Extra time for junior research group leaders

First leadership position at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence is a stepping stone for a future career in research.
CiM junior research group leaders Dr. Sebastian Rumpf (left) and Dr. Milos Galic receive funding for another two years.
© CiM - Manfred Thomas

The groups of junior researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence at Münster University have demonstrated convincing work. After three and a half years of research, group leaders Dr. Sebastian Rumpf and Dr. Milos Galic are receiving financial support for a further two years. An external advisory board at the Cluster of Excellence, made up of international scientists, supported this decision unanimously. With the aid of the funding the two junior researchers can continue to build up their own working groups and undertake independent research.

“I can’t imagine a better situation for my future career as a researcher,” says biologist Milos Galic. He and his team are investigating the effect forces have on cells and how these forces change the cells’ shape. Their aim is to find out how the mechanical deformation of a cell membrane is converted into a biochemical signal, and which proteins play a role in this. Sebastian Rumpf, who is also a biologist, investigates with his team processes that are important for the development of the nervous system. One of the main things he is looking at is how axons and dendrites degenerate – these are the neuron cell processes with which nerve cells connect with each other and pass on signals.

Both groups have already produced scientific publications. In addition, both team leaders have acquired funding for a so-called Flexible Funds Project – an innovative, interdisciplinary research project at the Cluster of Excellence. What impressed the members of the Advisory Board most of all was the fact that both researchers have already built up a large network and have set up a number of collaborations – steps which are very important for a career in research.