Awardees' Articles

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...


HFSP Program Grant holder Peter Swain and colleagues

Thursday 22nd March 2018

Individual cells, even with the same genotype and in the same environment, all behave differently. Studying what generates these differences and how they affect collective responses requires imaging cells over long periods of time. Extracting information from these images is a substantial challenge. Here, we present a method to integrate biological information with machine learning to increase the speed and accuracy of processing images of yeast cells.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow FoSheng Hsu and colleagues

Monday 19th March 2018

An unexpected link between a gene mutated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and a new mechanism to protect cells from oxidative stress has been revealed in a recent paper in eLife.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Julien Fournier and colleagues

Friday 16th March 2018

Visual cortex has been almost exclusively studied in mammals. Yet, mammals are not the only vertebrates with a cortex; reptiles, such as lizards and turtles, also possess a well-defined, though exclusively three-layered cortex, similar to the "ancient" cortices of mammals (olfactory and hippocampal). Mammals and reptiles both derive from a common amniote ancestor that existed some 320 million years ago. In turtles, the dorsal cortex is analogous to the early visual cortex of mammals in...


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Shay Stern and colleagues

Friday 9th March 2018

Individuals within the same population show wide behavioral diversity, however, the processes that generate and maintain individual-to-individual behavioral differences are still underexplored. Using a newly developed imaging system for tracking single C. elegans animals across their development time, we found that genetically-identical individuals exhibit stable behavioral variation, and uncovered specific neuromodulatory mechanisms that shape this non-genetic individuality.


HFSP Program Grant holders Lars Chittka, Martin Giurfa and Jeffrey Riffell and colleagues

Monday 5th March 2018

Honey bees are well known for their remarkable visual learning skills. They localize and recognize flowers and hive surroundings, using the multiple visual cues offered by these sites of interest. To forage efficiently, they learn and memorize the colors, shapes and the position of rewarding flowers, which allows them to keep track of profitable food sources. For more than a century, many studies have tried to understand the mechanisms of bee visual learning by training free-flying bees to land...


HFSP Program Grant holders Andrew Murray and David Nelson and colleagues

Thursday 1st March 2018

The spread of invasive species leads to naturally occurring population expansions that have played a role in our evolutionary history, such as when humans migrated out of Africa.


HFSP Program Grant holders Alex Dickson, Danny Hatters and Simon Ebbinghaus and colleagues

Tuesday 20th February 2018

A healthy protein quality control system inside cells, which includes molecular chaperones, is of utmost importance to prevent the accumulation and aggregation of unfolded protein. Under certain conditions, such as diseases and stresses, these quality control systems can become overstretched or remodeled, impairing cellular function. Unfortunately, quantitative ways to monitor dynamic changes in proteostasis are limited. To address this gap, we developed a biosensor system that enables a measurement...


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Andreas Sagner and colleagues

Monday 19th February 2018

Motor neurons, the nerve cells of the spinal cord that control muscle movement, form much faster than other neurons during development of the vertebrate spinal cord. Reconstruction of how the activity of genes changes as motor neurons form revealed that this effect is due to the activity of the Olig2 gene product, which promotes motor neuron formation by directly interfering with the expression of Hes genes - known antagonists of neuron formation.