Cell Physiology and Applications (Herwig Bachman and Jurgen Haanstra)
Cellular physiology is essential for our understanding of cell survival and proliferation, how cells interact with each other and how we can exploit them for biotechnological or biomedical applications. Within the research group “Cell Physiology and Applications” we are devoted to a better understanding of physiological organizing principles in cells. Model organisms include the prokaryotes E. coli and lactic acid bacteria as well as the eukaryotes yeast, African trypanosomes and liver cancer cells. While a big part of the focus is on central carbon metabolism we also investigate secondary metabolism such as the degradation and consumption of extracellular compounds or the formation of volatile metabolites.
We use advanced culturing technologies such as microdroplets, microplates and bioreactors, -omics technologies, metabolic modeling and experimental evolution to unravel underlying principles. With these tools we can predict and validate conditions for optimal yields or drug interventions. In diseased cells similar techniques can be used to identify bottlenecks that can be exploited by drugs. We have numerous collaborations with industry on topics including the optimization of growth rates, biomass- and metabolite-production or decreased lag-times.