Awardees' Articles

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Katerina Guschanski and colleagues

Friday 25th May 2018

Wild animal populations decline rapidly as a result of human activities. However, it's the loss of peripheral populations, not simply reduction in population size, that has the most profound effect on gorilla genetic diversity.


HFSP Career Development Award holder Alex Sigal and colleagues

Thursday 24th May 2018

During infection, a virus needs to balance making enough copies of itself with ensuring that its host cell survives to allow the new virus copies to spread. Jackson et al. found that attenuating HIV by using partially effective therapy can increase the number of infected host cells by reducing host cell death.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Johannes Kohl and colleagues

Friday 4th May 2018

How complex, multi-component behaviors are controlled by the brain has remained elusive. We have uncovered how a small population of genetically defined neurons in the mouse brain orchestrates discrete elements of parental behavior.


HFSP Career Development Award holder Jan Brugues and colleagues

Thursday 26th April 2018

The mitotic spindle is the protein machinery that segregates the genetic material to the two daughter cells during cell division. Its size is of crucial importance for proper functioning. Despite the fact that most of the building blocks of the spindle are known, we still do not understand how they self-organize to set the size of the structure. By combining experiments and theory we found that the upper size limit of the mitotic spindle is controlled by the creation of the main building blocks,...


HFSP Program Grant holders Olivier Hamant, Chun Biu Li, Adrienne Roeder and Richard Smith and colleagues

Friday 13th April 2018

Many plant epidermal cells form interlocking shapes that look like jigsaw puzzle pieces. However, scientists have struggled to understand how these complex shapes benefit the plant. We proposed that the puzzle cell shape allows the plant to create large cells in the epidermis, preventing them from bulging out excessively under the high stresses caused by turgor pressure. We tested our hypothesis with a computer simulation model of the emergence of these intricate forms, based on the feedback between...


HFSP Program Grant holder Jeffrey Riffell and colleagues

Thursday 12th April 2018

Insects exhibit sophisticated and complex behaviors, but they have miniature nervous systems with low numbers of neurons. Nonetheless, insects can exhibit the same complex behaviors as rats or dogs: for instance, insects can learn various cues as predictors of reward, or punishment, and some insects can learn concepts, and even numerosity. These results raise a fundamental question: how do insects generate such complexity with so few neurons? As part of our HFSP project, we have been working towards...


HFSP Program Grant holders Gasper Tkačik and Elad Schneidman and colleagues

Monday 9th April 2018

Physics and biology have a lot in common. Systems of interacting particles may resemble a group of interacting animals to such a degree that their collective motions could be indistinguishable when observed from a distance. However, while particles are typically driven by simple physical laws that are constant in time, animals often show multiple stereotypical forms of behavior and random switching between them. Thus, simple physics-based models often fail to capture the full complexity of animal...


HFSP Program Grant holders Nicholas Savill and Sarah Reece and colleagues

Tuesday 3rd April 2018

If you want to control your parasite infection, the time that you eat may be the answer. Research recently published in PLoS Pathogens has found that the time of day that hosts eat determines the timing of daily activities of their malaria parasites.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Jennifer Zenker and colleagues

Monday 26th March 2018

When the mouse (and also human) embryo enters the uterus, water gets pumped between the cells to form a protective and nutrition-filled cavity for the developing embryo, the blastocoel. Expansion of this cavity requires the assembly of a permeability barrier that seals the embryo from the outside and resists the increasing hydrostatic pressure. This barrier is established through tight junction formation between the outer cells of the embryo. However, the morphogenetic mechanisms regulating barrier...


HFSP Program Grant holders Simon Alberti and Rohit Pappu and colleagues

Friday 23rd March 2018

Prion-like proteins are multi domain proteins that contain long regions of structural disorder that are termed prion-like domains. Prion-like domains are abundant within eukaryotic cells and their aggregation is associated with human pathological diseases. Despite their importance in disease, the physiological role of prion-like domains has remained enigmatic. This raises an important question: why has evolution kept these domains around? Or in other words: what are these regions good for? In this...