Thomas Surrey is an internationally recognized expert in the field of cytoskeleton biochemistry and biophysics. He obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Tübingen and was trained as a postdoc at Princeton University and the EMBL in Heidelberg where he then became staff scientist, team leader and group leader. In 2011, he moved to the London Research Institute of Cancer Research UK to take the position of senior group leader and then transferred to the newly established Francis Crick Institute in London. In 2019, Thomas Surrey relocated to the Centre of Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona to take the position of a CRG senior group leader and ICREA research professor. He is the author of over 80 publications. He was elected EMBO member in 2012 and awarded the Hooke Medal of the British Society of Cell Biology in 2015. He holds honorary professorships at University College London (UCL) and at Kings College London. He serves in the editorial board of several journals.
Living cells are internally highly organized, yet also very dynamic. How is dynamic order generated? The cytoskeleton plays a critical role in this process by forming an active filament network that provides a mechanically stable coordinate system for the internal organization of cells. The Surrey lab studies the properties of the microtubule cytoskeleton with a particular interest in its ability to organize itself into different networks in different cell types or at different times of a cell's life cycle. The Surrey lab has pioneered several biochemical in vitro reconstitution approaches in which minimal cytoskeletal subsystems can be generated from purified components. Observing the behaviour of these reconstituted systems by advanced fluorescence microscopy provides insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying cytoskeleton dynamics and function. Our goal is to uncover the design principles governing active biological network organization which is essential for cell function.
Key wordsCytoskeleton, intracellular architecture, self-organization, microtubules, motor proteins, in vitro reconstitution, molecular mechanism, dynamic systems, fluorescence microscopy, quantitative imaging