Welcome to the Biophysics Group

Welcome to the Biophysics Group


22. Januar 2016

What a final! Cedric passed his PhD exams at the ETH Zürich giving an excellent defense! After all formalities have been done he will be the NEW Dr. Screen in our lab. Cedric sucessfully focussed a heroic PhD project in which he screened for genes contributing to mechanical phenotypes of mitotic cells. Besides many excellent papers he published the BIG ONE will follow ;-)


1. December 2015

Today we start our new research and engineering project to develop a new microscope with a Swiss industry partner. As new postdoc we warmly welcome Jonathan Adams in our team. The project it co-funded by the Federal Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI).

17. November 2015

Heartiest Congratulations to Tanja on the arrival of her baby! Peter arrrived by express delivery ;-) and had impressive 3510 g. We wish Tanja and Thomas a wonderful time with the little boy and make the best of the time. With best wishes for many rewarding years ahead with the family.

15. November 2015

Congrats to Moritz and David to their new paper appearing in Nature Communications. David and Moritz developed a high-resolution method that allows to image single G-protein coupled receptors and to simultaneously detect their binding to two different ligands. The work was done in collaboration with Brian Kobilka (Stanford) and Shaun Coughlin (UCSF). For more info please click here'


12. November 2015

Congrats to Barbara to her new paper appearing in Nature Communications. Barbara developed together with the group of Andreas Hierlemann a micropillar assay that mimics the mechanical properties of the epithelia. Optically moniotring the pillars allows to quantify the forces generated by rounding mitotic epithelial cells. It is observed that the mitotic cells contract the actomyosin cortex and generate pressure to round against epithelial confinement. However, if this confinement is too stiff the rounding cells use these mechanisms to escape the confinement where they can conduct mitosis in an unperturbed manner. For more info please click here'


8. September 2015

Congrats to Cedrics new paper appearing in PNAS. Cedric found ways to mechanically control mitotic progression in animal mitotic cells. For more info
click here'


7. September 2015

Congrats to Yosh to his new paper appearing in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. Yosh together with the group of Sebastian Hiller (Biozentrum, University of Basel) developed a new nanotechnological assay to study the chaperone assisted folding of integral beta-barrel proteins. By combining this assay with NMR spectroscopy it became possible to unravel the mechanisms of how periplasmic chaperones assist the folding of outer membrane proteins into lipid membranes. For more info please click here'

5. August 2015

Goodbye to David Alsteens. David accepted a fantastic offer for a full professorship at the University of Leuven, Belgium. The goodbye party was fantastic, we crossed the rhine with the ferry about 20 times and then torkeling to the barbecue. Daniel managed to burn all sausages and demonstrated hi excellent experimental skills. We are grateful that he gave the goodbye party an unforgetable taste which some had to wash off by swimming in the rhine at midnight. We wish David the very very very best! May the force be with you! 


13. July 2015

Congrats to David and Moritz to their new paper appearing in Nature Methods. David and Moritz developed a high-resolution method that allows to image single G-protein coupled receptors and to simultaneously detect their free-energy landscape of ligand binding. The work was done in collaboration with Brian Kobilka (Stanford) and Shaun Coughlin (UCSF). For more info please click here'

27. February 2015

Tiebreak! Our tennis star Moritz successfully passed his PhD exams at the ETH Zürich giving a perfect match. After all formalities have been done he will be the NEW Dr. super tennis in our lab. Apologize that we do cannot show any of the compromising pictures of the PhD party -  after which Moritz right away went to Japan. We do not know whether or when he comes back ;-)


6. January 2015

The queen and the kings of the day.


6. November 2014

A new star is born! We congratulate Subu (Subarmaniam Ramanathan) for passing successfully his PhD exams at the ETH Zürich. After all formalities have been done he will be the NEW Dr. in our lab. Please apologize that we do not show any pictures of the furios and exhausting PhD party. However, selected ones may be available upon request ;-)


29. October 2014

Herbstmesse at Basel. We all meet at the Petersplatz 6 pm to taste the delicious Swiss food and fair (Hot cheesecake, fondue, kloepfer, resslirhyti, and the clondike city railway track).


15. September 2014

Ron Kaback at Basel. Don’t miss the talk "Doctor K: Chases the great white permease". Attached you see a non-authorized picture of Ron trying to understand sugar transport experiments done by Tania.


1. July 2014

Today the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering officially started. Being co-lead by the University of Basel and by our ETH Zürich Department at Basel 25 research groups start their exciting work towards establishing Molecular Systems Engineering.

June 2014

Congratulations to David Alsteens who received an offer for a full professorship at the University Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. The UCL belongs to the best universities in Belgium and to the top 100 universities world wide. At the age of 29 David Alsteens would be the youngest full professor at Belgium and among the youngest ones at Europe.

10. - 13. April 2014

This year we went for retreat at the Lago Maggiore (Italy). Fantastic science, food, drinks, culture and discussions. Meaningful pictures and movies are available on the group file server. Coming directly from Bollywood the team of BARBARASHA MOTION PICTURES was shooting a musical potpourri full of emotions, sex-appeal (see from whom) and – of course – happiness!


Thanks to Moritz Pfreundschuh for making the movie.

March 2014

The muller group enters synthetic biology. First with the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering (see news from 17. Dec 2013) now in the film 'Synthetic Biology in Europe' made by

17. Dec 2013

'Our' National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) of Molecular Systems Engineering has been granted. The NCCR will be shared equally by the University of Basel (Director Wolfgang Meier) and ETH Zurich (Co-Director Daniel Müller). The objective of the project is to create complex, functional systems from molecular, biological and chemical components, and in this way to further develop systems biology into a new form of molecular engineering. The research programme involves more than 25 research groups in Switzerland and local companies in Basel. In addition three new tenure track professorships (joint between ETH Zurich and Uni Basel) will be created.

1. Sept 2013

Welcome to Dr. David Alsteens and Nico Strohmeyer! David Alsteens is an international expert of cellular AFM and will join the lab as a long-term EMBO postdoctoral fellow. Nico Strohmeyer will join the lab as PhD student after having had intensive training as cell biologists at the University of Freiburg, Germany.

31. May 2013

Congratulations to David Alsteens for being awarded a long-term EMBO postdoctoral fellowship. David will join our lab soon to work on the multifunctional high-resolution imaging of human receptors.

25. - 28. April 2013

Again we go for retreat at the Lago di Como (Italy). Excellent science, food, drinks, culture and discussions. Meaningful pictures are available on the group file server.

26. April 2013

A big big good bye and a farewell to Christian Bippes. After having been for more than 8 years with the lab Christian decided to join Nanosurf, an AFM company close to Basel. After having beeing inspired by Christians art of cooking every labmember gave her/his best to prepare a speciality of the home country. It was a long evening we enjoyed Swiss, Italian, German, Spanish, Indian, Scottish, US, Argentinian, Chinese, Finnish, Armenian and Russian food. It was fantastic and Christian is welcome to join and leave the lab as often as he can ;-)) Best wishes from us all to Christian - it was wonderful having you as colleague!

15. - 18. April 2013

Global challenges - Opportunities for Nanotechnology! We organize the workshop for PhD students and postdocs at San Servolo at Venice, Italy. The organisators Christoph Gerber from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (Basel), Hermann Gaub from the Center for Nanoscience (CeNS, Munich), and we from the ETH Zurich together with the Jean-Marie Lehn, Gerd Binnig and Viola Vogel coached the PhD students and postdocs to foster the awareness for the global challenges by an analysis of the current major problems. More information can be found at:

15. April 2013

Welcome to Richard Newton from Scotland (we learn that this does not mean that Rich is from England!!!). Rich is our newest, youngest and xxxx PhD student.

2. April 2013

Welcome to Roland Goers! Roland joins our group as a master student. He will do his master thesis together with Wolfgang Meiers group (Uni Basel) and Dimitrios Fotiadis group (Uni Bern).

26. January 2013

Good bye and farewell to Michael Zocher. After having been working, publishing, and graduating Michael decided that its time to support innovations. He will continue his career as a patent attorney at Munich. Good luck, have fun, and go and staple as much money as you can! ;-)

07. January 2013

Happy new year and a very warm welcome to our new PhD students Alessandra Franchino (Italy) and Estefania Mulvihill (Argentina/Italy). Alessandra received her Masters in molecular and cellular biotechnology from the University Milano and after this worked shortly in a biotech company at the Netherlands. Estefania received her masters in biotechnolgy from the university of Florence.

06. January 2013

Kings of the Day


03. January 2013

We sadly say goodbye to Izhar Medalsy. Izhar will join Bruker at Santa Barbara to participate in the development of new AFMs. We will miss him! Mazel tov Izhar!!!

8. Oct 2012

Double congratulations to David Martinez Martin. David received a prestigious EMBO postdoctoral fellowship and the research award from the Spanish Royal Academy.

17. Sept 2012

We welcome David Martinez Martin who will be a new postdoc of our group. David has an impressive background on building different AFM for the multifunctional high-resolution imaging. In a joint project with Christoph Gerber and Tony Hyman David will develop a new AFM for biophysical measurements.

4. July 2012

The triple PhD is done! Gratulations to Shiho, Michael, and Martin who all three passed their PhD exams and got their crown ;-)


2. July 2012

PhD defense of Michael Zocher at Basel.

1. July 2012

Welcome Tania! From today on Tania Serdiuk will join our laboratory as PhD student. Tania did her masters at Kiev National Taras Shevchenko University, Ukraine, and at the Institute of Nanotechnologies INSA, Lyon, France.

