My main research interests are the physical principles and molecular mechanisms determining biomolecular
function. A particular focus are intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). At variance with the classical structurefunction paradigm that we are familiar with from 50 years of structural biology, IDPs lack a persistent structure but, nevertheless, participate in many biological processes such as transcription, translation and signal
transduction. In my work, I combine fluorescence single-molecule spectroscopy with concepts from polymer
physics to explain fundamental properties of IDPs. I am interested in expanding the scope of single-molecule
and correlation methods to investigate the role of disordered proteins in vivo, especially within RNA granules,
non-membrane bound organelles that play a key-role in the spatial and temporal regulation of RNA, and whose
malfunctioning has been linked to infertilities, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. A long-term goal will be
to bridge the gap between detailed molecular understanding and cellular and organismic processes.