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Microtubule control of cell shape changes in cell migration and differentiation

Anne StraubeThat cells move and change shape is vital for many cellular processes in the formation of embryos, tissues and organs, for the functioning of the immune system and wound healing. Many human diseases are caused by deregulated cell migration or the loss of tissue architecture. This includes chronic inflammatory diseases, mental retardation and cancer metastasis.

The Straube lab uses a combination of live cell imaging, quantitative image data analysis and in vitro reconstitution from purified components to understand the processes underlying cell movement and shape changes. Our main focus is on microtubules and their associated proteins. Microtubules are components of the cell’s skeleton that serve as structural elements, tracks for intracellular transport, signalling platforms and force-generating machines. I will provide examples of how our imaging-centred research furthers the understanding of microtubule function in human cells.

Dr Anne Straube

Dr Anne Straube trained as a biochemist and cell biologist in Germany before moving to Edinburgh as a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Emmy Noether programme of the German Science Foundation. She started her independent research group at the Marie Curie Research Institute in Oxted in 2007 and transferred to Warwick in 2010. Work in the Straube lab aims to understand how microtubules control cell migration and cell shape.