29. June 2012

PhD defense of Martin Stewart at Dresden.

28. June 2012

PhD defense of Shiho Kawamura at Basel.

27. June 2012

We congratulate David Martinez Martin for being awarded by a long-term EMBO postdoctoral fellowship. David will join our lab soon to develop a new promising nanotechnology to quantify cellular processes.

22-24. March 2012

Group retreat at the lake of Como, Italy.

20. January 2012

Gratulations to Patrick Bosshart who today passed his PhD exams. The extensive party destroyed many brain cells of (formerly) talented students ;-) Pictures are under censorship and available from patrick who is now joining the Dimitrios Fotiadis group at the University of Berne.

January 2012

We welcome our new PhD students Mitasha Bharadwaj (India) and Rafayel Petrosyan (Armenia). Mitasha received her MSc Biotechnology from the Amity University, New Delhi. Rafayel received his MSc Nanobiophysics from the TU Dresden, Germany.

1. Januar 2012

Two new stars are born! We all congratulate Johannes Thoma and Nico Strohmeyer for successfully passing their Master Exam.

15. September 2011

'Bienvenue' or "welkom' to Joost te Riet from the University of Nijmegen.
As an EMBO fellow Joost will stay at our lab for 3 months and work on a cell adhesion project.

1. September 2011

A very warm 'benvenuta' to Barbara Sorce. Barbara is a postdoc and Marie Curie Fellow (FP7-SBMP) coming form the University of Bologna and Lecce. In our lab Barbara will develop new nanotechnological approaches to study the mechanics of single cells.

1. September 2011

1. September 2011
A big welcome to Miao Yu. Miao is our new PhD student sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In our lab Miao will characterize membrane receptors regulating cell adhesion.

15. August 2011

A very warm 'bienvenue' to Viciane Grimard from the University of Brussels. As EMBO fellow Viciane will stay at our lab for 3 months and work on a single-molecule force spectroscopy project.

5. May 2011

A new star is born! We all congratulate Susanne Wegmann for passing her successful PhD exams at the ETH Zürich. After all formalities have been done she will be the NEW Dr. in our lab. The photo shows Susanne at the beginning of extensive celebrations. Photos at later stage may be available upon request ;-)


15. April 2011

We welcome Iordan Iordanov as a temporary labmember of our group. Iordan is a Marie-Curie-Fellow (FP 7) and performs his PhD at the University Toulouse, France. In our lab Iordan will perform single-molecule studies to characterize structural and functional properties of membrane proteins he prepared for NMR studies.

1. March 2011

We congratulate Clemens Möller for accepting his full professorship in biophysics at the Life Sciences Faculty at the Albstadt-Sigmaringen University, Germany. Clemens was the first PhD student of our lab and gained considerable experience as research group leader at the pharmacological industry. More info at:

1. February 2011

A very welcome to Ulf Hensen, our new scientist on the block!!! Ulf hast obtained his PhD at MPI of Biophysical Chemistry Göttingen. In the scientific group of Helmut Grubmüller, Ulf has worked using and developing tools for molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of proteins. Infos at

1. December 2010

We congratulate Harald Janovjak for his new position as Assistant Professor at the I.S.T. Austria.
Harald was one of the first PhD students at our laboratory and did a great postdoc at Berkeley. Infos at

23. November 2010

We congratulate Michael Krieg for receiving the Deutscher Studienpreis of the Körber-Stiftung.
The price will give Michael a great time at USA. From December 2010 on Michael will join the Stanford School of Medicine as a postdoc.

03. November 2010

We welcome our new lab member Nico Strohmeyer.
Nico is a Master student of our lab.

02. November 2010

We congratulate Martin Stewart, Jonne Helenius and Ramanthan Subramaniam to their newest paper "Hydrostatic pressure and the actomyosin cortex drive mitotic cell rounding" which was accepted by Nature!

01. November 2010

We welcome our new lab member Moritz Pfreundschuh.
Moritz is a PhD student of the Molecular Life Science Graduate School of ETH and University Zürich.

01. Oktober 2010

We welcome our new lab member Cédric Cattin.
Cédric is a PhD student who received his Msc in Nanosciences at the University of Basel.


Biophysics towards quantitative biology

The Biophysics Laboratory develops and applies bionanotechnological tools to quantitate and control biological processes. The biophysics laboratory was established 2010 at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering of the ETH Zürich in Basel. The laboratories expertise is highly interdisciplinary and combines molecular and cell biology, biophysics, engineering, and nanotechnology. This expertise is focused towards answering pertinent questions in systems biology. These are quantifying the molecular interactions that drive cell biological processes, manipulating these processes at molecular precision, and guiding biological processes in synthetic systems.

Film of group activities 'Synthetic Biology in Europe' by

See a vibrating group dance by BARBARASHA MOTION PICTURES


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