Cell Morphogenesis and Signal Transduction

Research Group Cell Morphogenesis and Signal Transduction

Prof. Dr. Michael Knop

Visualization of components of a MAP kinase signaling module in yeast
© dkfz.de

Research in our lab focuses on the processes that regulate cellular morphogenesis and cell signaling. These are very active and rapidly evolving areas of research that are driven by work conducted with model organisms such as yeast, flies or worms. The studies provide important conceptual and experimental input into work conducted with medically relevant mammalian systems.

Using yeast we study cell differentiation in meiosis, where yeast cell are prone to assemble spores inside the boundaries of the original cell. We also study the cellular response to external stimuli that are processed via MAP kinase signaling pathways and that lead to specific adaptations.

The small size of the yeast genome and the rich spectrum of available methods make this organism an ideal model system to decipher the machinery or the mechanistic principles behind these processes. The goal of our work is to obtain a systems-level understanding of the main molecular processes behind the regulatory as well as the structural aspects.

An important driver of our work is the ability to observe cellular processes by advanced microscopic imaging methods. We constantly seek to develop new methods in order to be able to image protein functions in more details. We use methods such as fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy (FCS/FCCS), fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) and other so-called F-techniques, and combine these functional high-content imaging methods with genetic and genomic approaches as well as mathematical modeling to explore the processes of interest.


Prof. Dr. Michael Knop
Cell Morphogenesis and Signal Transduction (A260)
Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
Im Neuenheimer Feld 282
69120 Heidelberg
Tel: +49 6221 54 4213
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