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Welcome to the group of Jun.-Prof. Dr. Beyer

Synthetic Model Biosystems

A rising hope in personalized and regenerative medicine lies in 3 dimensional culture model systems such as embryoids and organoids. The latter technology for example exhibits major hallmarks of organs and has surfaced recently as alternative model systems to animal-based approaches facilitating fundamental and applied research. Combined with iPSC-derived technologies, such organ-like three-dimensional models can be generated from patient cells and therefore, they are recognized as ideal for investigating health and disease, and to develop approaches for personalized and regenerative medicine.

Our research focuses on programmable synthetic 3-D tissue culture models with intrinsic sense- and response-behavior, and optogenetic (light-responsive) control. Merging synthetic biology principles and optogenetics with advanced model biosystems shall expand their potential and derive new biomedical applications.

We think that implementing optogenetic control strategies within 3-D tissue culture platforms may in the future allow to control the spatiotemporal onset of stimuli, for example to activate designed and incorporated synthetic biological circuitry. These engineered smart sensor systems could then for example report on development processes, or detect malfunction in a quantitative manner e.g., to assist in personalized drug treatments or screening. Alternatively, they may rewire metabolic and signaling networks. The resulting model biosystems bear the potential to open novel diagnostic capabilities and provide an innovative platform for drug-screening, therapeutic testing, and fundamental research.

Current Funding

'Freigeist' Fellowship, VolkswagenStiftung

Fonds der Chemischen Industrie


Current Teaching

Bio110 - Bachelor module "Zell- und Molekularbiologie"

M4455 - Master module "Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology"

M4457 - Master module "Optogenetic Cell Control, Advanced Microscopy & Quantitative Imaging"

M4472 - Master module "Current Methods to Advance Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology"

SQ245 - Schlüsselqualifikationen "Von der Idee zum Projekt"


2020-present Groupleader in Optogenetics, University of Düsseldorf, Germany

2016-2019 Postdoc in Structural Biology and Biophysics, University of Helsinki, Finland

2013-2016 PhD in Synthetic Biology, University of Freiburg, Germany

2006-2012 Dipl. Biol. in Biology, University of Freiburg, Germany