Awardees' Articles

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Bungo Akiyoshi and Program Grant holder Keith Gull and colleagues

Thursday 24th April 2014

The kinetochore is the macromolecular protein complex that drives chromosome segregation in eukaryotes. Although it was widely assumed that the core kinetochore consists of proteins that are common to all eukaryotes, we found that the evolutionarily distant kinetoplastids build kinetochores using a novel set of proteins.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Hind Medyouf and colleagues

Wednesday 23rd April 2014

The study of human myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) has been challenging because patient-derived hematopoietic cells cannot be efficiently expanded in a model system. We have now developed a strategy to grow patient-diseased stem cells (the cells that maintain the disease) in mice, by co-injecting a subset of non-hematopoietic cells, isolated from the same patient’s bone marrow. This model provides a proof of concept that the microenvironment, referred to as “the niche”, is critical to support...


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Alexey Amunts and colleagues

Sunday 20th April 2014

Mitochondrial ribosomes (mitoribosomes) are indispensable for living because they synthesize essential proteins, which constitute the catalytic core of the respiratory chain complexes embedded in the inner mitochondrial membrane. The aim of the HFSP postdoctoral fellowship, awarded to Alexey Amunts from Venki Ramakrishnan’s lab, was to reveal the atomic structure of mitoribosome. By the end of the 3rd year of the fellowship, it was revealed that the structure of yeast mitochondrial large ribosomal...


HFSP Career Development Award holder Julien Vermot and colleagues

Saturday 19th April 2014

Sensing mechanical forces is key to cardiovascular development but the mechanism explaining how endothelial cells sense flow forces remains unclear. The aim of this study was to address the mechanism of endothelial cell mechanotransduction through primary cilia by implementing live and high-resolution imaging of endothelial cilia during zebrafish vascular development.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Jeffrey Donlea and colleagues

Monday 14th April 2014

Sleep is under homeostatic control, but the neural mechanisms that sense the need to sleep remain poorly understood. We have found that a small cluster of sleep-promoting neurons in the fly brain becomes more excitable after extended waking to allow the brain to regain lost sleep and restore neural functioning.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Fernando García-Moreno and colleagues

Thursday 3rd April 2014

Studying the development of embryonic tissues at a cellular resolution, resolving clonal relationships among the cells in an organ, will help to understand the formation of the different organs in normal and pathological conditions. Whereas there are already several methods to label clones available, they all have drawbacks and could suffer from either underestimating or overestimating the size of the clones. To minimize such mistakes, very few clones must be studied in a given specimen, impeding...


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Jennifer Fish and colleagues

Monday 31st March 2014

Because of high functional demands, tissue size is tightly regulated during development. This is particularly evident in limb length, where differences in size between matching limbs could have significant impacts on fitness. Although right and left sides of the body develop independently, right and left limbs consistently reach comparable length (Allard & Tabin 2009). Similarly, size differences in the right and left sides of the jaw are involved in many craniofacial malformations, such as...


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Hansong Ma and colleagues

Monday 24th March 2014

By generating various Drosophila lines with two mitochondrial genotypes, we show that purifying selection drove complete replacement of the deleterious mutations by a wild type genome, but selection can stabilize propagation of two defective genomes that are complementary. Interestingly, such a selection does not occur at the organismal level, but rather occurs during a confined stage of oogenesis, likely due to a preferential proliferation advantage of the co-existing genome, which is more functional...


HFSP Career Development Award holder Hervé Seitz and colleagues

Friday 21st March 2014

It is proposed that MicroRNAs regulate the expression of many target genes, suggesting they act as master regulators of the genome. We found that the Cnidarian Nematostella vectensis expresses dozens of different microRNAs (contradicting previous claims linking the number of microRNA genes to a poorly-defined "organism complexity") and we saw that Cnidarian microRNAs frequently direct endonucleolytic cleavage of their RNA targets, similarly to what is observed in plants.


HFSP Cross-Disciplinary Fellow Kimberly Bonger and colleagues

Thursday 13th March 2014

Methods to reversibly regulate protein levels in cells are valuable for researchers in life science. A technology to induce degradation of a protein of interest by blue light has been developed and applied in cells and zebrafish embryos.