Professor Thorsten WOHLAND

Dipl. Phys., University of Heidelberg, Germany; PhD, Swiss Federel Institute of Technology at Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland); Postdoctoral., Stanford University (USA).

Contact Information

Office: S1A-02-12
Tel: (65)-6516-1248 | Fax: (65)-6776-7882
Email: | Personal webpage


ORCID:  0000-0002-0148-4321
ResearcherID: H-8285-2012


Research Interests

My group works on the development of new fluorescence spectroscopy techniques for the measurement of biomolecular interactions in cells, tissues, and organisms. Specific foci are:

  • Techniques: Single wavelength excitation fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy (SW-FCCS) and imaging fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (ITIR-FCS, SPIM-FCS).
  • Biological systems: Transmembrane protein receptors and peptides and their interaction with membranes, measurement of biomolecular actions and interactions in living cells and organisms.


Research Highlight

Ref: Ng, X. W.; Teh, C.; Korzh, V.; Wohland, T. The Secreted Signaling Protein Wnt3 is Associated with Membrane Domains In Vivo: a SPIM-FCS study. Biophys J. 2016, 111, 418-429.

In recent years our group focused on developing image based fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), in which the signal at each pixel of a camera is evaluated to determine the movement of biomolecules with single molecule sensitivity. For that purpose we need to record on the order of 1000 images per second. To achieve this we have use the recently developed single plane illumination microscopy (SPIM) and fast sensitive cameras. In this paper, we demonstrate that SPIM-FCS, a quantitative imaging tool, can be used in live zebrafish. By measuring the molecular movement of Wnt3-EGFP on cell membranes of the zebrafish cerebellum we were able to determine how Wnt3 – a morhphogen that activates the Wnt signaling pathway and regulates a multitude of biological processes ranging from cell proliferation, cell fate specification, differentiation over embryonic induction to neural patterning – binds specifically to lipid domains. This is the first time to our knowledge that sub-diffraction limited localization of a morphogen was performed in a live zebrasfish by measuring morphogen mobilities.


Representative Publications   

  • Huang, S.; Lim S. Y.; Gupta A.; Bag N.; Wohland T. Plasma Membrane Organization and Dynamics is Probe and Cell Line Dependent. Biochim. Biophys Acta. 2017, 1859, 1483-1492
  • Sezgin, E.; Azbazdar, Y.; Ng, X. W.; The, C.; Simons, K.; Weidinger, G.; Wohland, T.; Eggeling, C.; Ozhan, G. Binding of Canonical Wnt Ligands to Their Receptor Complexes Occurs in Ordered Plasma Membrane Environments. FEBS J. 2017, 284, 2513-2526.
  • Karampatzakis, A.; Sankaran, J.; Kandaswamy, K.; Rice, S. A.; Cohen, Y.; Wohland, T. Measurement of Oxygen Concentrations in Bacterial Biofilms using Transient State Monitoring by Single Plane Illumination Microscopy. Biomed. Phys. Eng. Express. 2017, 3, 035020.
  • Lim, X. X.; Chandramohan, A.; Lim, X. Y.; Bag, N.; Sharma, K. K.; Wirawan, M.; Wohland, T.; Lok, S. M.; Anand, G. S. Conformational Changes in Intact Dengue Virus Reveal Serotype-Specific Expansion. Nat. Commun. 2017, 8, 14339.
  • Yavas, S.; Macháň, R.; Wohland, T. The Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Forms Location-Dependent Complexes in Resting Cells. Biophys J. 2016, 111, 2241-2254.
  • Ng, X. W.; Teh, C.; Korzh, V.; Wohland, T. The Secreted Signaling Protein Wnt3 is Associated with Membrane Domains In Vivo: a SPIM-FCS Study. Biophys J. 2016, 111, 418-429.
  • Macháň, R.; Foo, Y. H.; Wohland, T. On the Equivalence of FCS and FRAP: Simultaneous Lipid Membrane Measurements. Biophys J. 2016, 111, 152-161.