Marcel Hörning is a Physicist by heart and education with additional expertise in material science, bioengineering, biophysics and biology. He has dedicated himself to enlighten biological and medical problems by use of physics and sophisticated computational analysis using integrative and quantitative tools. He is currently a group leader in the University of Stuttgart, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomolecular Systems (IBBS), Biobased Materials Group. His research aim is to enlighten causes and recovery methods of cardiac diseases, the interaction between cells and its mechano-sensitive dynamics, and the interaction of single cell-level morphology and signaling dynamics.
He enrolled his post-graduate studies in the Humboldt University of Berlin and graduated from the University of Potsdam, Germany ahead of schedule receiving a financial state award. He implemented a celestial model in the group of Prof. Frank Spahn. The simulation results and data obtained from the Cassini spacecraft (in cooperation with NASA and ESA) were compared and analyzed, leading to novel insights in the origin and dynamics of Saturn’s ring system. This work lead two articles, one in the renowned Journal Science.
Thereafter, he redirected his research focus towards biological related sciences in the laboratory of Prof. Kenichi Yoshikawa at the Kyoto University, Japan. He proposed and investigated a mechanism that enables the control of heart conduction by reducing pacing protocols in cardiac tissue culture to understand the formation and recovery of cardiac diseases. For this investigations he utilized numerical simulations, experiments with primary cardiomyocyte culture and light-tuneable gelatin gels. His research was supported by the Honor Scholarship of the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship (MEXT), and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). In 2010, he obtained his doctoral degree at the Kyoto University, Japan and proceeded as a postdoctoral fellow. During this time he obtained travel grants for visits in the George Washington University, Washington DC, USA (Prof. Narine Sarvazyan) and Stony Brook University, New York, USA (Prof. Emilia Entcheva) for 3 month, as well as the funding for a 1.5 month stay in the Fritz Haber Institute, Berlin, Germany (Prof. Harald Engel), Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Berlin, Germany (Prof. Markus Bär), and Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen, Germany (Prof. Stefan Luther).
In 2012, Marcel moved to the Center of Developmental Biology, RIKEN, Japan as an independent postdoctoral fellow, as part of the FPR-Program in RIKEN. He was hosted by Dr. Tatsuo Shibata in the Physical Biology Laboratory, where he continued his investigations on the mechano-sensitive maturity of developing cardiomyocyte cultures and also developed a 3D spatio-temporal mapping routine to investigate the phosphatidylinositol lipid signaling (PIP3 etc.) on single Dictyostelium membranes, which can be linked to pathological activities such as allergic inflammation and cancer metastasis. From 2013 he started teaching as an part-time lecturer in the Doshisha Univerisity, Japan and joined in 2014 the laboratory of Prof. Motomu Tanaka in the Institute for Integrated Cell and Material Sciences (iCeMS), Kyoto University, Japan, as an Assistant Professor. Since end of 2016 he moved to Germany and joined the Biobased Materials Group of Prof. Ingrid Weiss in the University of Stuttgart.
When he is not in the lab, he loves to ski (alpine and nordic), run (road and trail), implement programs, render with blender, play with his kids and simply enjoy a tasty cup of coffee with his wife.