“Plus 3” grant for Naoko Mizuno

December 14, 2016

Naoko Mizuno from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried has been awarded funding of 900,000 euros over three years as part of the Plus 3 Perspective Programme of the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation. The programme supports outstanding heads of junior research groups in the development of their research profiles with a view to obtaining a professorial appointment in the future. It also aims to improve the quality of basic medical research.

Cells need to change and to control permanently their shape for adapting to various environments. Naoko Mizuno is head of the “Cellular and Membrane Transport” Group where she and her team research this process of cell shape formation. This process involves the cross-talks between signaling processes conducting the cell fate, and the cytoskeleton, as a scaffold for specially shaped cells. The methods used by Mizuno’s research group include x-ray diffraction analysis, as well as light microscopy and cryo-electron microscopy imaging processes. Mizuno’s research group makes use of these methods to view large complex molecules at a high resolution in their original structure. . “We still don’t understand exactly how the cell shape formation works in molecular level.” says Mizuno. “So I am delighted to receive this funding, as it will help us in our efforts to elucidate this mechanism.”

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