Self-Organization of Multicellular Systems

Self-Organization of Multicellular Systems

Welcome to our group webpage! We are a joint research group between the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems (MPI-PKS) and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG), based at the Center for Systems Biology Dresden (CSBD), established in 2021.

We are theorists, but we closely collaborate with experimentalists, at MPI-CBG and beyond, on problems in theoretical biophysics, applied mathematics, and soft matter physics. Read more about our research.

Looking for a PhD or postdoc position? Read more about how to join us.


Latest research

Turing's diffusive threshold in random reaction-diffusion systems

Haas & Goldstein, Phys. Rev. Lett. 126, 238101 (2021)

Turing instabilities of reaction-diffusion systems can only arise if the diffusivities of the chemical species are sufficiently different. This threshold is unphysical in most systems with N=2 diffusing species, forcing experimental realizations of the instability to rely on fluctuations or additional nondiffusing species. Here, we ask whether this diffusive threshold lowers for N>2 to allow “true” Turing instabilities. Inspired by May’s analysis of the stability of random ecological communities, we analyze the probability distribution of the diffusive threshold in reaction-diffusion systems defined by random matrices describing linearized dynamics near a homogeneous fixed point. In the numerically tractable cases N<7, we find that the diffusive threshold becomes more likely to be smaller and physical as N increases, and that most of these many-species instabilities cannot be described by reduced models with fewer diffusing species.

Join us!

We have postdoctoral positions and fully funded PhD student positions available!


Our research

Read more about our research interests in theoretical biophysics, mathematical biology, and beyond!