The division of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Biophysics includes independent research groups, which all investigate the organization and function of cells – their structure, their physiological properties, the organelles they contain and the interactions with their environment. Our aim is to acquire novel fundamental insights into cell biological processes and to decipher the cellular basis for human diseases such as cancer and neurological disorders.
We are mostly interested in the dynamic nature of cellular processes such as cytoskeletal remodeling, membrane trafficking and signaling pathways in both healthy and diseased states. This includes, for example, research to understand how the microtubule cytoskeleton is involved in cell division and motility, neuronal development or axon regeneration after spinal cord injury. Another example is the development of optogenetic tools to locally modulate cellular processes such as cell migration, polarization and signalling.
To study cell biological processes, we combine the latest methods and technologies in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics and microscopy. Our research covers different levels of complexity, from individual molecules to cells cultured in two- and three-dimensional environments, tissues and whole organisms. We have infrastructure for single molecule imaging, super-resolution light microscopy and in vivo molecular imaging. The division of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Biophysics houses two facilities, the Biology Imaging Center (BIC), which provides access, support and training in advanced light and fluorescent microscopy techniques and the Utrecht Nanobody Facility (UNF), which offers technology for the selection and production of nanobodies.