Schmoller lab - Cell and Organelle Size Control
From whole animals to subcellular structures, size is a key property that is fundamentally linked to function. Accordingly, the size of cells is tightly controlled and spans many orders of magnitude, depending on species, environmental context and – in multicellular organisms – cell differentiation. For example, the volume of human cells ranges from the 30 ?m3 sperm cell to the 100000 times larger oocyte. In addition to controlling size itself, cells must coordinate their size with the size of organelles and intracellular processes. Yet, our understanding of the underlying regulatory mechanisms is surprisingly poor. This can in part be attributed to the fact that size control is a highly stochastic process that is hard to study with traditional bulk methods. To overcome this challenge, we combine molecular cell biology approaches and microfluidics-based single-cell imaging with concepts of physical sciences and mathematical modelling to unravel how cells coordinate growth with protein- and organelle-homeostasis as well as cell division.