In Memoriam E. Sackmann

In Memoriam E. Sackmann

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our esteemed colleague, mentor, and friend, Prof. Dr. Erich Sackmann passed away on Wednesday, May 25, at the age of nearly 90.

Erich Sackmann studied physics at the Universities of Munich and Stuttgart, earning his PhD in 1964. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, he became in 1974 full professor of biophysics at the University of Ulm. In 1980, he joined the TU Munich, where he served as Director of the Department of Physics until 2003, and later as Emeritus of Excellence. Throughout his career, he produced nearly 500 publications, including reviews, book chapters, and textbooks.

A visionary and passionate pioneer, Erich Sackmann was instrumental in developing the field of biophysics and was one of the most influential scientists and educators in Germany and beyond. Those fortunate enough to have known him will remember his supportive, friendly, and profoundly knowledgeable presence, especially in the areas of biomembrane dynamics, biopolymer networks, and cellular surface interactions.

His scientific contributions were recognized with prestigious awards, such as the Wolfgang Ostwald Prize from the German Colloid Society and the Stern Gerlach Prize from the German Physical Society. In 2004, he was honored as an honorary member of the German Biophysical Society for his significant contributions to biophysics and his unwavering support for the society.

Erich Sackmann will be profoundly missed both professionally, as a pioneering figure in biophysics, and personally, for his impact on countless scientists’ careers. We are immensely grateful for his teachings and legacy.

We extend our sincere condolences to his family.

On behalf of the German Biophysical Society executive board

Prof. Dr. Klaus Gerwert (President)

Structural and functional asymmetry of plasma membranes Faraday Discussion 23 - 25 April 2025, London, United Kingdom

Structural and functional asymmetry of plasma membranes Faraday Discussion

23 - 25 April 2025, London, United Kingdom 

Dear colleague,

I am happy to announce the Faraday Discussion on Structural and Functional Asymmetry of Plasma Membranes, which will be taking place in April 2025 in London, UK. Faraday Discussions offer a unique and unparalleled scientific meeting format. All contributions will be made available to all participants in form a papers before the meeting bringing its discussion to centerstage.

Further details of this exciting and timely conference are available at:

Please note that the deadline for Oral Abstract submission is 22 July 2024. The Speakers selected from the submitted Abstracts will be expected to submit a research paper by 2 December 2024, for prior circulation and discussion at the meeting. The papers will be published in a volume of the journal Faraday Discussions after the meeting. Poster presentation at the meeting will also be welcomed.

In case of any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

On behalf of the organizing committee,

Assoc.-Prof. Dr. Georg Pabst

University of Graz

Institute of Molecular Biosciences

Biophysics Division

Humboldtstr 50/III

8010 Graz, Austria

phone:  +43 316 380 4989

email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Physical Modes of Action of Membrane‐Active Compounds 807. WE-Heraeus-Seminar

807. WE-Heraeus-Seminar

07 Apr - 10 Apr 2024


Physikzentrum Bad Honnef

Scientific organizers:

Prof. Dr. Heiko Heerklotz, U Freiburg

Lipid bilayers are formed by spontaneous self‐assembly of amphiphilic lipid molecules. They represent the structure‐giving matrix and hydrophobic barrier of cell membranes and other biological membranes. Technically, they may form, for example, liposomes that are being used as smart drug delivery systems.

The seminar aims at discussing the physical effects of amphiphilic or lipophilic peptides, drugs, and other membrane‐interacting solutes of natural or synthetic origin on the key properties of lipid membranes. Such key properties are named integrity, permeability, heterogeneity, order‐dynamics‐hydration, and curvature, which are addressed by respective sessions. It turns out, however, that these properties are closely related to each other and membrane‐active substances typically affect several of them. It is one main aim of the seminar to better connect these phenomena and catalyze communication and collaboration between the research communities who study them.

The conference language will be English. The Wilhelm and Else Heraeus-Foundation bears the cost of full-board accommodation for all participants.

Obituary for Prof Dr Ulrike Alexiev (✝29.12.2023)

It was with great dismay and sadness that we, the board members of the German Society for Biophysics, received the news of the completely unexpected and all too early death of our highly esteemed member and former executive secretary of the DGfB, Prof Dr Ulrike Alexiev. In Ulrike, the DGfB, as well as the entire German Biophysics community, has lost a very successful, committed and internationally visible scientist who was a role model for many young scientists, especially female scientists.

Ulrike began her scientific career after completing her diploma studies (1983-1988) at the Humboldt University of Berlin and working at the Max Delbrück Centre in Berlin-Buch as a doctoral student in the Department of Physics at the Freie Universität Berlin, where she obtained her doctorate in biophysics with distinction under Prof. Maarten P. Heyn in 1994. After research stays in the USA, Ulrike habilitated at the Department of Physics at Freie Universität in 2002 and founded her own research group there.

