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

Postdoc

+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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Alexander Leithner

Postdoc


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Maria Nemethova

Senior Laboratory Technician

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Patricia Rodrigues

PhD Student

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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

Kopf A, Sixt MK. 2019. Gut homeostasis: Active migration of intestinal epithelial cells in tissue renewal. Current Biology. 29(20), R1091–R1093. View

Yamada K, Sixt MK. 2019. Mechanisms of 3D cell migration. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology. View

Nicolai L, Gärtner FR, Massberg S. 2019. Platelets in host defense: Experimental and clinical insights. Trends in Immunology. 40(10), 922–938. View

Kopf A, Sixt MK. 2019. The neural crest pitches in to remove apoptotic debris. Cell. 179(1), 51–53. View

Gärtner FR, Massberg S. 2019. Patrolling the vascular borders: Platelets in immunity to infection and cancer. Nature Reviews Immunology. 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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