Matthias Koch (Department of Biology, Texas A&M University)
Texas A&M University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, MPHY 578 / IQSE Seminar Room
Matthias Koch is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Texas A&M University. He uses biophysical tools and light microscopy approaches to understand how bacteria sense and interact with their physical environment. Matthias received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in Physics from the University of Freiburg, Germany. He consequently joined the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg to receive a PhD with distinction in biophysics. His work developing new optical tweezers and microscopy approaches to study the mechanics of helical bacteria and momentum transport through artificial cytoskeletal networks was recognized with the Wolfgang Gentner Early Career Award. During his Postdoc in the Departments of Physics, Molecular Biology, and Genomics at Princeton, he discovered that despite their miniature size, bacteria have a sense of touch similar to humans and can distinguish substrates by their mechanical stiffness. After joining Texas A&M in 2022, his lab uses multidisciplinary approaches leveraging the arsenal of genetic and molecular tools, advanced super-resolution and force probing microscopy techniques, as well as biophysical modeling and computer simulations, to understand the fundamental biophysical principles of stiffness sensing and of the molecular machine that drives this remarkable feature.
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