Reinhard Lipowsky is a theoretician who worked on a wide range of topics in chemical and biological physics. His main achievements are in the areas of interfacial phase transitions and wetting phenomena, biomimetic membranes and vesicles, as well as molecular motors and nanomachines. In the latter area, he has developed a multiscale approach that starts from the properties of single motors to describe their cooperative behavior during cargo transport by small motor teams as well as cargo traffic involving a large number of motors. More recently, he started to work on the dynamics of actin filaments and on the process of ribosomal translation. In general, one important objective of his research is to understand the "hidden dimensions of selforganization", i.e., how spatio-temporal patterns and remodelling processes on mesoscopic scales arise from the molecular building blocks and their interactions.
For the leitmotifs of his work, see "The Pleasures of Theory".