PhD thesis:

Single molecule tracking and super-resolution microscopy in living organisms

Single molecule fluorescence experiments allow for an exceptionally detailed view on life processes in the natural environment of cells and organisms and provide functional information with utmost sensitivity and resolution, far beyond of what can be achieved with ensemble measurements. Tracking individual molecules yields quantitative information on kinetic properties such as reaction rate constants and diffusion coefficients.  By combining stochastic activation of fluorophore labels and single molecule localization microscopy, the number of proteins and the spatial distribution and stoichiometry of cellular structures can be obtained with a resolution even better than the optical diffraction limit. Thus, information necessary for a complete understanding and modeling of life processes can be obtained.In this project, you will develop and set up a novel fluorescence microscope capable of single molecule imaging and super-resolution microscopy in isolated cells and whole organisms based on highly innovative light-sheet illumination approaches. You will apply the new technique to fascinating biophysical questions in cellular and organismic biology and combine experimental findings with theoretical modeling. The project is ideally suited for physics students with a strong background in optics and high interest in biophysical questions. If you are motivated and interested in working in a young, dynamic and interdisciplinary research group at the exciting frontier between Physics and Biology and at the forefront of technical possibilities, please send an email to: Christof Gebhardt