From the large number of non-equilibrium processes that occur in cellular systems, the center focuses primarily on self-organization, transport, aggregation, and molecular cooperativity. Both spatial and temporal analysis of phenomena occurring in many-particle systems play a role. This analysis combines the observation and quantification of interactions between proteins, organelles and cells and includes the subsequent theoretical analysis using the concepts of statistical physics and bioinformatics. The combination of these results then takes place at the Center for Biophysics and aims to incorporate these interactions into the description of active processes by identifying individual molecular and cellular factors. Examples include local reactions of cells, cytoskeletal dynamics, endocytosis, exocytosis, cell polarization and migration, or the formation of bacterial biofilms.

The main distinguishing features of the center are, firstly, the thematic focus on the development of theoretical models for experiments, which are also carried out at the center itself, secondly, the close cooperation between the disciplines of biosciences and physics, which is reflected in the strong link between research projects, and thirdly, the medical relevance of the systems investigated, such as T cells, cadriomyocytes, erythrocytes, Staphylococcus aureus, DNA methylation, A/B toxins, and biofilms on teeth. The center is characterized by the underlying methodology imaging techniques such as Flurorescence Deconvolution Video Imaging, TIRF microscopy, confocal and mutliphoton microscopy, optical tweezers, and atomic force microscopy but also by the theoretical and numerical techniques specifically adapted to active systems far from equilibrium.