The Sabass group: Cell Biophysics and Statistical Physics
We take a theoretical-physics perspective to discover and characterize the working principles of living systems. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of our research, we are interested in a broad range of questions at the interfaces of theoretical physics, biology, and the medical sciences — in particular veterinary medicine.
In our group, we combine analytical theory and computer simulations with experiments, either done in collaborations or directly in our lab. For theoretical work, we employ concepts from statistical physics, network science, and soft condensed matter physics. We also develop novel experimental methodology for quantifiying mechanical forces generated by cells.
A main research topic is the stochastic micromechanics of individual cells and multicellular ensembles. Cellular micromechanics plays a ubiquitous role in biology, for example, for pathogen migration and host invasion, cancer metastasis, morphogenesis, and tissue homeostasis. Sensing- and control mechanisms are usually central. Our aim is to not only quantify regulatory processes in pathogens, but also to elucidate the governing principles, such as a tradeoff between control and emergence, optimization of performance, or robustness.
The group belongs to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and to the Faculty of Physics and we are associated with the Chair of Bacteriology and Mycology (Reinhard Straubinger). Our lab is located at the Chair of Experimental Parasitology (Markus Meissner) next to the Biomedical Center Munich in Martinsried/Planegg.
Our main funding source is an ERC Starting Grant.