© CiM - Peter Grewer

A Lab Visit to ...

Interviews with the CiM researchers

The 80 research groups of the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence daily deal with the question of how cells behave in the body. But what exactly do the scientists investigate? Which technique are they excited about? And what moves them beyond their own research topic?

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“Failure is not an option”

© EIMI/M. Kuhlmann

Prof. Friedemann Kiefer performs research at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence, investigating how lymphatic vessels are formed and preserved. In his work, though, he constantly looks beyond the boundaries of his own field to develop new ideas. His overall aim is to make contributions of lasting value.

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“I do research to help people see”

© Witte / Wattendorf

Prof. Nicole Eter works as an ophthalmologist and, parallel to this, investigates at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence what mechanisms are at work behind diseases of the retina. Her great aim is to develop new forms of treatment and she is fascinated by processes which can stop cells ageing.

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“We do research to benefit patients”

© CiM - Peter Leßmann

Prof. Johannes Roth is investigating the causes of inflammatory reactions at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence. For many years he worked as a basic researcher and a paediatrician at the same time. His greatest aim is to discover basic mechanisms which can lead to diagnostic or therapeutic processes.

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“Sigma receptors are pretty unusual!”

© Dziemba

Prof. Bernhard Wünsch is passionate about Medicinal Chemistry. Within the framework of the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence he is investigating novel receptor ligands. Furthermore, he aims to support junior researchers. His happiest moment as a scientist was the appointment of one of his habilitands to get a professorship.

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“Will we be able to predict heart attacks one day?”

Prof. Michael Schäfers is fascinated by the possibilities offered by positron emission tomography, which enables to visualize molecular processes inside the body. With the help of this technology he would like to show inflammatory processes, e.g. to predict future heart attacks.

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“We do research to cure cancer in children and adolescents”

Pediatrician Prof. Claudia Rössig is convinced of the chances for the immunotherapeutic treatment of children with cancer. Her research group at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence is aiming to modify patients’ T cells in such a way that they can systematically recognize or destroy cancer cells in solid tumours, or at least keep them in check.

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“Together, we can understand the big picture”

© CiM - Jean-Marie Tronquet

Dr. Britta Trappmann develops engineered tissue models for research into the growth of blood vessels. Other scientists at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence are already showing an interest in her platforms. The reason is that they can then study angiogenesis in 3D in a very well controlled environment.

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“The way bones heal is fascinating”

© CiM - Sylwia Marschalkowski

Trauma surgeon Prof. Richard Stange investigates how bones heal. As the new Professor of Translational Regenerative Medicine at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence, he combines basic research with clinical work. His aim is that research results should always benefit the patient as far as possible.

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“Science is like a jigsaw puzzle”

© CiM - Heiner Witte

As a scientist Dr. Sebastian Rumpf likes to probe into questions that he finds interesting. With his Junior Research Group at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence he studies how neuronal extensions atrophy. One of his main aims is to impart to other people the pleasure he derives from his research work.

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“I like to look at questions from new angles”

© CiM - Michael Kuhlmann

What allows a cell migrate from A to B? This is something that Prof. Erez Raz, a principal investigator at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence would like to find out. In doing so, he likes to try out new paths and always likes being surprised. And there is one thing he is sure about: it is the combination of various fields that characterizes good science.

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“My job isn’t ‘work’ – it’s my life!”

© WWU - Peter Grewer

Prof. Christian Klämbt is a scientist heart and soul. At the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence he studies glial cells, one of the main components of the brain. His overriding aim is to understand how the brain and all its wonders work. But he also knows that this is an aim that cannot be reached easily.

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“We give meaning to biomedical images”

© CiM - André Stephan

Prof. Xiaoyi Jiang is developing methods of producing and analysing biomedical images. These new methods make it possible to track the movement of individual cells or even entire organisms. For Prof. Jiang it is especially important to develop elegant methods which work for a whole range of applications.

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“Every single experiment has to make sense”

© UKM-Fotozentrale

Prof. Stefan Schlatt is one of the few researchers working in the field of reproductive medicine in Germany. His research focuses on male reproductive functions; and the fact that a whole human being develops from just two cells is something that still fascinates him regularly.

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“I want to find out how sperm locate the egg”

© UKM-Fotozentrale

After working in the pharmaceuticals industry for a few years, Prof. Timo Strünker opted for science in the academic world. He is now undertaking research into the navigation skills of sperms – and he knows that we humans have a lot in common with sea urchins.

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“Quality is the top priority”

© WWU - Laura Grahn

Prof. Andrea Rentmeister labels biomolecules, especially RNA. The chemical reactions necessary for this have to be highly selective and proceed under mild conditions as they are carried out on living cells. For Andrea Rentmeister it is especially important always to work accurately, because this is the way to find out the reason if something has gone wrong.

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“I love to spend time at the microscope”

© CiM - Jean-Marie Tronquet

Prof. Stefan Luschnig is an enthusiastic researcher. His great aim is to be able to understand and explain the primary processes in the development of organs – how cells build tubular structures. Luschnig, a biologist, collaborates with many other researchers because he knows that in one life you just cannot do everything yourself.

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“I became a scientist by chance”

For Prof. Klaus Schäfers everything revolves around motion correction. He and his team aim to make clinical images even more exact. And they have no lack of ideas for improving high-tech equipment.

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“Science is good when it’s creative”

Prof. Volker Gerke really loves doing research – especially in Münster, but also abroad. His focus is on cell membranes, in particular WPBs. These are small proteins in the cell membrane that provide the initial impetus, so to speak, for wound closures. At the same time he enjoys pursuing new ideas and learning about new techniques. His thirst for knowledge is insatiable!

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“I want to tailor light in all its features into novel applications”

Cornelia Denz sculpts light and exploits it, for example, to investigate cells in living organisms, or to understand cell dynamics and migration in the inner cell. She is able to tailor light to tackle and answer many actual research challenges in cell science and nanotechnology - and most of all she would like to develop more applications using advanced structured light.

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“I could watch blood vessels for hours”

Prof. Stefan Schulte-Merker is fascinated by organ development in zebra fish. In optically transparent embryos, just a few millimetres in size, he observes how arteries, veins and lymphatic vessels develop. In terms of organ development, fish and humans are not so dissimilar.

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“I’m proud to be a good mother and researcher”

© CiM - Peter Grewer

Dr. Kerstin Bartscherer is on the trail of the master of regeneration. In the interview she talks about how she wants to crack the secret of the flatworm and how she successfully combines both – science and family.

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“Sport for endothelial cells”

The question Prof. Hans-Joachim Schnittler asks himself is: are trained endothelial cells the more resistant cells? It is a question which he is investigating with his team of international researchers – and with the help of his dedicated Flow System.