Chair of Cell and Developmental Biology (Zoology I)

    For two centuries, Cell and Developmental Biology has been a major research focus at the Zoological Institute of the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Here, Theodor Boveri founded the chromosome theory of inheritance and Hans Spemann did his famous habilitation.

    Today, we provide an inspiring scientific environment for several committed (and young) research groups. We work on basic aspects of membrane biology, as well as on the physics of cells, mammalian meiosis, developmental epigenetics and RNA biology. Importantly, we promote parasites, especially the deadly African trypanosomes and Leishmania, as powerful model systems, without ignoring the huge impact that neglected tropical diseases have, especially in Africa.

    All year round we invite guests for lectures, discussion and having a good time: join us on Thursdays for our ZEB lecture series!

    May 22nd, 2019 - Würzburger Residenz


    Richard Wheeler

    May 16th, 2019 -- C102.3, 10:15

    The control of Leishmania flagellum beating and swimming - new lessons from high speed fluorescence microscopy



    Gloria Rudenko

    April 4th, 2019

    How does the African trypanosome control expression of its Variant Surface
    Glycoprotein coat?


    Trypanosome PKA is no PKA

    March 2019

    Nucleoside analogue activators of cyclic AMP-independent protein kinase A of Trypanosoma

    Synaptonemal complex disassembly

    March 21st, 2019

    Roberta Sciurano’s work published in Chromosoma


    Brice Rotureau

    March, 21st, 2019 -- A103, 09:15

    Brice will tell us what happens "When African trypanosomes make your skin crawl"



    Jack Sunter

    March 7th, 2019 -- A103, 09:15

    Jack Sunter will give a ZEB lecture on 'Leishmania flagellar pocket architecture is critical for pathogenicity'.

    Miguel Navarro

    February 21st, 2019 -- A103, 09:15

    Trypanosome AMP-dependent protein kinase activation induces developmental transition from proliferative to the quiescent form: Novel players in the pathway.


    Sascha Knauf

    February, 7th, 2019 -- A103, 09:15

    Sascha Knauf (Deutsches Primatenzentrum, Göttingen) will lecture on "Disease Reservoirs in Wildlife: from Eco Health to One Health"



    Top of the MORNing to ya!

    January 23th, 2019 -- A103, 09:15

    TrypClub this week will be given by Sara Sajko (Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Vienna), discussing her PhD project work.


    Paula MacGregor

    January 24th, 2019 -- A103, 09:15

    Exploitation of receptor-mediated ligand uptake for the targeted delivery of antibody-drug conjugates into Trypanosoma brucei.


    Trypansomes get under your skin

    January 10th, 2019 -- A103, 09:15

    We welcome Annette MacLeod from Glasgow, who will give the first ZEB-lecture in 2019. Happy New Year!


    December 31st, 2018

    Collaboration with Owen Davis’ lab on meiotic telomeres published in Nature Communications.


    Buenos Aires-Würzburg

    December 31st, 2018

    Paper by visiting scientist Roberta Sciurano on meiosis in a 47, XYY man published in Human Reproduction.


    Genome organization controls antigenic variation in T. brucei

    December 18th, 2018

    We are very happy to be part of a collaboration headed by Nicolai Siegel's lab, which explored the influence of genome organisation and DNA accessibility on antigenic variation in African trypanosomes.


    ZEB Christmas lecture 2018 by Terry Smith

    December 13th, 2018 -- A103, 09:15

    Investigating and exploiting parasites weaknesses in lipid and associated metabolism

    Co-transcriptional nuclear export

    November 12th, 2018

    Trypanosomes can start (but not finish!) nuclear export even when transcription and splicing have not been completed. 


    Sonja Lorenz

    November 15th, 2018 -- A103, 09:15

    Elucidating specificity mechanisms in ubiquitin signaling



    October 31th, 2018

    Collaboration with Thomas Bosch’s lab on the nuclear lamina of non-senescent Hydra published in Aging (Albany, NY).

    mRNA decapping enzymes

    October 23rd, 2018

    The complex enzymology of mRNA decapping: Enzymes of four classes cleave pyrophosphate bonds.


    Shulamit Michaeli

    October 22th, 2018 -- C102.3, 12:00 noon

    Spliced leader level is a signal for life and affects social motility via exosome secretion in trypanosomes


    Eva Gluenz

    October 18, 2018 -- A103, 09:15 a.m.

    Functional dissection of the Leishmania flagellar proteome using CRISPR-Cas9 knockout screens

    Prelamin A and aging

    October 4th, 2018

    New hints about how excess of prelamin A induces muscle fiber weakness during physiological and premature aging.

