Nordic Cilia and Centrosome Network
Cilia are microtubule (MT)-based hair-like organelles that play important roles in cell motility and sensory signalling. They are present on the surface of almost all eukaryotic cells, including most cells of the human body. Motile (9+2) cilia have long been appreciated for their role in human health and development while primary (9+0) cilia were, until recently, considered vestigial organelles of little functional significance.
It is now clear that primary cilia are essential signalling devices that regulate a vast array of cellular and development processes in the body, including cell migration, differentiation, and tissue patterning. Consequently, mutations affecting the assembly or function of primary cilia can lead to a number of diseases and developmental defects, known collectively as the “ciliopathies”.
The number of research groups working in this field is increasing. However, while the field has advanced significantly in the past years, important questions remain. For example, adequate tools and drugs for efficient diagnosis and treatment of ciliopathies are lacking.
In the Nordic countries there are a good number of laboratories working on cilia and centrosomes. These groups have made important contributions to the field over the years. However, there are currently few official collaborations and researcher exchanges between the groups in different countries, and a common identity is lacking.
Main objects of the Nordic Cilia and Centrosome Network are to:
- strengthen collaborations between Nordic cilia/centrosome labs, including collaborations between basic and clinical scientists (incl. human geneticists)
- improve education and training of students within the field of cilia and centrosome biology
- generate an official platform for promoting cilia/centrosome research in the Nordic countries. This platform will also serve as a core for a future network of European cilia and centrosome groups