Dr. Katja Bettenbrock

Analysis and Redesign of Biological Networks
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems
+49 391 6110 249

Main Focus

Biological systems are very complex. They are characterized by a great number of molecules that interact with each other. These interactions lead to complex patterns of regulation that influence e.g. gene expression or enzyme activities. Because of these complex interactions and regulations, biological systems are difficult to understand intuitively. For this reason mathematical modeling of biological systems becomes more and more vital. The development of efficient modeling strategies and their application for the analysis of different biological systems, is the main focus of the group "Systems Biology". To achieve this, molecular biological and microbiological research is combined with mathematical modeling and the application of systems theoretical methods. We chose to use E. coli as a model organism because (i) E. coli represents a biologically, medically and industrially significant organism. (ii) There are powerful experimental techniques allowing for well controlled growth and for the generation of reproducible and quantitative data (e.g. measurements of metabolites, transcription and protein levels, generation of defined mutants). (iii) The systems biology group owns experimental facilities optimally suited for the analysis of mircoorganisms. Starting from our first project the analysis and mathematical modelling of Catabolite Repression in E. coli our research interests are now
1. Quantitative analysis of specific regulation and global control in E. coli

2. Model-Based modification of cellular regulation in E. coli
3. Optimization of metabolic and regulation network of E. coli and Z. mobilis for biotechnology     applications


Since 01.04.2015 I am Ombudsperson of our institute. This means that I am responsible to answer all questions and also deal with problems concerning safeguarding of "Good Scientific Practice" at our institute. Please don´t hesitate to contact me!

Curriculum Vitae

  • Born 1967 in Osnabrück
  • Studies of Biology at the University of Osnabrück from 1987 to 1993
  • Diploma Thesis "PTS-abhängige Chemotaxis bei Escherichia coli: in vivo und in vitro Versuche zur Rolle der Phosphoproteine FPr, HPr und EnzymI", at the AG Genetik of the University of Osnabrück, Prof. Lengeler
  • from 1993-1997 PhD thesis "Molekulare Untersuchung eines PTS-abhängigen und eines Leloir-Abbauwegs für D-Galaktose bei Lactobacillus casei 64H" at the AG Genetik of the University of Osnabrück, Prof. Lengeler          January to August 1998 scientific coworker at the university hospital of Ulm in the group of Prof. Podbielski in the department of Medical Microbiology and Hygienics
  • September 1998 – May 2011 member of the group "Systems Biology" at the Max-Planck-Institue for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems
  • since June 2011 team leader "Experimental Systems Biology” at the Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems

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