The 6th Tsuneko & Reiji Okazaki Award Winner

Clifford P. Brangwynne


Liquid Phase Condensation in Cell Physiology & Disease

Clifford P. Brangwynne

My colleagues and I have pioneered the concept that biomolecules condense into dynamic intracellular compartments through a process known as liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) (1,2). Biomolecular condensates are found throughout the cell, and play diverse roles in cell physiology. Our lab utilizes approaches from soft matter physics, bioengineering, and molecular and cellular biology to interrogate the biophysical principles by which various condensates form, including the nature of sequence-encoded driving forces. This talk will highlight our work on the role of condensates in nuclear organization and gene expression, where droplet-like condensates decorate the genome, and facilitate the flow of genetic information and its dysregulation in disease (3,4,5).


  1. Brangwynne CP, Eckmann CR, Courson DS, Rybarska A, Hoege C, Gharakhani J, Jülicher F, Hyman AA. Germline P granules are liquid droplets that localize by controlled dissolution/condensation. Science, 2009
  2. Shin Y, Brangwynne CP. Liquid phase condensation in cell physiology and disease. Science, 2017
  3. Riback JA, Zhu L, Ferrolino MC, Tolbert M, Mitrea DM, Sanders DW, Wei M-T,  Kriwacki RW, Brangwynne CP. Composition dependent thermodynamics of intracellular phase separation. Nature, 2020
  4. Feric M, Vaidya N, Harmon TS, Mitrea DM, Zhu L, Richardson TM, Kriwacki RW, Pappu RV, Brangwynne CP. Coexisting liquid phases underlie nucleolar sub-compartments. Cell, 2016
  5. Shimobayashi S, Sanders DW, Ronceray P, Haataja M, Brangwynne CP. Nucleation landscape of biomolecular condensates. Nature 2021

Award lecture:

Date: Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

Time: 9:10 - 10:35