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C2: Functional Organization of the Cell Nucleus – 13182

(2 hrs/week; 2 CP; Fall 2020)

S. Gasser, Roderick Lim

This course will describe the structure and function of the eukaryotic nucleus. The nucleus serves as the "brain" of the cell. It contains the genetic information and ensures that it is properly replicated, segregated, transcribed and repaired. Within the nucleus are functional compartments such as the nucleolus, whose function it is to produce ribosomes. The nucleus, which is membrane bound, has nuclear pores, which are complex, regulated machines that control the flow of material into and out of a nucleus. In this course, all features of the nucleus from regulated import/export through pores, to the compartmentalization of transcription, splicing, replication and repair will be covered. We will cover the pathology of nuclear defects, with a focus on mutations in structural components of the nucleus and how they compromise the integrity of the genome to cause tissue-specific disease. The structure and function of lamins and pore proteins intranscriptional control will be presented, as well as the structure and folding of chromosomes and their dynamics through the cell cycle. Subdiffusive movements of chromatin in interphase nuclei and the role of this dynamic behavior in repair and transcription will be discussed. The lectures will give an up-to-date overview of a complex structure-function problem that touches on crucial aspects of cell identity.


Lectures will be held Fridays 09:15 to 11:00 (2 x 45 min) at FMI, Maulbeerstrasse 66, WRO1066 in room 5.30 (max 24 seats) and will be available on Zoom



Susan Gasser  -  Introduction to nuclear structure and function (FMI)

18 Sep

Ohad Medalia - Nuclear lamins in health and disease (University of Zurich)

25 Sep

Caroline Uhler - Multi-Domain Data Integration: From Observations to Mechanistic Insights (ETH Zurich, D-BSSE)

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2 Oct

Birthe Fahrenkrog - Nucleoporins in human disease (Biozentrum, University of Basel)

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9 Oct

Peter Meister - Genome folding, loop extrusion and gene regulation (University of Bern)

16 Oct

Stephen Methot - Heterochromatin in the nucleus (FMI)

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23 Oct

Kerstin Bystricky - Chromatin dynamics and imaging tools (Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire Eucaryote, Toulouse)

30 Oct

Maria Hondele - DEAD-box ATPases, phase-separated organelles and RNA flux (Biozentrum, University of Basel)

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6 Nov

Roderick Lim - Nuclear pore complexes and nucleocytoplasmic transport (Biozentrum, Universität Basel) 

13 Nov

Gaelle Legube - DNA damage, repair and chromatin domains (Centre de Biologie Intégrative, Toulouse)

20 Nov


Dies academicus - no lecture 27 Nov

G.V. Shivashankar - Mechanobiology of the nucleus (PSI and ETH Zurich)

4 Dec

Susan Mango - Chromatin organization in differentiating nuclei (Biozentrum, University of Basel) and

11 Dec
Susan Gasser - Chromatin structure and genome stability in yeast and worms (FMI)18 Dec