Research Training Group
The Research Training Group (RTG) is aiming to investigate the biology of sensory cells at the molecular level. The research projects have a strong interdisciplinary character involving both project leaders and students from biology, chemistry and physics.
Projects target fundamental problems in research fields dealing with vision, hearing, magnetoreception, olfaction and bacterial chemoreception. Thesis topics will address, for example, activation processes of receptor molecules, receptor-coupled signal transduction pathways and molecular switch mechanisms in components of these pathways. Moreover, the understanding of sensory phenomena in living systems is envisioned to benefit greatly from physical model systems and vice versa the biological systems could inspire the development of new technical applications (e.g. in biomedicine). Thus, the central topics of all projects are directed towards unravelling the operational principles of sensory systems and towards understanding the common molecular and physical principles realized in sensory systems.
In order to address these central questions, different experimental strategies are needed. Most of the projects are based on tools available in molecular and cellular biology, but also depend on input from bioinformatics, biophysical techniques and the design and synthesis of chemical compounds that can be used in fluorescence studies. Consequently, the study programme provides the students with strong skills in biology, chemistry and physics, and the red thread of the study programme and qualification concept is close collaboration and mutual exchange of ideas between these disciplines.