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Cytoskeletal Dynamics Across Scales

1st Topical Partner Cluster

What are Topical Partner Clusters?

Topical Partner Clusters (TPC) are established by the DIGS-BB and consist of at least three independent research groups each in an institution inside or outside Germany with the focus on a concise topic related to one of the DIGS-BB research fields.

A TPC is associated with a number of DIGS-BB groups by the same topic. Through this cooperation, the DIGS-BB provides a platform for exchange of skills, training, and sharing of facilities and deepen its profile by involving additional scientific and technological expertise (e.g., in highly-specialized and newly-upcoming fields within the DIGS-BB).

1st TPC: Cytoskeletal Dynamics Across Scales

From molecular biophysics to organismal development

The cytoskeleton comprises a dynamic network of filaments that extends throughout the cytoplasm. It is found in all cells, though the proteins that it is made of vary between organisms. The cytoskeleton supports the cell, gives it shape, organizes and tethers the organelles, and has roles in molecule transport, cell division and cell signalling. Together with our colleagues in the TPC, we are interested to study the roles of individual cytoskeletal components and the principles that underly their contributions to cellular function. Towards this end, we apply advanced methods from single-molecule biophysics, biochemistry and molecular biology, aiming to quantitatively describe the behaviour of cytoskeletal systems on different scales; from molecules to cells to tissues.

The 1st TPC Cytoskeletal Dynamics Across Scales consists of research groups from the Cytoskeleton Consortium Prague (CCP) at the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Benefits for PhD students

As a PhD student in the DIGS-BB or in the TPC, you will be able to profit from a range of advantages, such as:

  • access to additional research infrastructure (techniques, facilities, services)
  • research exchange (shared projects, regular and topical meetings, reciprocal visits, training, lab rotations, joint summer schools)
  • predoc guidance and supervision from experts across institutions and borders (Thesis Advisory Committee)
  • courses and lectures offered by the respective partner program
  • an expanded scientific network and increased international visibility

To apply to the DIGS-BB, follow the regular DIGS-BB application process. If you are interested in working in a TPC group, contact them directly.

Groups in the TPC “Cytoskeletal Dynamics Across Scales”

Martin Balastik

Institute of Physiology, CAS

Microtubule regulation in the nervous system development and disease

Zdeněk Lánský

Institute of Biotechnology, CAS

Biophysics of cytoskeletal networks

Teije Corneel Middelkoop

Institute of Molecular Genetics, CAS

Developmental mechanobiology

Marek Piliarik

Institute of Photonics and Electronics, CAS

Dynamics of Single Proteins

Vladimir Varga

Institute of Molecular Genetics, CAS

Structure and function of cilia

DIGS-BB Groups associated to the TPC Cytoskeletal Dynamics Across Scales

Portrait Jan Brugués

Jan Brugués


Self-organization of living matter

Portrait Stefan Diez

© TUD CMCB, Magdalena Gonciarz

Stefan Diez


Molecular transport in cell biology and nanotechnology

Portrait Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich


Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich


Mechanics of active biomaterials

Portrait Benjamin Friedrich

© cfaed, Katharina Knaut

Benjamin Friedrich

TUD PoL, TUD cfaed

Biological Algorithms: Spatio-temporal dynamics of cells and tissues

Portrait Rolf Jessberger

© Stephan Wiegand

Rolf Jessberger


Chromosome Dynamics and Hematopoietic Cell Biology

Portrait Michele Solimena

Michele Solimena


Cell Biology of Pancreatic Beta Cells and Pathogenesis of Diabetes

Portrait Jared Sterneckert


Jared Sterneckert


iPS Cells and Neurodegenerative Diseases

Supported by the Joachim Herz Stiftung.