News archive 2018

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© CiM/ Foto: E. Wibberg

Medicine and computer science joining forces

The MD thesis of Dr. Robert Seifert, a physician, is based on an interdisciplinary cooperation, supported by the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence. He and his colleagues developed an algorithm for the precise analysis of image data. A WWU dissertation prize was awarded for this.

© privat

Grant worth millions for chemist

At the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence, Prof. Ryan Gilmour is developing new types of chemical reactions to provide molecules with fluorine atoms. This plays a role for example in the development of drugs. He has now been awarded a coveted Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council.

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© A. Singh et al./ Nature Cell Biology

How cells generate forces

Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence show that microtubules, which are tubular filaments that form part of the cytoskeleton, generate mechanical forces und contribute to collective cell behaviour during tissue morphogenesis. The study has been published in “Nature Cell Biology”.

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© S. Rode & S. Rumpf

Looking at the mechanisms of translation

Proteins are produced in the cell in a process known as “translation”. Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence show how nerve cells regulate the production of specific proteins during the development of the nervous system. The study has been published in the journal “Cell Reports”.

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© CiM / Foto: E. Wibberg

New “Gerty Cori” junior research groups

Dr. Noelia Alonso Gonzalez and Dr. Maria Bohnert have started working as junior research group leaders at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence. Funding for their work is being provided by a new programme designed by the Cluster to support outstanding female researchers in leading positions.

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© D. Malhotra et al./eLife

Signals that guide cells through the body

Cells produce signalling molecules, the Chemokines, which can control the behaviour of other cells. For this purpose they bind to a protein, the chemokine receptor. Each receptor can trigger different responses. Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence have discovered a mechanism behind this.

© AG Wedlich-Söldner

Research on the plasma membrane

Internal award: Researchers headed by CiM Prof. Roland Wedlich-Söldner have won the "Paper of the Month" awarded by the Faculty of Medicine at Münster University. The study “Lateral plasma membrane compartmentalization links protein function and turnover” has been published in July in Embo Journal.

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© WWU

CiM mourns the loss of Prof. Georg Peters

The Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence mourns the loss of one of its most eminent members, microbiologist Prof. Georg Peters, who has died in an accident. With him, the Cluster has lost not only an excellent scientist, but also an important strategic advisor.

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© WiS

“I keep the positives of science into focus.”

Developmental biologist Prof. Marianne Bronner from California has recently held a lecture at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence. PhD students from the “Women in Science” network at the cluster have talked to her about the importance of good mentorship and the issue of gender bias in science.

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© CiM/S. Marschalkowski

My research about the coronary vasculature

Biologist Dr. Guillermo Luxán investigates in the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence what roles the molecular signals in the coronary vasculature play in cardiovascular disease. To do so, he analyses thin tissue sections under the microscope. In this guest contribution, he gives an insight into his daily life in the laboratory.

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© S. Herzmann et al./Development

New insights into pruning

When an organism develops, non-specific connections between nerve cells degenerate. Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence have now discovered that the spatial organization of a nerve cell influences the degeneration of its cell processes. The study has been published in “Development”.

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© T. Vogl et al./ J Clin Invest

Restricting overwhelming immune reactions

Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence have decoded a mechanism found at the beginning of almost every inflammatory response. Their study provides a new approach to develop novel treatment options for many inflammatory disorders with many fewer side effects compared to current drugs.

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© L. Rakers et al/Cell Chem Biol

How scientists analyse cell membranes

In an interdisciplinary collaboration, researchers at the University of Münster have developed a method of visualizing an important component of the cell membrane in living cells. Therefore, they synthesized a family of new substances. The study has been published in “Cell Chemical Biology”.

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© CiM/T. Hauss

Migrating cells and their environment

Phd student Sargon Groß-Thebing investigates in a research group at the Cell-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence how the cells’ environment affects their migration. As a biologist he works closely with mathematicians. In a guest contribution, he explains his research in a way that everyone can understand.

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© CiM/P. Grewer

1.3 million euros for cancer research

Through its Emmy Noether Programme, the DFG is funding medical chemist Dr. Anna Junker with 1.3 million euros. As a postdoc, she had obtained third-party funding in the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence. Now she is putting together her junior research group at the European Institute for Molecular Imaging.

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“What matters most is enjoying the process”

Cell biologist Prof. Anna Akhmanova from Utrecht has recently held a lecture at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence. PhD students from the “Women in Science” network at the cluster have talked to her about enjoying the process of doing research and acquiring confidence about your own work.

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© WWU/P. Leßmann

“We’ve made progress in so many areas.”

The new proposal of the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence has recently been assessed. The funding decision follows on 27 September. CiM spokesperson Prof. Lydia Sorokin and the representatives of further cluster initiatives at the WWU provide insights into the joys and ordeals of writing a proposal.

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© CiM/J.-M. Tronquet

How do neuronal processes degenerate?

Adults have fewer neuronal connections than infants because during development, neurons degenerate the non-specific connections. Biologist Dr. Svende Hermann investigates a similar mechanism in the fruit fly. In a guest contribution, she explains her research in a way that everyone can understand.

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© MPI Münster

ERC „Advanced Grant“ for Ralf Adams

Prof. Ralf Adams, a group leader at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence, receives funding from the European Research Council. He will use it to investigate whether – and, if so, to what extent – the manipulation of molecular signalling pathways in endothelial cells can be used in future to help patients with osteoporosis.

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© S. Gran & L. Honold et al./Theranostics 2018(8)

Observing inflammatory cells in the body

Immunologists and imaging specialists at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence have jointly developed a method enabling them to better evaluate and study the activity of inflammatory cells in mice. The study has been published in the “Theranostics” journal.

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© CiM/E. Wibberg

Labelling and detecting RNA modifications

Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence have developed a new method enabling them to locate important modifications to messenger RNA. This is the result of an interdisciplinary collaboration between biochemists and molecular biologists. It has been published in “Angewandte Chemie”.

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© CiM

From network to a university centre

The Cells-in-Motion Interfaculty Centre (CiMIC) is now embedded into the infrastructure of the University of Münster, as approved by the University’s Senate. The CiM Cluster of Excellence-driven interfaculty research on cell dynamics and imaging is now a major long-term focus at the University.

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© Dimitri Berh, Benjamin Risse

Researchers make a fly’s heartbeat visible

Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence have developed a new method for visualizing the heartbeat of living fruit-fly pupae and automatically recording the pulse frequency. The study is the result of interdisciplinary cooperation between computer scientists and biologists.

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© J. Klingauf

Transmitting stimuli in nerve cells

Glutamate is known as an flavour enhancer. But without the body’s own glutamate, nerve cells cannot transmit any signals. Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence have shown how glutamate gets into nerve cells to the right places, describing the key role played by chloride.

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© MPI Münster/J. Müller-Keuker

Regeneration starts with a wound

Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence have gained new insights into the mechanisms behind regenerative processes. In flatworms and zebrafish, even small wounds can initiate complete regeneration of heads and bones. The study has been published in “Nature Communications”.

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© Cao et al./Nature Communications

Dynamic cell contacts

If new blood vessels sprout from an existing network of vessels, their endothelial cells migrate in order to rearrange themselves and form contacts with other cells. CiM researchers show which mechanisms take place in the process. The study has been published in “Nature Communications”.