Qualifications and history:
1995 PhD, University of Tuebingen and Max-Planck Institute for Biology, Germany
1995 Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University, USA
1998 Postdoctoral fellow and staff scientist, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Germany
2002 Team and group leader, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Germany
2011 Established lab at the London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK 2015 Group Leader, the Francis Crick Institute, London, UK
Our research aims at developing a mechanistic understanding of cytoskeleton organisation and dynamics. It falls into the general area of understanding the physics of biological systems. We focus on the microtubule cytoskeleton which has essential logistic and mechanical functions, for example in trafficking, for cell division and differentiation. Our overall goal is to understand how the microtubule cytoskeleton self-organises in space and time as a dynamic entity in order to fulfil its functions. In the last 10 years we made major contributions towards understanding the molecular mechanism underlying microtubule plus end tracking, microtubule dynamic instability and microtubule nucleation. Other active areas of research are the investigation of the mechanism of dynein function and the reconstitution of spindle subsystems.