1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Egenis · People

Dr. Mathias Grote

Egenis Research Fellow




I have a background in both philosophy and science. After I had obtained a Magister Artium (M.A.) of philosophy and biology at Humboldt-University of Berlin in 2004, I decided to work in experimental science and started a project in membrane biology. Through my laboratory work, I became interested in the history and epistemology of science and changed disciplines after I had received a doctorate from the Institute of Biology at Humboldt-University in 2008. In 2009, I began postdoctoral research on a two-year collaboration between Hans-Jörg Rheinberger's department at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and Egenis, spending a year working at each institution. I spent a year working in Egenis in 2010 on the project .

I have secured three years funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) to continue my project and write a book. I will be based in the group of Friedrich Steinle at the Department of Philosophy, History of Science and Technology and Literature at the Technische Universität of Berlin.


Grote M. (2011), Jeewanu, or the 'particles of life'. The approach of Krishna Bahadur in 20th Century origin of life science research, Journal of Biosciences 36 (4) (forthcoming, September 2011).

Grote M, O'Malley M.A. (2011), Enlightening the life sciences: The history of halobacterial and microbial rhodopsin research. FEMS Microbiology Review.

Grote M, O'Malley M.A. (2010), History of science is good for you. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 8 (10) : 752

Grote, M (2010). Surfaces of action: Cells and membranes in electrochemistry and the life sciences. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (special issue on the history and philosophy of cell research), 41 (3): 183-193.Grote M. (2008), Hybridizing bacteria, crossing methods, cross-checking arguments: The transition from episomes to plasmids (1961-1969), History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 30: 407-430Grote, M. (2007), Die "Kräfte des Organischen". Transformationen des Naturbildes in C.F. Kielmeyers Karlsschulrede, Verhandlungen zur Geschichte und Theorie der Biologie 13: 165-175

Grote M., Polyhach Y., Jeschke G., Steinhoff H.-J., Schneider E. and Bordignon E. (2009), Transmembrane signaling in the maltose ABC transporter MalFGK2-E: Periplasmic MalF-P2 loop communicates substrate availability to the ATP-bound MalK dimer, Journal of Biological Chemistry 284: 17521-17526

Jacso T., Grote M., Schmieder P., Schneider E. and Reif B. (2009), NMR assignments of the periplasmatic loop P2 of the MalF subunit of the maltose ATP binding cassette transporter, Biomolecular NMR assignments 3: 21-3

Jacso T., Grote M., Daus M.L., Schmieder P., Keller S., Schneider E. and Reif B. (2009) The periplasmic loop P2 of the MalF subunit of the maltose ATP binding cassette transporter is sufficient to bind the maltose binding protein MalE. Biochemistry 48: 2216-2225

Daus M.L., Grote M. and Schneider E. (2009), The MalF-P2 loop of the ATP-binding cassette transporter MalFGK2 from Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium interacts with maltose binding protein (MalE) throughout the catalytic cycle, Journal of Bacteriology 191: 754-761

Grote M.*, Bordignon E.*, Polyhach Y., Jeschke G., Steinhoff H.-J. and Schneider E. (2008), A comparative EPR study of the nucleotide-binding domains’ catalytic cycle in the assembled maltose ABC-importer. Biophysical Journal 95: 2924-2938

Daus M.L.*, Grote M.*, Müller P., Doebber M., Herrmann A., Steinhoff H.J. and Schneider E. (2007), ATP-driven MalK dimer closure and re-opening and conformational changes of the 'EAA'-motifs are crucial for function of the maltose ATP-binding-cassette transporter (MalFGK2). Journal of Biological Chemistry 282: 22387-22396 *shared first authorship


Workshop Membranes, Surfaces and Boundaries – interstices in the history of science, technology and culture. Workshop at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin. October 7th-9th, 2010. Organized by Mathias Grote, Laura Otis and Max Stadler.

The workshop is accompanied by the exhibition "Membranes, Surfaces, Boundaries. Creating Interstices" at the Aedes Architekturgalerie Berlin (8.10.-11.11.2010)

Research Interests

I am interested in the roles experimentation and materiality plays in science. In this respect, membrane biology is an auspicious and mostly unexplored example. Both its history and contemporary studies provide insights into the often underestimated relation of concepts and practices from chemistry and biological research. This field displays another characteristic that is typical for the life sciences – and presumably science in general: Closely knit material, conceptual and personal networks between scientific and other cultural activities such as the use of natural resources, trade or technological developments. Moreover, the study of membrane biology could provide an entry point to an epistemology of surfaces, spaces and movements in science.