Research Groups

16TH JULY 2020

How can we use concepts from probability theory to investigate cell fate decisions? Here's our review article on "Stochasticity and Determinism in cell fate decisions" focusing on central nervous system development, a fun collaboration with Christoph Zechner!

7TH JULY 2020

Caren is appointed as an EMBO member! It is a great honour and we are all proud of her :)

1ST JULY 2020

Now available on biorXiv our new preprint "Asymmetric neurogenic commitment of retinal progenitors is regulated via the Notch endocytic pathway" form Elisa's PhD! 


First Christmas Party for the Nordens in Lisbon! With special thanks to the photographer Elias Barriga, our lab neighbour at IGC :)


Karen and Elisa presented their PhD projects to the "21st EMBL PhD symposium: Facing the Future" in Heidelberg! 

1st OCTOBER 2019

The Norden lab is moving!

We are relocating to the sunny Lisbon at the "Instituto Gulbenkian De Ciência", where Caren started as Deputy Director for Science. Some lab members already moved, some are still enjoying the Dresden atmosphere.

If you want more info, you can write to Caren at her new email address:

26-28TH AUGUST 2019

Getting to know "the other side": joint lab retreat between the Norden and Modes lab in the beautiful Opárenské Valley in Czech Republic. We had a lot of interesting scientific discussions to understand each others' approach to science, but also a lot of fun during the long hike and the shared meals (with the renowned Czech grilled cheese)!


19TH JULY 2019

Iskra's paper is accepted! Reason to celebrate with some champagne during lab meeting. It is a great work on how tissue and cell morphology influence the actin cytoskeleton during interkinetic nuclear migration. You will find the paper soon on JCB, but if you are extremely curious right now, you can read the preprint here!

22ND MAY 2019

Our talented Iskra successfully defended her PhD today! A beautiful piece of work on how different shapes of tissue influence IKNM mechanism.  And she has the most amazing hat!

15TH MAY 2019

We are very happy to welcome Ana Patricia Ramos as a Postdoc in our Lab! Patricia already joined Norden Lab as a master student but she decided to come back after her PhD to work on early stages of optic cup formation.

3RD MAY 2019

Celebrations during today's lab meeting for the acceptance of Rana's paper "Stochastic single cell behaviour leads to robust horizontal layer formation in the vertebrate retina" (preprint here). Champagne sponsored by August Der Starke!

1ST APRIL 2019

The Norden lab gets crowded: we welcome two new rotation students, Shreya and Jenny, working with Karen and Mauricio, respectively.

14TH MARCH 2019

Big news from the Norden lab! 

We are happy to announce that we are moving to the sunny Lisbon at the "Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência", as Caren will become deputy director of the institute. 

We are very excited to bring our fish (and scientists) to another great institute!


Rana's great preprint  "Stochastic single cell behaviour leads to robust horizontal cell layer formation in the vertebrate retina" is out.  Stay tuned for updates on horizontal cells behaviour!


Sometimes the end justifies the means! Read our new preprint "Tissue shapes determines actin-dependent nuclear migration mechanisms in neuroepithelia", amazing work by our amazing Iskra!


Whoop Whoop! Noden Lab receives the ERC consolidator grant for investigating the principles that lead to retinal lamination, from zebrafish to humans. We are very excited, so stay tuned for job offers and marvellous work!



The lab received fundings from DFG to investigate how complex fate decisions are orchestrated in the developing retina. Stay tuned! 


Marija received the award for the Best Short Talk at the "Physics of Living Matter 2018" conference in Marseille. We are very proud of you!

17TH AUGUST 2018

Fruitful collaboration with Mansfeld lab in Biotech: AID-nanobody system to degrade GFP tagged proteins in cells and living organisms. Check the paper out!

15TH AUGUST 2018

Marija's beautiful paper on retinal shape maintenance during development is out! A great collaboration with Guillame Salbreux from the Francis Crick institute. 

14TH AUGUST 2018

Marija and Caren gave a talk during the 10th Anniversary Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy Conference at MPI-CBG in Dresden. Beautiful talks and great questions from the audience for two of the most biological talks of the conference!

2ND JULY 2018

NordenLab hiking in Bohemian Switzerland. Picture in front of the rock formation called Pravcicka brana, the largest natural sandstone arch in Europe.

15TH JUNE 2018

Celebrating Jaroslav's Otto Hahn medal.


23RD APRIL 2018

Marija successfully defended her PhD thesis on shape maintenance in the developing retina.

Congrats Dr. Matejcic!

17TH APRIL 2018

Congratulations to Jaroslav Icha, former PhD student who will be awarded the prestigious Max Planck Otto Hahn Medal! We are so happy and proud of you!

Cheers to you, Jaroslav!

3RD APRIL 2018

Now available our new preprint, 'A non-cell autonomous actin redistribution enables isotropic retinal growth', great work by Marija Matejcic and wonderful collaboration with Guillaume Salbreux.

1ST APRIL 2018

We are very happy to announce that Elisa Nerli officially started her PhD with us in April. Welcome Elisa!!

1ST APRIL 2018

Goodbye to Jaydeep Sidaye who left today for new adventures at IMBA Vienna. It was great having you, you shaped the lab, and we all wish you all the best for your future endeavors!


Norden lab cooking experiment: Thanks Elisa for sharing the protocol on how to make a proper parmigiana!


Are you interested in visual system development?

If you want to know more about retinal development, check our new review about neuronal migration and lamination in the vertebrate retina published in a special issue of the Frontiers in Neuroscience about Assembly and Function of the Visual System. 


Christmas party treasure hunt at Altstadt: The survivors were awarded a multicultural banquet!


