Petra Schwille

Petra Schwille

Research Department Cellular and Molecular Biophysics

Biophysics, Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy, Single Molecule, Synthetic Biology

In order to elucidate the fundamental features of life, Petra Schwille’s Department "Cellular and Molecular Biophysics" aims to (re)construct cellular processes, and ultimately minimal living cells, from dramatically simplified functional subsystems, such as proteins and protein assemblies. Besides being able to investigate biomolecular processes with unprecedented precision in cell-free environments, this approach will also provide insights about the emergence of complexity as a main driver of biological evolution. Ideally, this will help to identify the minimal prerequisites for cellular life, towards an understanding of this fascinating phenomenon from first principles.

Research Overview
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Petra Schwille in arte: “The Origin of Life”
The arte documentary series “42” explores the question of the origin of life and how to recreate it in the lab. more
The Schwille department in German television channel ZDF: "Wunderwelt Chemie - Die Elemente des Lebens"
Science journalist Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim visits the Schwille department to discuss origins of life experiments. more
Petra Schwille, Director at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry
An interview with Petra Schwille about basic research and the origin of life. more
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