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Theory of Biological Networks

Prof. Karen Alim

Research Field

Life is mesmerizing. How does shape and structure emerge when organism grow? We want to identify the physics that are underlying the morphing of life. Physical forces are eminent for pushing and squeezing living matter as it morphs into life. Observing the physical forces that arise from cell mechanics or fluid flows is key to understand how these physical forces generate and transport information - information that is read out by living matter and feeds back onto its dynamics but also its physical properties itself, thus morphing structures, organs and organisms. To succeed we combine quantitative observation of life with theoretical models to finally capture the key processes in simple mathematical terms. Here, it is important to choose experimental model systems that are particularly good for observation and quantification but also provide an accessible level of abstraction for theory. That is why we work with the slime mould Physarum polycephalum and at the same time built in vitro model systems in the lab. Theoretical models developed both with pen and paper and simulations in the group both inspire experiments and explain observations. Life still hides many fundamental processes that once uncovered can revolutionize our designs, engineering or medical treatment.


James-Franck-Str. 1/I
85748 Garching b. München

Members of the Research Group





Other Staff


Course with Participations of Group Members

Titel und Modulzuordnung
Fortgeschrittene statistische Physik
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
VO 4 Alim, K. Di, 08:00–10:00, PH 1121
Fr, 10:00–12:00, PH 1121
Aktuelle Entwicklungen zur Physik biologischer Netzwerke
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
PS 2 Alim, K. Mi, 10:00–12:00, CPA EG.006B
Mi, 10:00–12:00, CPA EG.006B
sowie einzelne oder verschobene Termine
Exercise to Continuum Mechanics
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
UE 2 Burger, L. Kienlein, M. Mirzapour, F. Quoika, P. Sustay Martinez, C. … (insgesamt 6)
Leitung/Koordination: Zacharias, M.
Übung zu Fortgeschrittene statistische Physik
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
UE 2
Leitung/Koordination: Alim, K.
Journal Club Biological Physics and Morphogenesis
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
SE 2 Alim, K. Do, 13:00–15:00, CPA EG.006B
sowie einzelne oder verschobene Termine
Repetitorium zu Aktuelle Entwicklungen zur Physik biologischer Netzwerke
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
RE 2
Leitung/Koordination: Alim, K.
Tag der Physikerinnen
aktuelle Informationen
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
KO 0.1 Alim, K. einzelne oder verschobene Termine
Tutorenseminar zu Fortgeschrittene statistische Physik
Diese Lehrveranstaltung ist keinem Modul zugeordnet.
SE 2 Alim, K.

Current and Finished Theses in the Group

Autoencoders for Anomaly Detection, Phenotype Matching and Disease Prediction of Phenotypes for Indirect Calorimetry Time Series Data of Knockout Mice.
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics
Themensteller(in): Karen Alim
The Influence of External Conditions on the Migration of Small Plasmodia of Physarum polycephalum
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physik (Biophysik)
Themensteller(in): Karen Alim
Mapping network theory to network function
Abschlussarbeit im Bachelorstudiengang Physik
Themensteller(in): Karen Alim
Quantification of the Network Morphology of Physarum polycephalum under Environmental Effects
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physik (Biophysik)
Themensteller(in): Karen Alim
Discovering Metastable States in Zebrafish Whole-Brain Imaging
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physics (Applied and Engineering Physics)
Themensteller(in): Karen Alim
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