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Understanding the dynamics of cell division


This Research Network consists of nine teams that provide an interdisciplinary environment for training researchers in the field of eukaryotic cell division. The teams combine expertise in cell biology, biochemistry, proteomics, biophysics, chemical geneti cs, organic chemistry, and mathematics. The scientific goal of the joint research programme is to understand the dynamics of cell division and to discover inhibitors of mitosis with potential as anti-cancer drugs. The multidisciplinary network aims at over coming the fragmentation of research into the fields of spindle mechanics and cell cycle regulation, at bringing together laboratories working on different model organisms, and facilitating exchange between experimentalists and theoreticians. The network i ntegrates different tasks, for example identifying missing interaction partners of mitotic regulators and motor proteins, developing novel quantitative in vivo fluorescence microscopy assays, performing high-throughput screens of chemical libraries of smal l molecules to identify inhibitors and activators of mitotic proteins, and theoretical modelling of cell division. This Research Network is necessary, because understanding a complex biological process like cell division requires an integrated approach com bining various disciplines and techniques. The need is even more pressing, since diseases related to cell proliferation are a major unsolved problem in European societies and on a world-wide level. In conclusion, training by this Research Network will prep are the early-stage and experienced researchers for tackling complex biological systems like the cell division machine. Quite generally, they will have a qualification to address challenges in modern biology requiring interdisciplinary approches. They will be prepared for basic research and for work in the biomedical sector.

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