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Research Interests

Biophysical Chemistry, our main research area, uses experimental and theoretical approaches and develops new methods to address the mechanisms of biological processes at a molecular level. By using a variety of physico-chemical techniques, we are studying the structure, dynamics and phase behavior of biological model systems, such as model biomembranes, nucleic acids, proteins, and their interactions. Their understanding helps in investigations of the more complex biological systems. Our emphasis in the field of membrane biophysics is the study of the energetics and phase behavior of lipid mesophases and the interaction of model biomembranes with steroids, anesthetics, drugs, polypeptides and signaling proteins. Our research activity is also motivated by a number of current and potential biomedical applications (e.g., drug delivery systems). We also address pressure effects in molecular biophysics, such as pressure-induced phase transformations of lipid membranes as well as folding and misfolding of proteins. Deeper knowledge of protein-folding physics and chemistry allows the design of drugs that will bind to specific protein conformations, thereby altering their folding pathway and preventing misfolding, which can lead to diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. Besides the general physico-chemical interest in using high pressure as a tool for understanding the conformational dynamics and energetics of biomolecular systems, high pressure is also of considerable physiological (e.g., for understanding the physiology of deep-sea organisms) and biotechnological (e.g., for high-pressure food processing, baroenzymology) interest.

Current Research Programs

Biophysical chemistry:

  • model biomembrane systems, lipid mixtures
  • energetics and phase behavior of lipid mesophases
  • membrane-protein interactions
  • membrane-associated signal transduction processes
  • rational membrane design, drug targeting
  • kinetics of biomolecular phase transitions
  • protein folding
  • misfolding and aggregation (amyloidogenesis) of proteins, small-molecule inhibitors
  • structure and dynamics of water in biomolecular systems (solvation science)
  • confinement, crowding and cosolvent effects on biomolecular systems
  • liquid-liquid phase separation phenomena, biomolecular condensates
  • high-pressure effects in molecular biophysics and soft condensed matter

Astrobiophysical chemistry:

  • biomaterials under extreme environmental conditions
  • prebiotic chemistry
  • the deep biosphere

Structure and dynamics of complex liquids:

  • liquid water and aqueous solutions
  • liquid matter under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure
  • polymer systems at high pressure conditions
  • liquid state physics

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dortmund Airport (DTM) to Dortmund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dortmund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of international flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.

The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Site Map of TU Dortmund University (Second Page in English).