occupy binding sites of the viral glycoprotein to initiate virus fusion and uptake. See Alsteens et al. Nat. Nanotech. (2016) Read more 

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