Economic principles in cell physiology

Living cells, shaped by billions of years of evolution, have developed many ways to adapt to their environment, e.g. by regulation of gene expression. But the rules of physics and chemistry enforce certain boundaries on what cells can achieve and how they can allocate their own resources. Our goal is to uncover some of these governing principles.

The Principles Forum is a space for open conversations about fundamental questions in cell physiology and economic principles in biology. It is open to researchers at any stage of their career. Students, junior faculty, advanced researchers, professors emeriti: please feel free and welcome to join! 

We meet online every first Tuesday of the month at 5:30pm-7:30pm CET (8:30am-10:30am PST).

#CellularEconomyForum

Upcoming seminars

Session 16: Division of Labour

Topic: "Microbial cross-feeding"

Speakers: Sebastian Lücker, Jan Ulrich Kreft

When: 7 June, 5:30 p.m. CET

Registration via Zoom: ...

About the forum

Each session is organised by a team of 2 or 3 people who choose a topic among those previously proposed by forum participants and invite two speakers to talk about it. The presentations are short, leaving ample time for discussion. Ideas will be collected in a shared document, which participants can edit during the discussion. Participants are invited to stay after the session to continue their discussions.


Get involved

The Forum is organised by an open group of researchers working at research institutions across Europe, the US, Asia, and Central America. We meet every other month, sometimes in smaller groups, to organise our activities.

Everybody interested is welcome to participate! Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, join us on Slack, visit our website or get in touch via our Google group. For a first general orientation in Slack, please visit the channel #welcome-new-participants.

Aside from the monthly forum, we are currently developing:

A collection of teaching materials: We set up a repository for teaching materials (such as lecture slides, handouts, graphics, exercises, or lecture videos). Materials can be submitted through git pull requests, a gitter channel, a google group, or email. If you would like to contribute materials, please get in touch! You can have a look at our repository, where you can also upload your materials.

A book project: We are exploring the possibility of writing a non-commercial, open-access textbook for our discipline. Writing collaboratively will reduce the workload for everyone. If you’re interested in participating, or just curious, please see our preliminary table of contents. If you would like to join this project, or if you’re just curious, please let us know about your possible contributions in this shared document.

We also plan to organize a yearly workshop, starting after the Covid-19 crisis.