Thomas Surrey

Thomas Surrey

Centre de Regulació Genòmica

Life & Medical Sciences

Thomas Surrey obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Tübingen in 1995. After postdoctoral training at Princeton University and the EMBL Laboratory in Heidelberg, he became group leader at EMBL. In 2011, Thomas moved to the CRUK London Research Institute (LRI) to take the position of a senior group leader and later transferred to the newly established Francis Crick Institute in London. In 2019, Thomas relocated to the Centre of Genomic Regulation (CRG), a part of the BIST, to take the position as a CRG senior group leader and ICREA research professor. Thomas is author of 96 research publications, elected EMBO member (2012), recipient of an ERC Advanced Grant (2013) and an ERC Synergy Grant (2021) and of the Hooke medal of the British Society of Cell Biology (2015). He was a Whitman Center Fellow at the Marine Biology Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole in 2016 and a Visiting Miller Professor at UC Berkeley in 2018. In 2021, he was selected as an ASCB Fellow.

Research interests

Living cells are internally highly organized, yet also very dynamic. How is dynamic order generated? The cytoskeleton plays a critical role in this process by forming an active filament network that provides a mechanically stable coordinate system for the internal organization of cells. The Surrey lab studies the properties of the microtubule cytoskeleton with a particular interest in its ability to organize itself into different networks in different cell types or at different times of a cell's life cycle. The Surrey lab has pioneered several biochemical in vitro reconstitution approaches in which minimal cytoskeletal subsystems can be generated from purified components. Observing the behaviour of these reconstituted systems by advanced fluorescence microscopy provides insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying cytoskeleton dynamics and function. Our goal is to uncover the design principles governing active biological network organization which is essential for cell function.

Selected publications

- Henkin G, Brito C, Thomas C & Surrey T 2023, 'The minus-end depolymerase KIF2A drives flux-like treadmilling of γTuRC-uncapped microtubules', Journal of cell biology, 222 - 10.

- Ustinova K, Ruhnow F, Gili M & Surrey T 2023, 'Microtubule binding of the human augmin complex is directly controlled by importins and Ran-GTP', Journal Of Cell Science, 136, 12, jcs261096.

- Chew WX, Henkin G, Nédélec F & Surrey T 2023, 'Effects of microtubule length and crowding on active microtubule network organization', Iscience, 26, 2, 106063.

Selected research activities

-Monitoring editor for Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC, journal of the American Society of Cell Biology) and for Elife.