Press and Public Relations

Brigitte Holfelder

Phone:+49 69 6303-3020Fax:+49 69 6303-3002

Head of administration

Ralf-Herbert Götz

Phone:+49 69 6303-4500Fax:+49 069 6303-4502


Max Planck Institute of Biophysics

Max Planck Institute of Biophysics
Max-von-Laue-Straße 3
60438 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 69 6303-0
Fax: +49 69 6303-4502

The Max Planck Institute of Biophysics focuses, above all, on investigating the structure and function of proteins that are embedded in cellular membranes. These membrane proteins act either as channel and transport proteins for the exchange of material across a membrane, or antenna molecules that transmit signals from the local environment into the cell’s interior, e.g., the olfactory (smell) receptors located in the mucous membrane of the nose. Scientists at the Institute use electron microscopes and X-rays to determine the spatial structure of these proteins. The protein’s function is characterised by electrophysiology, a technique which measures the electric currents and voltages generated when electrically-charged atoms (ions) flow through channel proteins. In addition, the techniques of molecular biology and genetic engineering assist researchers to understand how the olfactory system can recognise countless smells using a relatively small number of membrane proteins.

Directors | Research Focus

PhD opportunities

This institute has an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS):
IMPRS for Structure and Function of Biological Membranes

In addition, there is the possibility of individual doctoral research. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

Research News

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