For some diseases, there are no treatments available, and we do not even know what type of treatment might work. Anna Akhmanova studies cell structure in order to understand the basis of human diseases. This creates new insights into possible future treatments.
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.”
Akhmanova values working in a multidisciplinary team. “We need knowledge of biology, medicine, chemistry, physics and computer science to solve mysteries of life.”