Anna Akhmanova and Marileen Dogterom aim to understand the basic principles of internal cell organization. This knowledge will eventually make it possible to control essential cellular processes such as cell movement and division. “If you want to manipulate cells, for example to grow organs or to treat cancer, you have to understand how they function”, says Akhmanova. In this Synergy program they focus on the cytoskeleton.
They will use light to switch on or off the molecular interactions that control cytoskeletal organization, allowing them to manipulate the systems that they will study. Anna Akhmanova works at Utrecht University. Marileen Dogterom is currently employed at FOM Institute AMOLF and will start as of 1 January 2014 at Delft University of Technology.
Other researchers who will contribute to the program by bringing in additional expertise are: Prof.dr. Gijsje Koenderink, Prof.dr. Bela Mulder and Prof.dr. Pieter Rein ten Wolde (AMOLF) and Dr. Lukas Kapitein and Prof.dr. Sander van den Heuvel (Utrecht University).