Lots of fresh ideas
In the Cluster of Excellence, junior researchers successfully start their own collaborations. For example, physicist Robert Meißner and biologist Wade Sugden received funding for a so-called CiM Pilot Project. This format supports interdisciplinary research projects undertaken by junior scientists. “I was looking for a way to measure forces in the blood vessels of zebrafish embryos,” Wade Sugden explains. Robert Meißner provided the solution at a CiM Graduate School presentation, where he described his work with optical tweezers – focused laser beams that can be used to hold and steer minute objects in a living organism. Together, they successfully wrote their first grant application.
During the collaboration Robert Meißner learnt a lot about zebrafish embryos, which are only a few millimetres in size, including the structure and elasticity of their blood vessels. While, Wade Sugden discovered what a challenge living organisms present for physicists. The two of them are currently writing a manuscript on their joint results for publication in a scientific journal. What has each of them learnt from their collaboration in the Cluster of Excellence? “To explain things simply without changing their meaning,” says Robert Meißner, “… and we got lots of fresh ideas!” adds Wade Sugden.