The Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology has a broad interdisciplinary focus. In general, we are investigating how macromolecular complexes influence the morphology and function of cells.
We particularly focus on RNA-protein complexes and their role in transport, stability and local translation of mRNAs in yeast and primary neurons. The long-term goal in neurons is to understand how learning and memory works on the molecular level with a particular focus on the synapse.
A third research topic is the study of secreted growth factors and hormones and their influence on the differentiation and function of reproductive cells. This work has direct consequences for human reproductive medicine. Last but not least, we are investigating how macromolecular protein complexes regulate the morphology of mitochondria, the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton and nuclear transport.
To experimentally address these questions, we are using a broad and interdisciplinary spectrum of model systems and methods, ranging from behavioral analysis, live cell imaging of primary cells to the biochemical and functional analysis of protein complexes.