As of February 2020 Katja Zieske joined the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light to set up her laboratory. Starting in May she will head a new Max Planck research group addressing how biological systems are assembled from modular building blocks across multiple lengths scales. The research focus of the group will be how large-scale patterns and biological functions emerge from the interactions of smaller-scale building blocks and how environmental cues modulate this functionality. In a multidisciplinary approach the group uses purified biomolecules and cells as building blocks to reconstitute mechanisms underlying spatial organization and self-assembly. To probe and analyze these mechanisms the group applies synthetic lipid membranes, microfluidic technologies and optogenetic tools.