Biology at IST Austria encompasses a wide variety of research areas, from structural and molecular biology to cell and development biology to systems and evolutionary biology.

With 15 research groups, biology is the largest track in the PhD program, and students benefit from a vibrant research community with collaborations within and across sub-fields. State-of-the-art facilities and interactions with mathematics, computer science and physics allow scientists to address complex problems with interdisciplinary scope.


Featured Project:

Aribidopsis Root Growth

Friml Group

To track the growth of plant roots, the Friml group— in cooperation with the  Bioimaging Scientific Service Unit—developed a confocal microscope setup for vertical sample mounting. In addition, they developed a custom software called TipTracker, which can automatically track moving objects and record time-lapse series.

Using this setup, it is possible to study the growth of Arabidopsis roots under different gravity (through rotation of the sample) and light conditions. In addition, TipTracker can even be used to study other non-plant samples, such as zebrafish embryos—an animal model used by one of our PhD students, Vanessa Barone (Heisenberg group), to study embryonic development.

Watch a time-lapse video showing root growth over time, produced using TipTracker.

The work was produced by Daniel von Wangenheim, Robert Hauschild, Matyas Fendrych, Vanessa Barone, and Jiri Friml. Read the original paper here:


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