Life is based on robust networks of interacting biomolecules which mediate and regulate cellular processes. Networks are responsive to many different internal and environmental signals to control higher-level cellular functions like growth, proliferation, differentiation, motility, or apoptosis, and often involve decision-making biochemical reactions. Understanding the structure and functional dynamics of such networks contributes to a basic understanding of biology. It is also important for issues related to health and disease (The Circuits of Life).
The Regulatory Biology Group explores ways to identify regulatory networks, to determine their structure (topology), and to analyse their function in terms of dynamic behaviour.
We focus on three basic tasks:
  • Identify, on a systematic basis, molecular building blocks (the nodes) of signaling networks
  • Find out how they are functionally interconnected (wired up) and reconstruct the network topology
  • Analyse the dynamic behaviour of the interacting molecules to understand its functional relevance
These tasks are addressed through a combination of experimental and computational approaches performed in the lab and in cooperation with both theoreticians and molecular biologists. Doing research on two model organisms, Halobacterium salinarum and Physarum polycephalum we learned how to analyse networks of highly different molecular complexity.
We also develop Petri net based computational approaches for biomodel engineering, simulation, and reverse engineering of signalling and gene regulatory networks.

Recent publications:

Magdeburg Centre for Systems Biology

The Magdeburg Center for Systems Biology (MaCS) was founded in 2007 as a joint project of the University of Magdeburg and the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems. MaCS is one of four German research centres in Systems Biology that have been funded with financial support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). MaCS focusses on the development of new aproaches in systems biology and their application to the analysis and reconstruction of molecular networks involved in signal processing and regulation of cellular processes. The goal is the establishment of new, broadly applicable concepts for modeling and systems analysis with reliability at different levels of molecular and functional complexity. Various pro- and eukaryotic model systems with relevance in basic, biomedical, or biotechnological research are investigated.