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Silke Hauf

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
383 Steger Hall (MC 0477)
1015 Life Science Circle
Blacksburg, VA

Major Field of Interest

Mechanisms of reliable cell division

Current Research

Cell division is a highly orchestrated process. Both daughter cells need to obtain a precise copy of the genetic information and of all other cellular material that they need to survive.  Thousands of proteins are involved in the process with hundreds being important regulators. We want to understand how such a complex event can be reliably executed, despite fluctuations in cellular composition ('noise') and variation in the cell environment.  We want to know whether cellular design principles resemble or differ from the principles that are implemented in man-made systems to achieve reliability.  Because cell division is so central to life, much of the regulation is preserved throughout evolution.  We use the unicellular eukaryote Schizosaccharomyces pombe (fission yeast) as a model organism and combine genetic techniques, advanced fluorescence microscopy, proteomics and computational modeling to explore the mechanisms of reliable cell division.

  • Since 2018: Virginia Tech, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Associate Professor
  • 2014 – 2018: Virginia Tech, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Assistant Professor
  • 2005 – 2013: Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society, Tübingen, Germany, Max Planck Research Group Leader
  • 2003 – 2005: University of Tokyo, Japan, Postdoctoral Fellow in the group of Yoshinori Watanabe
  • 2004: Medical license ('Approbation')
  • 1999 – 2003: Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna, Austria, Postdoctoral Fellow in the group of Jan-Michael Peters
  • 2000: Dr. med. (M.D.) degree
  • 1997 – 1998: Institute of Virology and Immunobiology, University of Würzburg, Germany, Research Work for M.D. thesis; Supervisor: Thomas Hünig
  • 1992 – 1999: Medical School, University of Würzburg, Germany, and University of Caen, France, Clinical Electives at Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA; CHU Montpellier, France; University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France; Second Shanghai Medical University, China
  • 2019 Outstanding Teaching Award, Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech
  • 2017 Outstanding Research Award, Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech
  • 2012 FASEB Travel Award
  • 2006 – 2007 Young Leaders in Science Program of the Schering Foundation
  • 2004 – 2005 Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Long Term Fellowship
  • 2004 Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, declined
  • 2004 Research Fellowship of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 2000 – 2001 Postdoctoral Fellowship of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • 1995 – 1996 Scholarship of the University of Caen, France
  • 1992 – 1999 Scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung)