Primary cilia and cellular signaling in health and disease

Hovedområde:Cell biology
Målgruppe:Biochemistry, Biology, Molecular Biomedicine
Niveau:Masters, Bachelor

We study the primary cilium, a surface-exposed sensory organelle that coordinates cellular signaling, including, but not limited to PDGFRα, TGFβ/BMP, Hedgehog and WNT signaling, during development and in tissue homeostasis, and when defective results in numerous diseases and pleiotropic syndromes called ciliopathies that affect most tissues and organs in our body. Previously, we uncovered a series of new trafficking pathways and molecules that modulate the ability of primary cilia to respond to specific growth factors and morphogens to adjust the signaling output of receptor activation. These results provide important molecular insight into the etiology of ciliopathies and identify new disease genes linked to ciliary functions. We employ a variety of different approaches, from biochemistry, molecular biology and proteomics to mammalian cell cultures and zebrafish models, to study the molecular mechanisms by which primary cilia assemble, disassemble, and function to coordinate cellular signaling networks during embryonic development and in tissue homeostasis. Currently we offer BSc and MSc projects within the following topics:

  • Primary cilia and signaling in neuronal/neural development and brain disorders
  • Role of cilia and centrosomes in hearing loss disorders
  • Ciliary signaling in congenital heart diseases
  • Cilia membrane protein trafficking in polycystic kidney disease
  • Primary cilia in pre-implantation development

The Cilia Group is headed by Lotte Bang Pedersen and Søren Tvorup Christensen. For further details and to setup an informal interview, please contact Lotte ( or Søren (

Anvendte metoder:Mammalian (stem) cell cultures, siRNA/shRNA-mediated gene silencing, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, fluorescence microscopy, live cell imaging, immunohistochemistry, SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting, immunoprecipitation, PCR and cloning, cell-based signaling assays, zebrafish models
Keywords:Primary cilia, Cellular signaling, Development, Human disease
Vejleder(e): Lotte Bang Pedersen & Søren Tvorup Christensen