Cells are the smallest functional units of the most complex 3D objects that currently exist  ….

.. and we need to understand how they function!

My lab hopes to contribute to this goal by several ways.

  • First, we develop methods to study the spatio-temporal organisation of the proteins inside cells, how they are produced, distributed, regulated and degraded.
  • Second, we use these methods to study various cellular processes to demonstrate that we can learn something new by using these  methods.
    • meiosis and sporulation in yeast
    • yeast mating and MAPK signal transduction
    • protein degradation to study GPCR signaling in fish protein quality control at the inner nuclear membrane
  • Third, we are involved in various teaching activities and conference organisation.

Our reserach

Living cells are  highly dynamic objects – to understand them we play  around with fluorescent proteins – sometimes this yields useful new tools  observe various types of  protein behaviours right in the living creature.

Read our latest papers on fluorescent timers and how they allow direct visualisation of protein age: where are the old proteins and where are the new ones, and what do we learn form this?

 

  tFT timers to understand protein dynamics and  degradation.  Read the paper …

  tFT timers to visualise cellular communication in living embryos.  Read the paper …

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 21.47.48

  tFT timers to learn about the (terminal) fate of mislocalized proteins.  Read the paper …

We also love to play around with microscopes to make them better tools to visualise protein in their cellular environment. Read our papers on fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), and on light sheet microscopy, and how we (and you) can make sure that the a microscope’s performance does keep up with the manufacturers promises.


 PSFj – make sure your microscope is working well! Read the paper …Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 08.56.59

 FCS and intracellular communication: how cells react to pheromones. Read the paper …

 FCS and nuclear organisation observed with a light sheet microscope (FCS-SPIM). Read the paper …

 FCS and Endocytosis: where does the music play in endocytosis? Read the paper …

We believe that we can learn the most from reductionist approaches: this is why we love to use yeast as our model organism: they grow fast, no ethical issues, yet, they are highly similar to human cells. Any new fundamental insight obtained with yeast does fuel directly research with mammalian cell.

 

Yeast as a model for evolutionary studies

For example yeast also allows us to understand the evolutionary dimension of molecular mechanisms. Some of our work in this direction is listed here. By comparing with the situation in related species we can obtain insight into the constraints that shape molecular processes. This is one of the reasons why we initiated an EMBO funded conference series so that people with similar interests can meet and discuss. See the meeting reports of previous meetings in various journals:  200820102012 and 2014 meetings, the next one will be in 2016.

For further reading, please also visit our specific pages on our previous research and our methods projects.