+49 351 210-2670

Max Planck Institute of Molecular
Cell Biology and Genetics
- Tomancak -

Pfotenhauerstr. 108
01307 Dresden

Pavel Tomancak

Group Leader

Scientific Career

since 2021

Director of Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) consortium in Brno, Czech Republic

since 2013

Senior Research Group Leader at the MPI-CBG

2005 - 2013

Research Group Leader at the MPI-CBG

2000 – 2004

Postdoctoral work at the Dept. of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California in Berkeley at the laboratory of Dr. Gerald M. Rubin

1995 – 1999

PhD work at EMBL Heidelberg, Germany at the laboratory of Dr. Anne Ephrussi

1990 - 1995

Undergraduate studies at the Masaryk University in Brno, Life Science Faculty, Department of Molecular biology and genetics


2022 - 2025 HFSP

Bridging biophysics and evolution: impact of intermediate filament evolution on tissue mechanics. A collaboration with Carl-Philipp Heisenberg, Andreas Hejnol and Cassandra Extavour to study evolution of morphogenesis.

2022 - 2025 DFG/ANR

Understanding how animals generate and regenerate cell diversity; integrating live imaging, lineage tracking, deep learning and big image visualization. Development of Mastodon for tracking applications in developmental biology and regeneration research. With Robert Haase (TUD/ Physics of Life) and Michalis Averof (IGFL).

since 2021 ERC AdG

Impact of yolk-cellular blastoderm-egg shell interactions on the evolution of animal gastrulation. An Advanced ERC Grant to study the yolk-cells-shell interactions in insects and across the phylogeny.

2017 - 2021 DFG

Fiji Software Sustainability. A grant to maintain the Fiji open source platform and develop long term sustainability model. Together with Florian Jug.

2016 - 2020 BMBF

de.NBI Partner: DAIS – Dresden Analysis-of-Images Suit. The DAIS project is realized together with Gene Myers lab at MPI-CBG. The goal is to build on the success of Fiji and by combining its image analysis power with KNIME platform contribute towards the the German Bioinformatics Network (de.NBI) providing advanced image analysis capabilities 

2017 - 2021 DFG

Active torque generation for spiralian chiral cleavage. In collaboration with Stephan Grill group we investigate the cytoskeletal and physical mechanisms underlying the spiral cleavage pattern in early development.   

2017 - 2018 H2020 Teaming

Teaming for Excellence – project ARIB – Advance Research Incubator in Biosciences Teaming partnership between MPI-CBG in Dresden and the Institute of Molecular Genetics (“IMG”) in Prague to establish Advanced Research Incubator in Biosciences.

2015 - 2016 ERC PoC

ERC Proof of Concept Grant SPIM4YOU. Pre-comercialisation grant based on outcomes of ERC research revolving around OpenSPIM technology.

2012 - 2016 HFSP Renewal

Quantitative modeling of expression pattern evolution in insect development. A joint application with Dr. Uwe Ohler (Duke) and Dr. Casey Bergman (University of Manchester) to study the divergence of gene expression patterns with respect to the hourglass model of morphological evolution. This is the first time in the history of HFSP that a grant has been renewed.

2010 - 2015 MPG

A reverse genetic toolkit for systematic study of gene function and protein localization in Drosophila. A systematic effort to generate tagged genomic fosmid transgenes for all genes in the Drosophila genome. These reagents will enable both, visualization of the tissue specificity and sub-cellular localization of proteins throughout Drosophila life-cycle and purification of protein-protein or protein-DNA complexes, in a tissue-specific manner. A consortium of 4 participating MPG groups. Majority of the funding goes to Dresden where the resources will be generated.

2010 – 2015 ERC StG

Quantitative Analysis of the Hourglass Model of Evolution of Development. The goal of the project is to combine transcriptomics, advanced imaging and image analysis and reverse genetics manipulation of the genomes of different Drosophila species to elucidate the properties of gene regulatory networks that underlie the constraint on animal morphology during the conserved phylotypic stage of embryonic development.

2008 – 2011 HFSP

Quantitative modeling of expression pattern evolution in insect development A joint application with Dr. Uwe Ohler (Duke) and Dr. Casey Bergman (University of Manchester) aiming to study differences in gene expression regulation among closely related Drosophila species.

2010 – 2015 FP7

GENCODYS: Genetic and Epigenetic Networks in Cognitive Disfunction FP7 This large EU network project, of which I am one of the 12 partners, aims to understand the molecular basis of cognitive disorders by combining various functional genomics approaches in invertebrate and vertebrate model systems with clinical studies. My role is to generate and study large collection of tagged fosmid transgenes for Drosophila orthologs of genes implicated in human mental retardation.

2007 – 2010 DFG

Genome-wide analysis of gene expression in imaginal discs of Drosophila melanogaster A joint application with Christian Dahmann to map the patterns of gene expression in larval imaginal discs using RNA in situ probes previously employed in similar survey in the fly embryo.

since 2005 MPG

Core funding for the group generously provided by MPI-CBG.