Cellular metabolism with its more than 1000 different chemical reactions is highly complex. Despite decades of research, we are still far from understanding how metabolism really functions. Yet, such understanding is crucial for biotechnology as well as for health and disease, where we start to realize that a faulty metabolism might be at the onset of diseases such as diabetes and cancer, and of microbial pathogenicity etc. Also, in recent years, we have more and more evidence that metabolism is not a boring cellular function, but that metabolism is in fact also involved in cellular decision-making.
To this end, our lab wants to understand (i) how primary carbon metabolism functions, and (ii) how metabolism controls other cellular processes, such as the entry into bacterial persistence or progression through the eukaryotic cell cycle.
In our projects, we combine experimental and computational/modeling efforts. Where necessary, we develop new experimental or computational tools. Our lab members have diverse educational backgrounds ranging from biology via engineering to computer science. We find such a multidisciplinary environment very stimulating and also most adequate to jointly solve the exciting challenges.
Our research is primarily curiosity-driven, i.e. the main source of motivation comes from the mere interest of getting a deeper insight into metabolism. However, in case one of our generated fundamental findings can, for instance, help improving bioprocesses, we also try to implement this in the applied context.