Daniel J. Müller - NCCR MSE

Daniel J. Müller

Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE), ETH Zurich

Co-Director of NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering

Work Package Leader WP3: From Cellular Systems to Health Control

Project Leader


Prof. Daniel Müller was born on March 22, 1965, in Bad Wimpfen, Germany and studied physics at the University of Technology Berlin and the Hahn-Meitner-Institute in Berlin, Germany. After finishing his studies he started his PhD in Biophysics at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, with Georg Büldt and at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, Switzerland with Andreas Engel. In 1997 he finished his PhD and received the prize for the best thesis in Life Sciences of the University of Basel. In 2000, Daniel Müller received his habilitation ‘venia legendi’ in Biophysics from the University of Basel. He also continued his career as a group leader at the newly founded Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany.

In 2002 Daniel Müller accepted a full professorship of Cellular Machines at the Biotechnology Center of the University of Technology, Dresden. He acted as a director of the Center from 2003-2005. In 2006 Müller co-founded one of the largest Bionanotechnology Spin-Offs in Germany. The company developing and manufacturing the world’s first robot that fully automatically conducts single-molecule experiments, was sold in 2008. In 2008, Daniel Müller, in a team with Carsten Werner and Ulrich Nienhaus, launched a new BMBF research center for Molecular Bioengineering (B CUBE, www.bcube-dresden.de) at the TU Dresden. In December 2010, Müller accepted the Chair of Bionanotechnology at the ETH Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) in Basel.

He is on the editorial board of Biophysical Journal, Journal of Structural Biology, PloS One, BMC Journal of Nanobiotechnology and the Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology.

Together with Wolfgang Meier (Uni Basel), Daniel Müller launches in 2014 the Swiss National Competence Centre of Research (NCCR) Molecular Systems Engineering in Basel.

Scientific Motivation

Molecular interactions drive all processes in life. Because of this enormous importance it is a pertinent demand in life sciences, systems biology and synthetic biology to characterize how these interactions drive biological processes and thus to decipher fundamentals of the biological language. This will allow us to control these interactions and thus to control biological processes. Therefore, the research group of Daniel Müller develops bionanotechnological methods that allow quantifying and controlling inter- and intramolecular interactions of biological processes. Currently these methods allow imaging of cells at nanometer resolution, to quantify and localize cellular interactions at molecular resolution and to observe how individual receptors of living cells communicate. Furthermore, it became possible to quantify, structurally localize and to direct the interactions that fold, stabilize and control the functional state of single membrane proteins in their native environment.


Read what the University of Basel said about him in an online-portrait entitled "Tracking Molecular Interactions".