Seán M. Murray

Seán M. Murray

Dr. Seán Murray

Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
Department of Systems and Synthetic Microbiology
Karl-von-Frisch-Straße 16
35043 Marburg
+49-6421 28 21615

Research Area

The Murray group studies the mechanisms of spatial organization within bacteria. We use both dry lab (mathematical modelling, stochastic simulations, image analysis) and wet lab (genetics, high-throughput microscopy, microfluidics) techniques to uncover how proteins and DNA are spatial (self-)organised within cells. Topics include the cell-cycle dependent spatial organization of the bacterial chromosome, the formation, localization and dynamics of sub-cellular proteins cluster and the theoretical underpinning of pattern formation in general.


theoretical biology
mathematical modelling
pattern formation
regulatory networks
bacterial cell biology
chromosome biology
image analysis

Recent Publications

1. Hofmann A, Mäkelä J, Sherratt D, Heermann D, Murray SM (2019) Self-organised segregation of bacterial chromosomal origins. eLife 8: e46564

2. Guzzo M, Murray SM, Martineau E, Lhospice S, Baronian G, My L, Zhang Y, Espinosa L, Vincentelli R, Bratton B, Shaevitz J, Molle V, Howard M, Mignot T (2018) A gated relaxation oscillator mediated by FrzX controls morphogenetic movements in Myxococcus xanthus. Nature Microbiology 3: 948-959

3. Murray SM, Sourjik V (2017) Self-organisation and positioning of bacterial protein clusters. Nature Physics 13: 1006-1013

SYNMIKRO Young Researchers Groups

Almost all scientific members of SYNMIKRO are actively involved in DFG’s Collaborative Research Centers (Sonderforschungsbereiche), Research Training Groups (Graduiertenkollegs), or other Cooperative Research projects. Alongside performing adventurous experiments, and reporting excellent science, SYNMIKRO substantially promotes potential Young Research Group Leaders by constantly keeping its doors open to welcome and support Young Researchers planning to set up an Independent Research Group.
Our Young Research Groups