Broadening Horizons

The scientists at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence go beyond the boundaries of their own specialised fields and address scientific questions using different disciplines. Numerous events offer scientists opportunities to broaden their horizons and to develop innovative ideas. To put these ideas into practice, interdisciplinary teams can apply for project funding. The enthusiasm for this interdisciplinary team work is evident at all levels, from junior researcher to group leader.

Why is interdisciplinary teamwork so valuable?

Seven CiM researchers report on their experiences (from left to right): mathematician Prof. Benedikt Wirth, biologist Prof. Stefan Schulte-Merker, chemist Reshma Vidyadharan, computer scientist Dimitri Berh, physicist Prof. Timo Betz, physician Dr. Judith Alferink and biologist Prof. Stefan Luschnig.
© CiM - Grewer / Kuhlmann
“I‘m a mathematician. Since I started applying mathematics to biological topics, I now see many things through different eyes. I’d like to further our understanding of biological organisms as a whole, and mathematics is a good tool for doing this.”
Prof. Benedikt Wirth
“As scientists we collaborate with colleagues all over the world, but, astonishingly, it‘s sometimes not so clear what ­researchers in the institute next door are doing. CiM meetings provide us biologists with an ­excellent basis for developing interdisciplinary research topics with colleagues.”
Prof. Stefan Schulte-Merker
“As a result of working together with scientists from various disciplines, I have gained a deeper understanding of the extent to which basic sciences are interlinked. For me, as a chemist, this has broadened my horizons way beyond the borders of chemistry.”
Reshma Vidyadharan, PhD student
“I‘m a computer scientist and I work with biologists on a joint project. After we’ve found a common language and each of us really understands the work that the others do, this leads to ­fascinating new questions and opportunities.”
Dimitri Berh, PhD student
“I’m the personification, so to speak, of the interface between biology and physics. As a physicist I try to pose research questions that incorporate more physics in biological work and help both disciplines grow even closer together.”
Prof. Timo Betz
“As a doctor I work with biologists on complex questions which could not be answered by taking just one single approach. This goes beyond merely collating knowledge, and it enriches both our research and my clinical work enormously.”
PD Dr. Judith Alferink
“All the major breakthroughs in the life sciences are results of curiosity and the urge to understand something fundamental. As a biologist, I too am curious to learn about other ways of seeing things. A collective creativity is driving research forward.”
Prof. Stefan Luschnig