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“Liquid-liquid phase separation in biology” now out in Annual Reviews

Everything you ever wanted to know about our current understanding of cytoplasmic organization by phase separation, from the physics behind it to the consequences for disease, in one comprehensive review:

Hyman AA, Weber CA, Jülicher F. Liquid-liquid phase separation in biology. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2014 Oct 11;30:39-58.

Congratulations to Tony, Frank Jülicher, and Christoph Weber (a postdoc in Frank’s lab)!

Impact of water in a water-surface

Image credit: Marlon Felippe, Wikimedia Commons

Tony elected to Academia Europaea, The Academy of Europe

Tony Hyman has been nominated and elected to Academia Europaea, The Academy of Europe. The Academy consists of ~3000 leading European experts in science, technology, humanities, social sciences, economics, and law. Invitations to join the Academy “are made only after peer group nomination, scrutiny and confirmation as to the scholarship and eminence of the individual in their chosen field. Election is confirmed by the Council of the Academia.” Read more about the Mission of Academia Europaea here.

Congratulations, Tony!

Farewell and congratulations to Martin Dreßler on his new job in industry!

Dr. Martin Dreßler

Martin wearing the graduation cap made for him by the lab and holding a “centrosome.”

We’re sad to say that it’s Martin’s last day! Congratulations to Dr. Dreßler as he starts his new job next week at Vetter Pharma-Fertigung GmbH & Co. KG in Ravensburg, Germany. Martin will be joining their Regulatory Compliance team.

Martin completed his PhD in the Hyman lab and defended his dissertation, “Dynamics of pericentriolar material during the first cell division in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos,” in March of this year.

We’ll miss you, Martin! Best of luck on this new adventure.


More photos added from trip to Lisbon for #EMBOCentrosome

Here’s Oliver Wueseke, Julia Mahamid, Tony Hyman, Jeff Woodruff, Beatriz Ferreira Gomes, and Ben Engel in Lisbon for the EMBO Conference on Centrosomes. You can now see additional photos on our lab fun page!

Tony, arm wrestling champion

Tony has potential PhD students arm wrestle him for a spot in the lab! Or….at least he does in this clip from the video made by the DIPP PhD students for selection week. :)

Have a look by clicking on the photo below.

arm wresting

MaxSynBio kicks off today at the MPI-CBG

MaxSynBio, a multi-disciplinary research network of labs from nine different Max Planck Institutes, kicks off today with a 3-day meeting and workshop held at the MPI-CBG. This research consortium aims to approach the field of Synthetic Biology from a fundamental perspective of basic research, taking a bottom-up approach towards understanding biology. The Hyman Lab is looking forward to working together with the 9 other labs in the network on this project over the next 6 years.

This consortium is funded by the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft and BMBF.

See the “Meeting of the Minds” documentaries of the dialogues between scientists and artists for the MitoSys project

You can now view in its entirety the fantastic “Meeting of the Minds” documentary series, which premiered at the Lens on Life exhibit earlier this year. Find out why Tony took the documentary crew to Die Gläsernen Manufaktur last year, see Lucy throughout the process of creating the incredible handblown glass Cellswatch the dialogue develop between all of the artist/scientist pairs, and witness the final products of each collaboration. Each film was expertly directed and produced by filmmaker Natasha Serlin. The films were commissioned and conceptualized by Professor Marina Wallace. We hope you enjoy watching them as much as we have!

Ways of Growing: featuring Tony Hyman and Lucy & Jorge Orta

Ways of Being: featuring Jan-Michael Peters and Ackroyd & Harvey

Ways of Saying: featuring Kim Nasmyth and Shobana Jeyasingh

Ways of Seeing: featuring Melina Schuh and Rob Kesseler

Article by postdoc Avinash Patel – “Work and Play in Dresden”

Hyman lab postdoc Avinash Patel contributed an article about his experience at the MPI-CBG to a top daily magazine in India, India TodayYou can check out his article here: “Work and Play in Dresden” – well done, Avi!

See the stunning artwork that resulted from Tony’s MitoSys dialogue with Lucy + Jorge Orta

Cells Diptych by Lucy + Jorge Orta

Image from studio-orta.com

Last year, Tony was paired with artists Lucy + Jorge Orta for an ongoing dialogue about science, art, and cell division as part of the MitoSys Project. Dialogues between 4 pairs of artists and scientists led to works of art that were presented in the traveling Lens on Life exhibition. Now you can view photos of the beautiful artwork created by Lucy + Jorge Orta, Cells Diptych, a collection of watercolours and hand-blown glass cells. The cells are in various states of mitosis, meiosis, health, and disease. They are simply stunning.

You still have a chance to see the Lens on Life exhibition in person next year, too! The exhibition will be in Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London (January 27-February 27), and in the University Museum of Heidelberg University in Germany (March 16-April 28).

Goodbye and good luck to Simone, new Group Leader in Berlin!

It’s official: our beloved postdoc and frog-wrangler extraordinaire Simone Reber has left us for Berlin, and she’s taking the frogs with her! Simone is now a Group Leader at the new Integrative Research Institute (IRI) for the Life Sciences. This institute is a collaboration between the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Max-Delbrück-Center.

While Simone waits for her new lab to be built, you can find her at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, where she is currently a fellow.

Congratulations, Simone! We’ll miss you.

Simone and the Frog Oracles. Photo: Dirk Sukow

Simone and the Frog Oracles. Photo: Dirk Sukow

Hyman lab at the EMBO Centrosomes conference in Lisbon this week

Tony, Jeff, Oliver, and Beatriz are all on their way to the EMBO Centrosomes and Spindle Pole Bodies Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Jeff will be giving a talk and Olli & Tony will both be presenting posters.

