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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).