Anna Akhmanova

The skeleton of a cell
Anna Akhmanova
Anna Akhmanova studies cell structure in order to understand the basis of human diseases.

For some diseases, there are no treatments available, and we do not even know what type of treatment might work. Anna Akhmanova, Professor of Cell Biology, studies cell structure in order to understand the basis of human diseases. This creates new insights into possible future treatments.

On 15 June 2018 it was announced that Anna Akhmanova will receive an NWO Spinoza Prize for her world-leading research.

With modern microscopes, you can look inside a living cell and see how its parts move. “I study the skeleton of human cells,” Akhmanova says. “The cell skeleton is built from filaments and tubules.  It supports cellular shape and also forms rails for transport. If intracellular transport is disrupted, large cells, such as nerve cells, suffer most. This may lead to, for example, Alzheimer's disease or ALS.”

Anna Akhmanova – The skeleton of a cell

Solving mysteries of life together

Akhmanova values working in a multidisciplinary team. “We need knowledge of biology, medicine, chemistry, physics and computer science to solve mysteries of life.”

"How life works, is what inspires me"

See also:

About Anna Akhmanova

Anna Akhmanova was born in Moscow, Russia to a family of scientists. She attended Moscow State University, where she studied biology. In 1989, after graduating from Moscow State University, Anna left Russia to study abroad. In 1997 she received her PhD from the University of Nijmegen. She completed two postdoctoral projects, the first of which was at the University of Nijmegen, the second at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam.

In 2011, Akhmanova moved her research to Utrecht University. Together with Casper Hoogenraad she leads the research division Cell Biology, part of the Biology Department of the Faculty of Science. Her research is closely related to the strategic research theme Life Sciences of Utrecht University.

Prof. dr. Akhmanova has received a VIDI (2001), VICI and ERC Synergy Grant (2013) from NWO. She is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.