The Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS)

Emmy Noether-fellowship for Kasper van Gelderen

Dr. Kasper van Gelderen (@Gelderenkasper) has been awarded with an Emmy Noether programme funding by the DFG (German Scientific Society) to start his own research group at the Centre of Organismal Studies (COS) of Heidelberg University. The project is titled ‘The Cell biology of light signaling – What is the function of nuclear photobodies?’. The funding will run for 6 years and will enable him to start as an independent scientist in Germany. The future group of Kasper van Gelderen will work on the question of how phytochrome-B photobodies form. Photobodies are subnuclear compartments where active phytochromes aggregate and perceive light and temperature. This light perception triggers signaling that can change plant development and biotic and abiotic stress responses. Even though phytochrome B has been an object of study for more than 40 years and photobodies are known for 20 years, how and why photobodies form is still not clear. The photobody is a macromolecular complex made up of phytochromes, downstream targets and helper proteins that together enable light signaling. By a combination of state-of-the art microscopy and biochemical techniques the group of Kasper van Gelderen will shed light on this complex. Soon there will be vacancies for PhD candidates and a technician. Kasper van Gelderen did a Biology Bachelor and Master at Wageningen University specializing on Cell Biology. He completed a PhD at the Developmental Genetics group of Prof. Remko Offringa in Leiden, working on the subcellular regulation of PIN auxin efflux carrier polarity. More recently, he did two postdocs at the Plant-Environment signaling group of Prof. Ronald Pierik working on Far-Red light perception and shoot-root communication of light signaling. With this newly funded project he will combine these two backgrounds and expertise into a Cell Biology of Light Signaling.