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We are interested in how the chemistry and structure of intracellular and extracellular biopolymers (lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids) at the micro- and nanoscale define material function (e.g. elastic or failure properties) and further regulate cellular behavior.


Changes in chemistry or structure of biomaterials or intracellular proteins are known to trigger pathological phenotypes in cancer, diabetes, atherosclereosis, and neurodegeneration. We develop and use in situ advanced molecular microscopy methods and data driven analyses to derive material structural and compositional information, and combine this with additional experiments and theory to piece together the structure-function puzzle. 

​Our lab started (and still exists) at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Germany, and we are excited about blending the fundamental research on biomaterials with clinical questions at UT BME.

We even collaborate with artists. We participated in an artistic + scientific collaboration called Soft Union (2019) with Jochem Hendricks, bringing together cell lines from the world's five continents. ​

Click on the Research tab to learn more about what we do.  Also, we're hiring, so let us know if you are interested!​

Thanks for stopping by!


December 2018: Picture of the lab housed at the MPIP Mainz at the Mainz Christmas Market. Photo Credit - Maja Pütz

Latest News
1 May 2019 
Alexandra's paper on imaging lipid chemistry is accepted to Biophysical Journal.
15 April 2019 
Yelena's collaborative paper with the Fawzi and Mittal labs on protein structure in phase separated condensates is accepted to Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.
1 April 2019 
Xiao paper on water transport in membranes is accepted to PNAS.
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