Department of Biophysics


The Biophysics Department conducts interdisciplinary research at the interface of biomolecular function, physical chemistry and radiochemistry. The activities contribute to the Helmholtz Research Programmes Nuclear Safety and Cancer Research in the Helmholtz-Association. We are member of the Cluster of Excellence "Physics of Life" (PoL) in Dresden. 

We are particularly interested in:

  • structural and dynamic aspects of biomembranes
  • conformational transitions in membrane proteins
  • interactions between (radio)metals and biomolecules
  • effects of metals and radionuclides on the metabolism of microorganisms (Televised MDR report)


The Biophysics department participates in the Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering (DIGS-BB) supported by the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments.

Practicals on Molecular Spectroscopy and Calorimetry are offered. The following lectures are held at the technische Universität Dresden and are elgible for the Master Specialization "Soft Condensed Matter and Biological Physics":

  • Biological Thermodynamics (English, summer semester)
  • Biophysical Methods (German, winter semester)

Seminar lectures  for the International BIOTEC-Master Programme,

  • Vibrational Spectroscopy (English)
  • Absorption and Fluorescence Spectroscopy (English)

Experimental Methods

  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
  • Circular dichroism
  • Static and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy
  • Calorimetry
  • Mass-Spectroscopy

Spectroscopic data are evaluated in combination with Density Functional Theory to understand photochemoical and photophysical properties of organic complexes of actinides

Latest Publication

Interdisciplinary biophysical studies of membrane proteins bacteriorhodopsin and rhodopsin

Fahmy, K.; Sakmar, T.

The centenary of the birth of H. Gobind Khorana provides an auspicious opportunity to review the origins and evolution of parallel advances in biophysical methodology and molecular genetics technology used to study membrane proteins. Interdisciplinary work in the Khorana laboratory in the late 1970s and for the next three decades led to productive collaborations and fostered three subsequent scientific generations whose biophysical work on membrane proteins has led to detailed elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of energy transduction by the light-driven proton pump bacteriorhodopsin (bR) and signal transduction by the G protein–coupled receptor (GPCR) rhodopsin. This review will highlight the origins and advances of biophysical studies of membrane proteins made possible by the application of molecular genetics approaches to engineer site-specific alterations of membrane protein structures.

Keywords: Har Gobind Khorana; Fourier transform infrared spectrosopy; amber codon suppression; Raman specroscopy


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Daniel Dornbusch Yun-Hsuan Huang Madhumalar Subramanian Dr. Jana Oertel Jenny Philipp Prof. Dr. Satoru Tsushima Dr. Charlotte Kielar Lisa Nucke Dr. Ahmed Moustafa Taha Sayed Prof. Dr. Karim Fahmy


NameBld./Office+49 351 260Email
Prof. Dr. Karim Fahmy801/P3012952


NameBld./Office+49 351 260Email
Ellen Adams801/P3012952
Daniel Dornbusch801/P3033375
Dr. Charlotte Kielar801/P3033247
Lisa Nucke801/P3033375
Dr. Jana Oertel801/P3012911
Jenny Philipp801/P3033247
Prof. Dr. Satoru Tsushima801/P3022978


Prof. Dr. Karim Fahmy

Phone: +49 351 260 2952
+49 351 260 3601