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Cilia are hair-like organelles that play important roles in cell motility and sensory signaling. They are present on the surface of most cells of the human body, as well as many other eukaryotic organisms, and grow from a modified centriole called a basal body. During cell division, cilia are resorbed and the centrioles are liberated from the cell surface to participate in the formation of centrosomal spindle poles.
Recent research has shown that cilia are essential signaling devices that regulate a vast array of cellular and development processes in our body. Mutations that affect cilia can lead to a number of diseases and developmental defects, known collectively as the ‘ciliopathies.’
The Nordic Cilia and Centrosome Network is supported by a grant from Nordforsk and was started in August 2010. The network is presently comprised of several research groups located in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The total number of participants, including students and post-docs, is currently around 70. The network is coordinated by Lotte B. Pedersen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.