PortfolioErik Schäffer

Person data

Academic title:
Prof. Dr.
Erik Schäffer
Organizational units:
Faculty of Science
University of Tübingen
Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP)
Department of Biology

Contact data

Research focus

How does a cell work, mechanically? How do the individual components, molecules and proteins work to fulfill their cellular function?

Our long term goal is by applying and developing state-of-the-art single molecule techniques to learn more about the mechanical aspects of protein-protein interactions. How are these interactions mediated and realized on a single molecule level and what influences have intermolecular forces? Using optical tweezers, we want to approach and answer fundamental biological questions such as how chromosomes are pulled apart during cell division, how ion-channels are gated, and how DNA is deformed during homologous recombination. Our focus on answering specific biological questions inspires instrument development, which, in turn, we hope broadens the applicability of this technology in biology.


2024 - 2027
Anita Jannasch
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft e.V. (DFG)
2023 - 2026
Serapion Pyrpasopoulos
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft e.V. (DFG)
2023 - 2025
Erik Schäffer
Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (AvH)
2021 - 2022
Erik Schäffer
Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (AvH)
2018 - 2022
Klaus Harter
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft e.V. (DFG)
2018 - 2022
Doron Rapaport
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft e.V. (DFG)


McGill University
Montreal, Québec, Canada
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania, United States
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Universiteit Utrecht
Utrecht, Netherlands



will be deleted permanently. This cannot be undone.