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BIOPHYSICS

Research areas

The research focus of the Department of Biophysics of the Center for Molecular Biomedicine are ion channels and particularly their modulation by drugs (molecular pharmacology) and cellular redox processes (cellular physiology). By the combination of electrophysiology, molecular biology, and optical technologies we try to elucidate how ion channel activity regulates cellular functions. The overall goal is to understand pathophysiological mechanisms underlying human diseases and to devise strategies for their treatment. Methods applied are single-molecule and single-cell electrophysiological recordings combined with fluorescence microscopy (ratiometric imaging, flash photolysis, optogenetics, confocal laser-scanning microscopy, confocal fluorescence correlation spectroscopy). Research interests include:

  •  voltage-gated ion channels
  • cell signaling via redox processes and heme
  • neurotoxins and pain signaling
  • photonic manipulation of living cells
  • the biophysics of ion transport

Teaching fields

Dr. Heinemann teaches students at various levels of proficiency - Bachelor's degree students in biology and biochemistry, Master's degree students in molecular life science and molecular medicine, biochemistry and photonics. He gives courses in:

  • the fundamentals of biophysics
  • molecular medicine and pharmacology
  • biomembranes and cellular sensors
  • biophotonics

Research Methods

The laboratories run by Dr. Heinemann offer methods of modern electrophysiology, microscopy, molecular biology and cell physiology including:

  • patch clamp
  • recombinant DNA technology
  • transgenic mice and cell preparations
  • laser scanning microscopy and confocal correlation spectroscopy
  • real-time fluorometry and live cell imaging

>> link to the Biophysics Group

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