Biophysical Chemistry

Department

The Biophysical Chemistry department (part of the Institute of Molecules and Materials) deals with biomacromolecules and their physical interactions. The inside and outside of living cells are full of biomolecules, from simple ones to sophisticated complex machineries, of which the collective interplay controls biological processes, such as cellular growth and differentiation. The goal is to understand this interplay at the molecular level.

Highlights

Maike Hansen

Research group of Maike Hansen joins Oncode Institute

The Oncode Institute has invited Maike Hansen and her research group to join the institute as of 1 January 2024. The Oncode institute is an independent research institute that unites leading oncology scientists.

Veni june 2023

NWO Vidi Grant for Johan Mentink, Maike Hansen and Willem Velema

Johan Mentink, Maike Hansen and Wim Velema, all researchers within the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM) of the Radboud University, have been awarded a NWO Vidi Grant. Vidi is a funding instrument of the NWO.

ERC grant

ERC Starting Grant for research on noise in cellular decisions

Maike Hansen, researcher of biophysical chemistry at Radboud University, will receive a Starting Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). Hansen will use this grant to study how cells make decisions about their functional roles.

Research

In living cells confinement, molecular crowding and heterogeneity of local environments play a major role in the action of biomolecules. We investigate the influence of cellular physiology on transcription and translation machinery, cell-to-cell variability, and ultimately cellular function. We largely focus on three areas of study: 

  1. Underlying molecular kinetics and circuit architectures that drive cellular reaction dynamics. 
  2. Physical phenomena that impact reaction dynamics such as reaction versus (sub)diffusion kinetics, spontaneous self-organization, and confinement. 
  3. Memory development of cellular reactions. 

Our long-term goal is to quantify the factors influencing gene expression dynamics, and ultimately develop a prediction-based tool to estimate the amount of mRNA or protein in any cell at any given time with great accuracy.  Achieving this goal will open a world of possibilities, ranging from data-driven monitoring of gene expression, to therapeutics that allow us to identify cancerous cells before they evolve. For more details see Hansen Lab.

Due to the mutual research interests, the department works closely together with the Huck group (Physical Organic Chemistry).

Publications

Internships

Would you like to do your internship at Biophysical Chemistry? We welcome students from a wide range of disciplines, including (but not limited to) molecular biology, cell biology, biophysics, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, and computational biology. Please get in touch with dr. Maike Hansen to discuss prospective projects.

The research group offers various Bachelor's and Master's courses, as well as incidental courses. The group is closely involved in the Bachelor's ChemistryMolecular Life Sciences and Science and the Master's specialisations of Molecular Sciences

Projects

cells

How do cells turn their noise up or down?

This project determines how cells can regulate noise, which will improve the understanding of how defects in noise-regulation can result in disease.

Academic Staff

I am really looking forward to carrying out my passion to learn why extremely complex systems like cells function so reliably and accurately.
Maike Hansen
Maike Hansen Assistant Professor, Group of Biophysical Chemistry Read Maike's story
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Contact information

Postal address
Postbus 9010
6500GL NIJMEGEN