Wednesday, October 1, 1:30pm poster session: Oliver Wueseke, “The C. elegans PCM components SPD-2 and SPD-5 are monomeric in the cytoplasm prior to incorporation into the PCM matrix” (poster # CB12)

Thursday, October 2, 1:30pm poster session: Tony Hyman, “Are centrosomes liquid drops?” (poster # CB11)

Friday, October 3, 9:00am: Jeff Woodruff, “In vitro reconstitution of C. elegans pericentriolar material”

See you in Lisbon!

Jeff, Bea, & Olli at the airport, ready to be in Portugal!

Jeff, Bea, & Olli at the airport this morning, ready to be in Portugal!

update: we're in Lisbon! Here's Bea ordering something delicious.

update: we’re in Lisbon! Here’s Bea ordering something delicious.

Welcome, new lab members: Amayra, Annett, Marcel, Richard, and Sonja!

Fall 2014 has brought an influx of smart and fun new people to the Hyman lab, and we’re excited to have all of them join us. Welcome:

• Annett Dümmler, Postdoc, taking over for Ina Poser as the head of our TransgeneOmics Team

• Amayra Hernandez Vega, Postdoc

• Marcel Kirchner, joint PhD student with Thomas Müller-Reichert at the Medical Theoretical Center (MTZ)

• Sonja Kroschwald, Postdoc (starting Oct 1)

• Richard Wheeler, Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow

Tony speaks at Maria Leptin’s 60th birthday symposium in Cologne

Today, Tony is giving a talk at a symposium in Cologne in honor of Maria Leptin’s 60th birthday. Nobel prize winner Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard is also a featured speaker. Happy birthday to Dr. Leptin, and to all the lucky attendees: enjoy!

Hyman Lab retreat and vision

The entire Hyman Lab took a trip to the beautiful city of Meißen this week for our annual retreat. Tony shared his current and future vision for the lab with us, and we had a great afternoon exploring Meißen and biking along the Elbe River back to Dresden. We’re all excited for the year ahead, and already looking forward to next year’s retreat in Istanbul! You can find all of the photos from this year’s retreat on our Lab Fun page, under Lab Retreat 2014.

Avinash sees the light after Tony's vision talk

Avinash sees the light after Tony’s vision talk

Watch Tony’s talk: “What is a Discovery?”

Tony spoke as part of a summer seminar series hosted by MPI-CBG postdocs during which group leaders gave thoughtful and personal advice about how to start your own group. Tony focused on the main goal of starting your own group — to discover something important — and how to stay on track towards achieving that goal.

tony pyp

Team “Wormstorm” at the BiOlympics

The BiOlympics, a huge multi-institute event with over 160 participants, took place this past weekend, Sept 12-13. The Hyman Lab and the Grill Lab combined forces to create team “Wormstorm”!

We may not have taken home a medal, but we won all of our soccer, frisbee, table tennis, and kicker (aka foosball) games. And most importantly, we had a LOT of fun. Thanks to Mark for organizing the team!


Congratulations to Elisabeth on her paper about the biophysics of mitotic cell rounding

Hyman lab postdoc Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich –you may remember her Two Minute Talk on Cell Rounding! — has just published a paper on the work she discussed in her video. You can read the free full text of her paper, here. This paper is the result of a collaboration between the Hyman and Jülicher labs in Dresden and the Müller and Helenius labs at ETH-Zurich.

Fischer-Friedrich, E, Hyman AA, Jülicher F, Müller DJ, Heleniusa J. Quantification of surface tension and internal pressure generated by single mitotic cells. Sci Rep. 2014; 4: 6213. [Full Text]

Tony gives talk at VBC Seminar Series in Vienna

Today Tony gave a talk on “Liquid like compartments in cells: Implications for polarity and disease” at the VBC Seminar Series at the Vienna Biocenter.

Farewell to Ina & Mai

All of us here in the Hyman lab wish a warm farewell and the best of luck to two of our long time staff members, Ina Poser and Mai Thuong Pham, as they each move on to the next steps in their careers. Mai, one of our expert human cell line technicians, worked with us for over 3 years and will now be teaching in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Ina established and led our BAC Transgenomics group, directing the creation of thousands of transformed human and mouse cell lines. These lines have been used extensively in our lab and all over the world, leading to 43 publications for Ina during her 10 years here. We think that must set an MPI record! Ina will now be working in Regensburg, Germany.

Thank you for everything, Ina & Mai! We all miss you already.

Ina Poser

Ina Poser

Mai Thuong Pham

Mai Thuong Pham

Groundbreaking event for the Center for Systems Biology Dresden (CSBD)

The Center for Systems Biology Dresden (CSBD) is an interdisciplinary institute which was built on the joint research program between the MPI-CBG and the MPI-PKS. c53d19f707The mission of the Center is “to study integrated biological systems and processes using computational and theoretical approaches in close collaboration with experimentalists.” To achieve this mission, the CSBD needs a dedicated space! Construction of a new building to house the Center will begin this fall, and the official groundbreaking event took place last Thursday, August 28. CSBD Director Gene Myers was joined by Stanislaw Tillich, Minister-President of the Free State of Saxony, and Prof. Dr. Martin Stratmann, President of the Max Planck Society, in breaking the ground for the new building, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016. Click here to see the news piece that aired on the MDR TV station.