Prof. Dr. Hans-Arno Müller

Research Interest
Signaling networks controlling morphogenetic systems
The aim of the research projects in the Müller group are to determine the molecular basis of cell differentiation during morphogenesis. We are using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as an experimental model system and apply genetics, high spatio-temporal resolution microscopy, biochemical and biophysical methods towards this problem. Our attention is focussed on evolutionarily conserved cell signaling networks that control the concerted behaviour and differentiation of cells during development. In particular, we investigate the mechanisms of how Fibroblast-growth factor (FGF) signaling orchestrates the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and directional migration of mesoderm cells. A second focus of the lab is to determine the molecular pathways that control the communication between distinct cellular compartments during the generation of cell polarity.

Communication of subcellular compartments in the control of cell polarity
Epithelia cells are the building blocks of a large number of organs in multicellular animals. Many regulators of epithelial polarity have been identified and led to the conclusion that the interaction of different subcellular compartments are essential in the establishment and maintenance of polarity. How the communication between distinct compartments is controlled and interacts with the for example the cytoskeleton is not well understood. We are using the cellularisation process of the Drosophila early embryo to study the function of signaling proteins in the control of the cytoskeleton and the endomembrane system. Our particular interest currently is in the identification of novel regulators and post translational modifications.

Intercellular communication during morphogenesis
FGFs are important secreted cell signaling molecules which are essential for communication and integration of a large variety of cell types. FGFs control tissue and organ homeostasis by regulating the proliferation, migrations, and survival of cells. Abnormal FGF signaling results in severe diseases such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, dysplasia a.m.o.). The complexity of FGF molecules and their receptors in vertebrates hamper its functional analysis in higher organisms. Our work has discovered a novel FGF signaling system in Drosophila and it’s role controlling cell behaviours including EMT and cell migration during the development of the mesoderm in gastrulation.

Work Experience
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Professor (W3) of Developmental Genetics, Universität Kassel

2013 - 2015
Associate Dean of Research, College of Life Sciences, Dundee, GB

2010 - 2015
Deputy Head Division of Cell and Developmental Biology Dundee GB

2006 - 2016
Principal Investigator, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, GB

Habilitation (Venia legendi: Genetik), Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf

2001 - 2006
Group leader (C2 level), Institut für Genetik, Heinrich-Heine Universität, Düsseldorf

1997 - 2001
Group leader (C1 level) Institut für Genetik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf

1994 - 1997
Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, USA

1992 - 1994
Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Max-Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology, Dept. Cell Biology, Tübingen

PhD from the Eberhard-Karls-University, Tübingen

Offers for professorships

Universität Kassel

Allgemeine Genetik und Zytologie
Universität Ulm


Ernennung zum ‘Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology’

Senior Non-Clinical Research Fellowship, Medical Research Council

HFSP Short-Term Fellowship. California Institute of Technology, USA

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Projects as Principal Investigator

01/2019 - 12/2023

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Last updated on 2020-12-10 at 13:53