Department of Cell and Molecular Biology

Elflab - Single molecule adventures in living cells

In Johan Elf's research group, we work on understanding at what level of detail you need to describe the cell's physical chemistry to make coherent models of life at the molecular level. The focus is on central processes in bacterial cells as transcriptional regulation, protein synthesis and cell division. The approach is to make quantitative predictions based on physics, and to test these using frontline experimental techniques. Since it is essential that the methods are sufficiently accurate to explore the limits of the models, a large part of the research concerns the development of sensitive biophysical measurement techniques for studying individual macromolecules in living cells at sufficiently high spatial and temporal resolution. The research is based on close cooperation between the group's physicists, biologists, chemists, programmers and engineers that together bridge the gap between biochemistry and physiology.