Bertalanffy Lecture on Cell Division
6 December 2016
In two lectures at Heidelberg University, Prof. Dr Marcos Gonzalez-Gaitan is going to give insights into his research on developmental and cellular biology, focusing on aspects of cell division. The renowned scientist from the Biochemistry Department of the University of Geneva is the guest speaker for the tenth “Bertalanffy Lecture at COS”, organised by the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) and taking place on 8 and 9 December 2016. The lecture series sponsored by the Klaus Tschira Foundation is not only angled at experts. It is also meant to reach out and communicate research results of the life sciences to school students, in particular. The Bertalanffy Lecture provides a forum for exchange between teenagers and scientists from various disciplines.
Marcos Gonzalez-Gaitan earned his doctorate in Madrid and conducted research as a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. Subsequently he became head of a research group at the MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, before he accepted a professorship at the University of Geneva. The scientist’s research combines developmental molecular biology and cellular biology with physical research approaches. His studies focus on how cells communicate with each other during cell division and cell growth.
His lecture “How Do Stem Cells Divide? The Physics of Asymmetric Division“ on 8 December is aimed at students in the last years of grammar school. Prof. Gonzalez-Gaitan and researchers from the Centre for Organismal Studies will join attendees for discussion in small groups. The event on 9 December is focused on the topic “Asymmetric Endosomes in Asymmetric Division” and is reserved for scientists of the Heidelberg research hub. There will also be plenty of opportunity for discussion and an exchange of expertise after the lecture.
Heidelberg University’s Centre for Organismal Studies is an interdisciplinary institution of zoology and plant sciences. The lecture series is held in remembrance of Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1901 – 1972), a significant 20th century theoretical biologist and systems theorist. The German foundation Klaus Tschira Stiftung was created in 1995 by the physicist Klaus Tschira (1940 – 2015). The foundation promotes the advancement of natural sciences, mathematics and computer science and wants to raise awareness in these fields. The Foundation’s activities begin in the kindergartens and continue through primary and secondary schools, universities and research facilities.