    David Perez-Morga

    October 4th, 2018 -- A103, 09:15 a.m.

    Human African Trypanosomiasis: Evolution and Cell Death in Trypanosoma brucei.


    Marius Glogger

    September 26, 2018 -- A101, 01:15 p.m.

    PhD defense

    Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy in live Trypanosoma brucei and model membranes

    Achim Schnaufer

    September 20th, 2018 -- A102, 10:45 a.m.

    Function and composition of Trypanosoma brucei mitochondrial DNA: use it or lose it.


    Beyond Blood!

    September 1st, 2018

    We have published a review/opinion article in 'Trends in Parasitology', in which we consider the recently extended definition of the interstitium as path for the dispersal of extracellular pathogens.

    Farewell to Bonavita Blank!

    August 29th, 2018

    A unique, historic portrait of the founder of Würzburg Zoology has been moved from our department to the Martin von Wagner Museum, where it will be prominently displayed in the entrance hall.

    Methods in meiosis research (2)

    August 27, 2018

    Marie-Christin Spindler’s experimental protocols published in Methods in Molecular Biology.

    Presentation in the Bundeskanzleramt

    August 23rd, 2018

    Markus Engstler, together with DNTDs and DAHW, presents the Würzburg concept for a Neglected Tropical Diseases Center

    Poly(A) binding proteins of Trypanosomes

    July 25th, 2018

    Comparative proteomics of the two T. brucei PABPs suggests that PABP2 controls bulk mRNA.

    Totta Ehret Kasemo

    July 16, 2018 -- Seminar A102.3, 11:00 a.m.

    Nutrient stress during Giardia dudenalis infection: Who cares about arginine?

    Derek Nolan

    July 12th, 2018 -- Seminar A102.3, 10:15 a.m.

    The lullaby of Sleeping Sickness

    Engineering workshop in Wittenberg

    July 1, 2018

    Markus Engstler delivers evening lecture at the 11th International Workshop on Engineering of Functional Interfaces

    Methods in meiosis research (1)

    June 28, 2018

    Katharina Schücker’s experimental protocols published in Methods in Cell Biology

    Roberta Sciurano

    June 28, 2018 -- Seminar A102.3, 10:15 a.m.

    Meiotic arrest in infertile men due to genetic disturbances

    Meiosis at El Escorial

    June 20-22, 2018

    Keynote lecture by Ricardo Benavente at the 4th Spanish Meiosis Meeting

    EMBO Practical Course

    June 12-22, 2018

    Advanced electron microscopy for cell biology.

    Christian Stigloher, together with Gareth Griffiths and Yannick Schwab, has organized this years EM course, which will take place in our Z7 course building.

    Gordon Research Conference

    June 10-15, 2018

    Ricardo Benavente lectured at the Gordon Research Conference on Meiosis (New London, New Hampshire)

    Sue Vaughan

    June 14th, 2018 -- Seminar A102.3, 10:15 a.m.

    How to build a flagellum: Lessons from Trypanosomes

    30 Years of Würzburg Africa Festival

    May 31th to June 3rd, 2018

    Our work featured is as part of the University's Africa initiatives.

    Dea Slade

    May 30th, 2018 -- Seminar A102.3, 10:15 a.m.

    How SPOC executes the Nerve Pinch through transcriptional regulation

    Kita forscht

    Mai 2018

    Im Mai besuchen uns Nachwuchsforscher aus der Kita an der Löwenbrücke, am 7.Mai die Grossen und am 29. Mai die Kleinen. 

    Kareem Elsayad

    May 5, 2018 -- Seminar C102.3, 10:15 a.m.

    Optical Microspectrometry for studying the underlying dynamics of life: from phase transitions to mechano-transduction

    Nuclear lamina in C. elegans meiosis

    April 23, 2018

    Weakening of lamin crosslinks by site specific phosphorylation supports meiotic chromosome movements

    Klaus Ersfeld

    April 19, 2018 -- Seminar C102.3, 10:15 a.m.

    Life cycle differentiation and the cytoskeleton in Trypanosoma brucei

    Studie in Berlin vorgestellt

    April 10, 2018

    Die erste wissenschaftliche Studie zum Beitrag deutscher Institutionen bei der Forschung zu Vernachlässigten Tropenerkrankungen wird im Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) in Berlin vorgestellt. Markus Engstler ist einer der Herausgeber der Studie.

    Marie-Christin Spindler

    March 28, 2018

    Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds awarded Marie a travel grant to take part in the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory course on Quantitative Imaging

    Visiting scientists

    March 28, 2018

    We warmly welcome Roberta Sciurano (Buenos Aires) and Fernanda Trovero (Montevideo) who will spend six months in the Benavente lab

    Sebastian Zoll

    March 26, 2018 -- C101.2, 10:00 a.m.

