We apply various configurations of the patch-clamp technique (whole-cell, cell-attached, excised inside-out, outside-out) to native and genetically manipulated cells and subcellular compartments. They enable us to monitor protein function and protein-protein interactions at high-resolution.
We use a large spectrum of biochemical techniques to detect and quantify membrane proteins (mainly ion channels and receptors), their post-translational modifications and association with other proteins in complexes and protein networks.
Modern mass spectrometers coupled with liquid chromatography enable us to identify several hundreds of proteins from complex samples with high confidence and sequence coverage. In addition, they provide quantitative data that let us determine stability, specificity and stoichiometry of protein-protein interactions as well as absolute protein abundance.
Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) provides information on structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules at atomic resolution under near-physiological conditions. We use it to examine proteins participating in the nano-environment of membrane proteins with regard to their 3D structure, mobility and interactions.
Using innovative microsystems, we work to enhance resolution and throughput of electrical recording from biomembranes. We develop biohybrid sensing devices based on arrays of single biological nanopores in membrane microarrays and study the interaction of semiconductor nanoparticles (quantum dots) with synthetic and biological membranes.
To understand how neurons collectively process information, we develop optogenetic tools as well as new technologies for recordings from neurons in vivo and imaging of cell activity using photon Ca2+ and functional approaches. With computational network models we gain information on the principles underlying information processing in complex neuronal circuits.
Our central goal is comprehensive understanding of organization and operation of rapid signal transduction and information processing at the plasma membrane of excitable cells under normal and pathophysiological conditions.
How is information processed and encoded in neuronal networks to realize learning, memory and behaviour?We aim to uncover the mechanisms underlying information processing by applying electrophysiological, imaging, molecular and computational approaches.