EcTop Metabolic plasticity in developmental processes
Long thought to be a mere consequence of the developmental state, the metabolic state or metabotype of a cell emerges to play a pivotal role in licensing its decision to proliferate, differentiate or remain quiescent and can thus be seen as a gatekeeper of genetically-determined phenotypes. Progresses in metabolic profiling techniques and the development of nanosensors that allow monitoring of individual metabolites at high spatiotemporal resolution, offer the unprecedented opportunity to study the intimate dependencies and causal relations between the metabolic state of an organism and its development.

The aim of this EcTop is to build a network of scientists of the Heidelberg Campus (Heidelberg University, DKFZ, EMBL) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, to conduct research on the control of development by metabolic pathways by fostering interaction among these scientists through joint projects, seminars and retreats. By focusing on the modulation of genetically encoded developmental programs via integration of metabolic signals, our EcTop will address an emerging scientific question with high relevance to basic as well as applied biology.

The EcTop builds upon the unique scientific and methodological know-how of CellNetworks and the Heidelberg life science community. The Ectop is the nucleation centre for the emergence of an SFB/CRC focused on the metabolic control of developmental programs.


Alexander Aulehla, Michael Boutros, Thomas Dickmeis, Emmanuel Gaquerel, Thomas Greb, Guido Grossmann, Rüdiger Hell, Ursula Kummer, Ingrid Lohmann, Jan Lohmann, Alexis Maizel, Bernhard Radlwimmer, Karin Schumacher, Aurelio Teleman