She taught biophysics and general physics with great commitment and pedagogical skill. She used her high level of expertise in the field of time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging techniques very successfully in molecular biophysics to elucidate the functional mechanisms of biological photoreceptors such as bacteriorhodopsin, rhodopsin, channelrhodopsin and phytochromes. In biomedicine, she has investigated cytochrome c oxidase and, more recently, the transport of substances through the skin and the properties of hydrogels. Ulrike's outstanding research achievements have been documented in numerous internationally recognised publications and will not be forgotten.

As a member of the DGfB board, Ulrike also became involved in German biophysics and young scientists very early on. From 2007 to 2014, she very actively managed the DGfB's business as secretary, providing intensive support to three chairmen (Peter Hofmann, Ulrich Nienhaus, Hans-Joachim Galla). Some of the innovations that have sustainably promoted the development of our society with her initiative were, for example, the creation of the German "Biophysics" location map with brief descriptions of the working groups. Writing and sending out DGfB newsletters in electronic form also began during her time as Executive Secretary; in particular, Ulrike has driven forward the professional modernisation of our society's homepage, thereby significantly increasing the visibility of our society.

Nationally, Ulrike Alexiev has been very successful and creative in organising the DGfB's section meetings and annual conferences, and she has also been involved internationally in organising the European EBSA conferences. She was particularly keen to promote young scientists, for example through travel grants to the meetings of biophysical societies. Through her committed behaviour and advocacy of equality, she was always a role model for colleagues and the next generation of scientists. During her eight years on the Board, Ulrike played a key role in shaping the profile of the DGfB. Through her constructive work, her pleasant and friendly manner and her assertiveness, she always played a balancing role between different interest groups on the DGfB Board.

Our sincere condolences go to the members of her family, friends, colleagues and all those who were close to Ulrike. The German Society for Biophysics will honour her memory and keep her commitment and personality in grateful remembrance.

On behalf of the Board of the DGfB
Prof Dr Klaus Gerwert

Symposium 2023 Licht in der Biologie - Photosynthese, Sehprozesse und neuronale Anwendungen


Symposium 2023

Die Hector Fellow Academy lädt zu ihrem 8. Symposium, das am 6. Juli 2023 um 18 Uhr in Berlin stattfinden wird, ein. Die öffentliche Abendveranstalt ,per Livestream übertragen, wird sich dem Thema "Licht in der Biologie – Photosynthese, Sehprozesse und neuronale Anwendungen" widmen.

Auf dem Programm stehen folgende Vorträge:

  • „Abenteuer Photosynthese“ von Prof. Dr. Athina Zouni, Institut für Biologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • „Wie Tiere die Welt sehen“ von Dr. Lauren Sumner-Rooney, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
  • „Optogenetik, zur Untersuchung von Lernen und Gedächtnis“ von Prof. Dr. Hannah Monyer, Klinische Neurobiologie, Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg; Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum

Moderation: Dr. Philip Häusser, TV-Moderator (u.a. Terra X Lesch & Co.) und Buchautor

Die Veranstaltungssprachen sind Deutsch und Englisch. Eine Simultanübersetzung in beide Sprachen wird angeboten.

Prof. Dr. Peter Hegemann ist Leiter der Arbeitsgruppe für experimentelle Biophysik und Hertie-Senior-Professor für Neurowissenschaften an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Der weltweit führende Experte der Photobiologie gilt als Mitbegründer der Optogenetik. Er wird der wissenschaftliche Gastgeber des Symposiums 2023 sein. Peter Hegemann konnte Dr. Lauren Sumner-Rooney (Museum für Naturkunde Berlin), Prof. Dr. Athina Zouni (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) sowie Prof. Dr. Hannah Monyer (Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg und Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum) für spannende Vorträge gewinnen.

Lauren Sumner-Rooney ist Emmy Noether Junior Group Leader am Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. Ihr derzeitiger Forschungsschwerpunkt liegt auf den parallelen Veränderungen von Augen und Gehirn bei Tieren, die in unterschiedlichen Lichtumgebungen leben, von adleräugigen Jägern bis hin zu blinden Höhlenbewohnern. Athina Zouni ist Professorin am Institut für Biologie an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte liegen in der Biophysik der Photosynthese. Hannah Monyer ist Professorin am Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg und am Deutschen Krebsforschungszentrum in Heidelberg. Sie ist eine der international führenden Wissenschaftler*innen auf dem Gebiet der Hirnforschung. Der Schwerpunkt ihrer Forschung liegt auf den molekularen Mechanismen, die zu synchronen neuronalen Netzwerkaktivitäten führen und somit auch kognitive Prozesse wie Lernen und Erinnern ermöglichen.

Die jährlich stattfindenden Symposien der Hector Fellow Academy zielen darauf ab, aktuelle wissenschaftliche Fragestellungen in einen gesellschaftspolitischen Kontext zu stellen. Diskussionsrunden fördern den Dialog zwischen Wissenschaft und Öffentlichkeit und tragen dazu bei, zukunftsweisende Diskurse anzustoßen.

Wir freuen uns, Sie zum Symposium 2023 begrüßen zu dürfen!

Anmeldungen online unter

Symposium 2023 - Licht in der Biologie – Photosynthese, Sehprozesse und neuronale Anwendungen - Hector Fellow Academy (