    Trypanosomes' magic bullet – Understanding the structural basis of SRA-mediated immune escape in T. b. rhodesiense

    Poster prize for Sarah Schuster

    March 23, 2018

    Sarah (arrow) receives DGP-poster prize for her tsetse fly work

    11 x Berlin

    March 21-24, 2018

    Eleven of us presented at the Parasitology Meeting in Berlin

    The Würzburg Virtual Boveri Library

    March 14, 2018

    We have launched a comprehensive online resource that features Theodor Boveri's life and work.

    Trypanosome on the cover

    February 17, 2018

    Tim Krüger's (nature-inspired) vision of a trypanobot on the issue cover of Micromachines

    Theodor Boveri's legacy

    February 16, 2018

    Uli Scheer publishes the rediscovery of Boveri's microscope slides in Würzburg.

    We offer five new positions for doctoral students

    February 14, 2018

    Interested in doing your PhD in our interdisciplinary department? Perfect time to join us!

    Telomere Complexes in Trypanosomes

    February 8, 2018

    Novel components of the telomeric shelterin complex were identified in Trypanosome brucei.

    Towards Trypanobots - more fiction than science?

    February 2, 2018

    Science or fiction? Can we design trypanosome-inspired micro-robots? Read our new review.

    New Masters module

    February 1, 2018

    Advance notice for M.Sc. students. Our brand-new module will start in April.


    Holger Kress

    January 25, 2018 -- A103, 09:15 a.m.

    Size-dependent organelle transport during phagocytosis

    Nature Microbiology paper featured

    January 17, 2018

    Our work on VSG structure and dynamics featured by the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF)

    Microstructures for microswimmers

    January 7, 2018

    New review in Cellular Microbiology

    Andrew Jonathan Nok (1962 - 2017)

    November 21, 2017

    Our friend and coworker Prof Andrew Nok has passed away. With deep sorrow we remember his brilliant intellect, his kindness and wonderful sense of humor. Markus Engstler

    Bettina Böttcher

    November 13, 2017 -- A103, 09:15 a.m.

    Electron cryo microscopy as tool in structural biology


    November 13, 2017

    Find your favorite thesis project! We are continuously updating the selection of topics ...

    Ricardo Benavente honored

    November 13, 2017

    Ricardo Benavente appointed „Investigador Emérito“ by the Clemente-Estable-Institute for Biological Research in Montevideo


    BPoD – Biomedical Picture of the Day

    November 8, 2017

    Sarah's work in eLIFE featured by Cambridge-based BPoD

    Gang Dong

    November 16, 2017 -- A103, 09:15 a.m.

    Structural dissections of the flagellar pocket collar in Trypanosoma brucei and a novel oligomeric lysine methyltranferase from Toxoplasma gondii

    The new semester starts ... we are prepared

    October 16, 2017

    We welcome all new (and old) students to the winter term. Hope you like our lectures, seminars and courses!

    Good practice: Summer School Infection Biology

    October 12, 2017

    The school, co-organized by Susanne Kramer, has been honored by the HRK

    Microswimmer School in Cargese

    September 18 to 22, 2017

    Markus Engstler lectured at the International School "From single particle motion to collective behaviour".

    The trypanosome surface coat

    September 11, 2017

    Our work on the structure-function relationship of VSG published in Nature Microbiology

    Trypanosomes in the tsetse fly

    August 15, 2017

    Sarah's work published in eLife

    Georg Borner

    July 27, 2017 -- A103, 09:15 a.m.

    MPI Biochemie, Martinsried

    Dynamic Mapping of Protein Subcellular Localization through Quantitative Proteomics

    Helena Reis

    July 19, 2017 -- A101, 02:30 p.m.

    PhD defence

    Helena Reis


    July 18, 2017

    ...we have started to launch our new websites ... will take a while ....

    Ger van Zandbergen

    July 13, 2017 -- A103, 09:15 a.m.

    Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Langen

    “Paraphagy”, a new autophagy mechanism for Leishmania immune evasion?

    Nina Papavasiliou

    June 28, 2017 -- A101, 05:15 p.m.

    DKFZ Heidelberg

    Adaptive fine tuning of genetic information by DNA mutation and RNA editing


    Henriette Zimmermann

    June 21, 2017 -- A101, 02:30 p.m.

    PhD defence

    Henriette Zimmermann


    Lehrstuhl für Zoologie I - Zell- und Entwicklungsbiologie
    Am Hubland
    97074 Würzburg

    Phone: +49 931 31-84250
    Fax: +49 931 31-84252

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