From Analysis to Synthesis
Biological signalling processes form the basis of life for all of an organism’s cells. A more precise understanding of these processes thus provides solutions to many important biological challenges. The researchers at the Cluster of Excellence BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies of the University of Freiburg investigate signalling processes at the molecular, cellular, and supracellular levels. In line with the maxim “from analysis to synthesis”, BIOSS has succeeded in combining signalling research and methods from synthetic biology for the first time ever. The researchers develop strategies and devices for deciphering the signals that regulate life in and between cells and modifying them for medical purposes – for instance to control the signals of tumour cells. The new emphases “Signals in Tumour Development” and “Nanobiology of the Plasma Membrane” will extend the cluster’s existing research program and integrate synthetic biology and engineering into a single package, thus furthering the research and teaching program “Biology meets Engineering”. BIOSS, which is located at its research building, the “Signalhaus Freiburg”, comprises the research areas BIOSS-A, BIOSS-B, BIOSS-C and BIOSS-Toolbox, a research and information centre.