Nadine Vastenhouw: “We try to understand how cells form tissues. Because our experiments provide us with enormous amounts of data and extremely precise information of molecular process, biophysics and computational biology have become indispensable to make sense of our data. In addition, biophysics and computational biology bring theoretical predictions that can be tested by biological perturbations, and the methods to quantify the resulting experiments. This combination of biology, computational biology and biophysics thus allows us to obtain a better mechanistic understanding of the fundamental biological processes we try to understand.”


“How do cells form tissues?” We want to understand in-depth the fundamental mechanisms underlying tissue morphogenesis: how this works at the molecular level and how shape and size of both tissues and organisms are determined. We address these questions with a variety of interdisciplinary approaches and technologies. We use different model systems, namely yeast, planaria, C.elegans, Drosophila, zebrafish, and mouse. We bridge scales, studying biological phenomena at different levels ranging from single-molecules, organelles, and cell types, to the broader level of tissues and organisms, where we focus our interest on the collective behavior of cells.

Our research is directed towards elucidating

  • Molecular mechanisms at the sub-cellular level
  • Cell shape and cell division
  • Cell fate and pattern formation during development
  • Organogenesis and morphogenesis

For understanding such complex biological phenomena we integrate rigorous quantitative measurements. We combine molecular biology and systematic genome-wide approaches with theory through input from physics, bioinformatics, computer science and mathematics.


Research Groups | BIOLOGY


Full List of Research Groups & Fields


2018 PhD Positions

Application Opens: 1 Oct 2017

Application Closes: 7 Jan 2018

Interview Week: 5 - 9 March 2018