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Physics and Engineering at EMBL

Nédélec Group

Cellular architecture

Understanding biological phenomena from their myriad of components - systems biology - is the goal of our research. We are physicists fascinated by the intricate organization found in living cells. Our field is the cytoskeleton, and to calculate the collective behavior of fibers and associated proteins, we built a computer simulation ( This simulation is used to model processes such as the formation of a mitotic spindle, or the mechanisms by which cell shape is determined. We also work on the bench, using micro-fabrication to precisely measure mitotic spindle assembly, very much in an engineering spirit.

Nédélec Group

Selected publications

A theory of microtubule catastrophes and their regulation.Brun, L., Rupp, B., Ward, J.J. & Nedelec, F.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Dec 15;106(50):21173-8. Epub 2009 Nov 30.PubMed

Chromatin shapes the mitotic spindle.Dinarina, A., Pugieux, C., Corral, M.M., Loose, M., Spatz, J., Karsenti, E. & Nedelec, F.Cell. 2009 Aug 7;138(3):502-13.PubMed

Mechanism of phototaxis in marine zooplankton.Jekely, G., Colombelli, J., Hausen, H., Guy, K., Stelzer, E., Nedelec, F. & Arendt, D.Nature. 2008 Nov 20;456(7220):395-9.PubMed