Tobias Bartsch is a postdoctoral researcher in Professor A. J. Hudspeth’s Laboratory of Sensory Neuroscience at the Rockefeller University. He attended college at the University of Würzburg in Germany and received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Austin.
During his time in graduate school, Bartsch worked with Professor E. L. Florin on the development of a novel three-dimensional scanning-probe microscope capable of imaging soft matter with a nanometer spatial resolution at a megahertz bandwidth. Using the microscope, Bartsch studied the interaction of single ligand-receptor pairs, the cooperativity of molecular motors and the nanoscopic mechanics of biopolymer networks. His graduate research was supported by a full scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and a Lawrence Biedenharn Fellowship; his dissertation was recognized by the University of Texas at Austin as an “outstanding dissertation in physics.”
His current research focuses on the mechanical properties of soft biological matter under low, physiologically relevant forces close to the thermal limit. In particular, using a high-precision apparatus, he is elucidating the elasticity of the molecular spring that underlies auditory sensation and is investigating how different disease-associated mutations affect the properties of this spring.