Cells are only a few micrometers in size, yet each cell harbors our entire genome. These meters of DNA, made up out of 46 chromosomes, need to be organized in 3D to control many important cellular events.
A cell is often likened to a bowl of spaghetti, in which each chromosome, which is a centimeters long DNA strand, reflects a single entity of pasta. Remarkably though, the different chromosomes are not intermingled, as each chromosome is confined to its own region. What actually keeps the chromosomes apart? And what purpose does this serve? These are the questions Benjamin Rowland and his research group aims to answer in the coming years.
The NWO Vici grant targets highly experienced researchers who have successfully demonstrated the ability to develop their own innovative lines of research. ‘It is a great honor to have been awarded one of these grants’, says Benjamin Rowland. ‘I think it’s great that such fundamental problems as the ones we are researching speak to the imagination of both international referees and the members of the NWO selection committee. We’re very much looking forward to get our teeth into this problem in the coming years.’