Jaydeep successfully defended his PhD thesis. Congratulations!


Welcome Karen (first row right)! New member of the lab who will work on epithelial cell biology and epithelial rearrangements.

10th September 2017

The Norden Lab meets real-life biology at Leipzig Zoo!

28th July 2017

Breakfast with champagne to celebrate our review on phototoxicity in live fluorescence microscopy!

27th July 2017

Our review about phototoxicity in live fluorescence microscopy has been published. It was also selected by the editor as a highlight from the August issue of BioEssays. Great collaboration with Michael Weber and Jennifer Waters from the Nikon imaging centre at Harvard Medical School. We highlighted the often neglected subtle effects phototoxicity can have on living samples without any warning signs at the morphological level.

1st July 2017

Mauricio joined the lab again after finishing his PhD in Brazil. For the next two years he will study the development of photoreceptors.

19th-21th June 2017

A great moment of science and fun during the Norden lab retreat in Loket, Czechia. Special thanks to our guests for sharing their knowledge: 

-Mateusz Sikora (CP Heisenberg lab, IST Austria)

-Guillaume Salbreux (Francis Crick, London, UK)

-Ryan MacDonald (University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)

-Alf Honigmann (MPI-CBG, Dresden, Germany)

28th April 2017

Are you interested in Pseudostratified epithelia ?

If you want to know more about pseudostratified epithelia, please, have a look at this new review by Caren Norden in Journal of Cell Science and enjoy how PSE occupy an important role in development.

22th April 2017

The Norden lab & friends took part in the March for Science Dresden. World-wide, people joined the March for Science to celebrate the value of science for society and to demand that politics acknowledges evidence-based facts in its decision-making process.

4th April 2017

Jaydeep's preprint about early eye development is now published in eLife! To have a look, just click here.

4th April 2017

Jaroslav gave a talk at the Charles University in Prague, Department of Cell Biology, where he did his undergraduate studies. He talked about the research on neuronal migration in the retina and about the experience of doing his PhD abroad.

26th March 2017

The second installment of Norden lab&friends movie night. This time there was a lot to celebrate: Jaydeep's paper acceptance, Iranian and Indian New Year. We also baked a cake together by an old Armenian/Iranian recipe.

18th March 2017

Jaroslav received an award for his PhD thesis work at the Joint meeting of the German and Japanese societies of developmental biologists in Kiel.

13th February 2017

Rana was awarded a 2 year postdoctoral fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to work on her project entitled: 

Deconstructing the Retinal Lamination: from transcriptomics, cell-cell and cell-tissue interactions to mechanobiology

6th February 2017

Jaroslav successfully defended his PhD thesis.

6th January 2017

The Norden lab has a new logo!

25th October 2016

Right after one preprint got published, Norden lab posted another preprint.This one is on Jaydeep's project about collective cell migration during optic cup morphogenesis.

"Epithelial cells of the optic vesicle migrate collectively along the rim of the optic cup to build the hemispherical retinal neuroepithelium. The spatiotemporal coordination of cellular behaviors, morphogenic movements and fate determination brings cells to their right location in right time."

24th October 2016

Our preprint on retinal ganglion cell translocation and establishment of the first layer of neurons in the retina is now published.  You can find a quick digest in the JCB video summary and the context in the spotlight article, which highlights it. Cover image: Julia Eichhorn, MTO, MPI-CBG.

12th October 2016

Norden lab teambuilding! Picture taken right after our escape from the escape room (or after they let us out of the escape room to be more precise).

30th September 2016

The first night out with our new postdocs Rana and Frederic, welcome!, on the occasion of Jaroslav handing in his PhD thesis. How much is too much sushi? We investigated.

30th July 2016

The first preprint of the Norden lab describing Jaroslav's project on retinal ganglion cell translocation and establishment of the first layer of neurons in the retina. Feedback welcome. Stay tuned for the journal publication, hopefully coming in a few months.

14th June 2016

Mauricio's farewell lunch before returning to Brazil to finish his PhD. See you in one year!

9th May 2016

Norden lab hike in the beautiful Saxonian Switzerland. View from Gamrig to Rathen and Bastei.

11th April 2016

Successfull Norden and Tomancak lab collaboration. The scientific video article about using light sheet microscopy to study zebrafish eye development was published in Journal of Visualized Experiments

You can watch the whole video in the Gallery section.

5th April 2016

Caren gave a talk about our retinal ganglion cell and photoreceptor projects at the Neuroscience winter symposium in Soelden.

16th February 2016

Successful Huttner, Taverna and Norden Lab collaboration. Elena's paper on non-canonical features of Golgi apparatus (non-pericentrosomal) in neural stem cells is now out. An example of how in vivo imaging in zebrafish can strengthen conclusions on brain development in the mouse.

8th February 2016

First meeting of the newly established EMBO YIP sectorial on tissue morphogenesis in Dresden February 7th -9th. Hosted by Caren Norden and Julien Vermot.

Everybody had a great time and we will definitely continue with this group. Next meeting will be held in France in 2017.

14th January 2016

Anna successfully defended her PhD thesis today. Congratulations!

13th January 2016

We were filming our video about Light sheet imaging of zebrafish eye development for the JoVE journal. It will be out in a few weeks. Thanks to everyone involved!

December 4th

Norden lab Christmas party following the science writing workshop with Ian Patten. Merry Christmas everyone!

23rd November 2015

Welcome Niklas!

Niklas Ifflander will do an internship in our lab until January. Another flag to our collection!

24th September 2015

The paper of Paulina and Edo about the cellular response to supernumerary centrosomes is published. The news here.

Halloween party 2015