Microbes usually don’t live isolated but together with myriads of other microbes in large communities, in the environment as well as on and in our bodies. Despite their importance for human health, we have very limited understanding of the mechanisms that shape and govern these communities.
The Ratzke lab is particularly interested in understanding, describing and predicting the interactions between microbes (i), investigating how these interactions shape complex microbial communities (ii) and uncovering whether ecological forces within microbial communities can be used for medical purposes (iii). Using a combination of mathematical modeling and experimental approaches, including C. elegans as a model organism, the long-term goal of the lab is to understand how interactions between microbes can prevent microbial infections.
Dr. Christoph Ratzke
has been a Junior Research Group Leader in the cluster since the beginning of 2020. Christoph has a broad scientific interest ranging from physics to biology and everything in between. After studying biochemistry and doing his doctorate in single-molecule biophysics, he did his postdoctoral research at MIT in the field of ecological systems biology. His group is dedicated to microbial communities, with the goal of being able to modify and construct them for medical applications.