Awardees' Articles

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Matilde Galli and colleagues

Wednesday 16th March 2016

The spindle assembly checkpoint delays mitotic progression when chromosomes are not properly attached to the mitotic spindle. Interestingly, checkpoint strengths vary between cells, and we show that during embryogenesis, cell size determines the strength of the spindle assembly checkpoint.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Claire Cheetham and colleagues

Friday 11th March 2016

Olfactory sensory neurons are generated throughout life, but little is known about how these new neurons, which provide olfactory input to the brain, wire into existing neural circuits. We show that newly-generated olfactory sensory neurons can elicit responses in the brain earlier in their development than previously thought. Furthermore, we find that olfactory sensory neurons continuously form and eliminate synapses throughout their life cycle, enabling the brain to adapt constantly to changes...


HFSP Program Grant holders Edward O'Brien and Bernd Bukau and colleagues

Thursday 10th March 2016

Changes in the rate at which a protein molecule is synthesized can govern its structure and function. We have developed a computational approach that exploits this kinetic dependence to rationally design mRNA sequences to control the cotranslational folding of a protein in a user-defined manner. With this approach we discover that some codon positions along a transcript exert a greater influence on co-translational protein folding than others because they tend to be positions where the nascent chain...


HFSP Program Grant holders Noo Lee Jeon and Olivier Pertz and colleagues

Monday 7th March 2016

Biochemical networks orchestrate the process of differentiation in which cells attain their final function. Experiments tracking single living cells and mathematical modelling revealed that pulses of hormone previously known only to cause cell proliferation can also nudge cells towards becoming neurons.


HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Roman Stocker and Assaf Vardi and colleagues

Friday 4th March 2016

The 'Coral on a Chip' platform combines micro-propagation and microfluidic approaches to investigate the complex interactions between reef corals, their environment, and the myriad of microorganisms associated with them. This novel experimental setup enables the study of microscale processes in reef-building corals at unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution, providing a unique view into the lives of these important organisms and the underlying causes leading to their continuous decline...


HFSP Cross-Disciplinary Fellow Liedewij Laan and Wolfram Möbius

Tuesday 1st March 2016

Combining experimental and theoretical work is challenging for authors, reviewers, and readers. In our Primer we suggest guidelines to help maximize the usefulness and impact of combined theoretical and experimental research. We discuss, with the help of examples, the purpose, usefulness, and different types of models and address the practical aspects of integrated publications.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Eran Stark and Program Grant holder György Buzsaki and colleagues

Monday 29th February 2016

We developed a multi-electrode array in which neuron-sized micro-LEDs are interspersed between recording electrodes. We implanted these arrays in the intact hippocampus of freely-moving mice and optogenetically controlled spiking of individual cells 50 micro-meters apart.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Romain Levayer and colleagues

Thursday 25th February 2016

Cell growth, proliferation and death rates need to be adjusted to tissue scale parameters in order to maintain tissue size and shape. Using the Drosophila pupal notum (a single layer epithelium), we found that local crowding in the epithelium is sufficient to trigger caspase activation and cell delamination. The same mechanism drives the preferential elimination of cells neighboring fast growing clones resistant to apoptosis. This work suggests that competition for space may participate in tissue...


HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Pietro Cicuta and Marco Cosentino-Lagomarsino and colleagues

Monday 22nd February 2016

The mean size from populations of cells of the bacterium E. coli varies greatly with nutrient conditions, with cells getting larger in richer nutrients, where they also divide more frequently. As the authors discover, individual cells picked from such populations typically have a fairly wide range of interdivision times, but when one compares how fast they divide with their size, they do not follow the same trends of the means. A joint theoretical and experimental approach shows that this observation...


HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Frank Bosmans and Filip Van Petegem and colleagues

Friday 19th February 2016

The human body runs on electrical signals that are conveyed through neurons into and out of the central nervous system. These small signals are generated by ions moving through specialized protein complexes that are found in the cell membrane. One of these complex members is a "sodium channel", through which sodium ions move down their electrochemical gradient. Miniscule changes in the 3D structure of the sodium channel can cause severe diseases such as epilepsy and cardiac arrhythmias...