Research Groups

Signal processing and heterogeneity in biological systems

Stochasticity in intracellular processes causes substantial heterogeneity in the molecular constitution of genetically identical cells. Yet, biological systems manage to act in a highly robust and well-orchestrated manner when this is needed, for instance during pattern formation or cell differentiation. In the Zechner lab, we develop theoretical and computational approaches to study how living systems reliably encode, process and respond to signals despite their limited precision. In the long term, we want to understand the principles that guide heterogeneous biological components towards robust and complex organization. The lab uses a multidisciplinary approach combining signal and control theory, stochastic processes and statistical physics. While our contributions are largely theoretical, we work very closely together with our experimental collaborators at the MPI-CBG and abroad. 

Methodological and Technical Expertise

  • Stochastic biological networks
  • Statistical inference of single-cell / single-molecule data
  • Biological signal processing