LIFE SCIENCES

Sixt Group

Morphodynamics of Immune Cells

Immune cells zip through our bodies at high speeds to fight off infections and diseases. The Sixt group works at the interface of cell biology and immunology to investigate how cells are able to migrate through tissues.

Most cells in our bodies are stationary, forming solid tissues and encapsulated organs. One exception are leukocytes, immune cells essential for both the innate and adaptive immune responses to infections. Leukocytes migrate with extraordinary speed and are used by the Sixt group as a model to study cell migration. The group works at the interface of cell biology, immunology, and biophysics, and aims to identify basic mechanistic principles that are equally important for developmental processes and cancer cells. One research focus is how the cell’s internal skeleton generates and transduces the force to move the cell forward. The group also investigates how cells navigate along guidance cues, specifically how they orient their polarity axis in response to chemotactic gradients. In their work, the members of the Sixt group combine genetics, pharmacology, microengineering, surface chemistry, and advanced imaging approaches, as well as in vivo imaging techniques.

Group Leader


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Team

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Jonna Alanko

Postdoc

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Frank Assen

PhD Student

+43 2243 9000 3811

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Nikola Canigova

PhD Student


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Alessandra Casano

Postdoc

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Ingrid de Vries

Senior Laboratory Technician

+43 2243 9000 3804

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Tamara Girbl

Postdoc


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Florian Gärtner

Postdoc

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Alba Juanes Garcia

Postdoc

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Aglaja Kopf

PhD Student

+43 2243 9000 0


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Alexander Leithner

Postdoc

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Maria Nemethova

Senior Laboratory Technician

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Julian Stopp

PhD Student


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Saren Tasciyan

PhD Student


Current Projects

Environmental control of leukocyte migration | Cellular force generation and transduction | Interpretation of chemo-attractive gradients


Publications

Renkawitz J, Kopf A, Stopp JA, de Vries I, Driscoll MK, Merrin J, Hauschild R, Welf ES, Danuser G, Fiolka R, Sixt MK. 2019. Nuclear positioning facilitates amoeboid migration along the path of least resistance. Nature. View

Hross S, Theis FJ, Sixt MK, Hasenauer J. 2018. Mechanistic description of spatial processes using integrative modelling of noise-corrupted imaging data. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 15(149). View

Morri M, Sanchez-Romero I, Tichy A-M, Kainrath S, Gerrard EJ, Hirschfeld P, Schwarz J, Janovjak HL. 2018. Optical functionalization of human class A orphan G-protein-coupled receptors. Nature Communications. 9(1). View

Reversat A, Sixt MK. 2018. IgM’s exit route. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 215(12), 2959–2961. View

Dolati S, Kage F, Mueller J, Müsken M, Kirchner M, Dittmar G, Sixt MK, Rottner K, Falcke M. 2018. On the relation between filament density, force generation, and protrusion rate in mesenchymal cell motility. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 29(22), 2674–2686. View

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Career

since 2013 Professor, IST Austria
2010 – 2013 Assistant Professor, IST Austria
2008 – 2010 Endowed Professor, Peter Hans Hofschneider Foundation for Experimental Biomedicine
2005 – 2010 Group Leader, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany
2003 – 2005 Postdoc, Institute for Experimental Pathology, Lund, Sweden
2003 MD, University of Erlangen, Germany
2002 Approbation in human Medicine


Selected Distinctions

2016 ERC Consolidator Grant
2014 EMBO Member
2013 European Biophysical Societies Association (EBSA) Young Investigator Medal
2013 Elected member of the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)
2012 Ignaz L. Lieben Award
2011 ERC Starting Grant
2011 FWF START Award
2008 Endowed Professor of the Peter Hans Hofschneider Foundation
2003 Novartis dissertation prize


Additional Information

Download CV
View Sixt group website



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