Presentation title: “Assembly, structure and function of the tight junction complex”
Alf Honigmann studied cell biology at the University of Osnabrück, where he also did his PhD in membrane biophysics. During this time, he developed a new approach to measure electrical and optical properties of single proteins reconstituted in model membranes. For his postdoc, Alf worked with Nobel Laureate Stefan W. Hell at MPI-PBC Göttingen, developing optical super-resolution techniques to reveal the organization and dynamics of lipids and proteins in living cells.
Currently, Alf leads a group at the MPI-CBG in Dresden. His group aims to understand how epithelial cells organize their membranes to facilitate tissue formation. The main focus lies on the assembly mechanisms and the structure of cell adhesion interfaces. Using a combination of super-resolution microscopy, organotypic tissue culture, genetics and biochemistry the Honigmann lab addresses how tissue shape emerges from the collective properties of molecular interactions at the cell membrane.